Online Social Networking Narcissism
I laugh every time I hear it:
“Blogging is all about narcissism” … “why do I care what so and so is doing” … “I don’t have time to be on facebook”…and my personal favorite:
“you must not do anything, all you do is stay on facebook and update your status all the time!”
The reason I laugh is that often those phrases come from one of two people:
- the person who is about to delve into 2 weeks of obsessing about everything on facebook, or
- the person who has never used facebook or engaged in online social networking
What’s even funnier is the new social media experts that are emerging from everywhere. One of my partners, Brody Bond, and I had a hilarious experience when one of our clients hired a “social media expert” that we also knew. Only we knew that she wasn’t even using twitter, facebook or blogging herself when he signed up for thousands of dollars of services. She quickly had him up on twitter, facebook and a blog but you can imagine the results: lots of posts about nothing and no engagement in a conversation with anyone else.
The strategy seems to be the basic social media vomit.
So what’s the point of online social networking
The truth is that social media isn’t for everyone. It’s for people that want to engage with other people and join in the community. It’s flexible enough that you can choose how much, how often, and with whom you want to engage. Your choice; no strings attached.
So for those who want to engage here are a few ideas and that might be worth considering and advice for getting started:
- What is online social networking? Online social networking is a loose term for thousands of ways that you can communicate with people in a radically changing world of communication. The ones you choose should be based on your preferences and the community you want to be a part of.
- How much time will it take? The amount of time you spend is up to you…spend as much or as little as you desire to accomplish your goals. You may want to learn to write better, communicate to a specific audience, create a blog for your random ideas, or simply create a way to connect to more people. Your time investment will depend on what your purpose is and how effective you want to be.
- What platforms should I use? Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other platforms are all legitimate and can be used to achieve your purpose. The problem many people face is that they don’t jump in and become a part of the community. I have countless friends who have started a blog, posted 3 times and can’t figure out why people don’t engage with them and their ideas. The platform is not the key, engagement and contributing to the community is the key.
- What’s the right way to do it? There is no one way to do online social networking. Experiment. There are thousands of ways. Don’t get stuck because you feel like you have particular way that you feel you need to connect with people.
Here’s the way I’m using social networking
Here is the way that I am using online social networking (again there is not right way, just different ways of accomplishing different things).
- Platforms: I use wordpress for blogging (personal and professional), facebook, twitter, posterous, and tumblr (I really don’t use tumblr, but it is linked to my posterous). I also have a LinkedIn account but really haven’t found it to be terribly useful yet.
- Uses: Here’s the breakdown of how I use these platforms:
- WordPress: WordPress is the Wordswell blogging platform of choice. Typically I write one or more posts per week both personally and professionally. On the personal front (GregRittler.com) this could cover anything from the cherry that dropped on my computer yesterday while sitting next to the lake, to the new book that I am reviewing and everything in between. Sometimes it is ramblings about faith things, or just a funny post that I ran across. Professionally I use KanonClarity.com to write about leadership, strategy, business, people issues, and other related topics. This is definitely the most time intensive social networking that I engage in but the time put in is more than worth it even for the value I get from clarifying my own thoughts.
- Facebook: I see facebook as a universal way of keeping up with other people. I connect with anyone that I stumble across (personal or professional) and enjoy being able to easily see what is going on in other peoples lives. I can’t tell you how many people I have caught up with over Facebook that I haven’t seen in 20+ years and it’s been fun to have these people in my life again if only in a online kind of a way. I also use it to keep up with my kids friends, personal relationships, clients personal lives, etc. Facebook is flexible and easy to use.
- Twitter: There are a lot of different ways of using twitter and I couldn’t possible do justice to them all here. Here are the ways that I am using Twitter. First and foremost I typically am sharing multiple times per day just what I am doing. Nothing glamorous just a status update. Since Twitter and Facebook are also linked this status shows up on Facebook as well. Second, I will often use twitter for advice (i.e. “Anyone have ideas for how to clean off a Macbook keyboard with a splattered cherry on it? or “anyone know the best place to Hike in Dolly Sods?”). You wouldn’t believe how many great and generous people are out there that want to help you. Third, I use twitter to search for information and keep up with friends. Using Tweetdeck I can have numerous searches set up that troll for information nonstop and keep me up to date with what people are up to.
- Posterous: Posterous is a super simple way to share information and have it end up on the web on posterous.com or forwarded to other platforms. This could be a photo, video, text or numerous other things. For example, I send live updates of travel, vacations, funny scenes I run across, youtube videos, etc. Posterous takes this information and posts it to my posterous site (thekeepmovingforwardblog.com) and then automatically forwards this information to all of the other platforms I have discussed. Posterous exclusively updates via email which makes it hands down the simplest, easiest platform available.
- Time: I spend about an hour per day total on social media AND keeping up with news and blogs that I read. This is entirely discretionary and I spend this much time partially because I am “in the business” and need to keep up to date on a certain amount of it. In terms of actual personal use it is less than 15 minutes per day.
I’m still quite new to most of social media compared to many experts. I have been actively blogging, using twitter, and using facebook for about two years (with twitter about a year). But even in that time I have seen some remarkable results in my life bacause of online social networking. I’ll share my results in a post later this week.
Keep moving forward,
p.s. If you are here because I put sex in the title you fell for the oldest trick in the book. Add sex in any title and four times the number of people will end up reading your post.