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August 21, 2009

A Calm Force in the Social Media Storm

(photo courtesy of
Lisa Slifko)

I have really taken a liking to Alexandra Samuel’s blog posts on social media.

Perhaps that is just because I have been secretly dying for someone with some authority (Alexandra is of course a social media expert and founder of Social Signal) to tell me “Don't Keep Up With Social Technology”!

But in all fairness to myself, I am very interested in social media, I just get overwhelmed by all that is new and the growing number of open channels. So more than permission not to get involved, I appreciate and respond to Alexandra’s understanding and reason.

An excerpt from Alexandra’s post:

“This year it's Twitter. Last year it was Facebook. The year before it was Second Life. Zoom down from the technologies making headlines and you'll find a much longer list of must-join networks and must-have tools…There is no hope…You can't keep up…And that's great news.

Keeping up is about following someone else's agenda: the bloggers and tweeters who trot out invitations to the latest beta. The marketers, publicists and journalists who blanket us with coverage about the latest hot tech phenomenon. And yes, the tech consultants who charge tens or hundreds of thousands to add new musts to your already long to-do list.

The minute you stop trying to keep up, you open a far more exciting possibility: getting ahead with what matters to you, your team and your business.”

Yes, thank you. A call to focus on what is important to me and permission not to worry about ‘keeping up’.

In another post, Alexandra discusses
Three Instantly Effective Social Media Ideas.

What I liked about these suggestions was the format in which they were presented. Each idea is described (i.e. a suggestion box), punctuated by examples of actual companies who use the technology, and then given the following breakdown of advice: How to do it; Where to spend; Where to save; Where to get help.

It is clear to me that Alexandra is operating from a place of tremendous knowledge but is quite capable of speaking succinctly to novices like myself. The advice anticipates a small business owner's fears and concerns and quickly focuses on what you really need to know.

It is always a welcome pleasure for me to find a good, steady, reason voice amidst the social media storm. I have learned about wonderful resources and tips (like how to
properly use Facebook friend lists) from Marci Alboher and received terrific advice from folks such as Katie Hellmuth (who advised to pick one or two times a year to mess around in the social media world and try something new, and otherwise do the best you can and not let it distract you from your bottom-line business activities).

Should you be interesting in keeping up with or boning up on the latest it social media tool – Twitter – a fantastic and equally reasoned and practical resource is the newly released
Twitter Book, written by Tim O’Reilly and Sarah Milstein, who so graciously donated a copy to the In Good Company Resource Library.

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