Twitter Is…

twitter-2 Since Twitter is the current social media darling, I thought I’d record a few thoughts I’ve had about one of my favorite online tools.  I’ve had the privilege of using Twitter for two years, and each and every person I’ve followed or had follow me along the way has taught me something new.  So here we go.

Twitter is…

  • a place for friends
  • a news outlet
  • a place to share your greatest failures & your most stunning achievements
  • an attention getter
  • a publishing platform
  • a customer service tool
  • a researcher’s dream
  • vulgar
  • the ace up your sleeve
  • brilliant
  • a new entertainment channel
  • a social network
  • a micro-blogging platform
  • a marketing tool
  • your community
  • overwhelming
  • 24x7x365 (always on)
  • a level playing field for your ideas
  • a sounding board for your thoughts
  • a comment reel for your new book
  • your starting place for your online excursions
  • the place for your organization to learn about it’s customers
  • a multicasting instant messenger
  • a game changer
  • a PR tool
  • a messaging infrastructure
  • a simple way to share & trade information
  • can be inane
  • is faster to publish to than anything else
  • is where you go to learn
  • your online “water cooler”
  • a conduit into the lives of others
  • a conduit into the idea stream of smart people

I’ve got a lot more input on what Twitter is than I could fit in this post, so I’ll work on fitting that into another format of some type.  What is Twitter to you?  I mean, what has Twitter brought to your life that you can’t believe you lived without before you discovered it?

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Good things, good habits, in moderation

So it’s been a great day here in Minneapolis this Friday. Got a chance to know a few folks from the office better – that’s a good thing. Got to spend a nice evening as a family this evening – that’s a good thing. Made myself write a little bit – and that too is a good thing.

What will be more interesting is if I can continue to write a bit this weekend. That’s my plan, and I think it’ll be worth the time invested to get back to blogging, which I really do enjoy. It’s bothersome that I ever let myself get off track and worried that I wasn’t writing what people wanted to read. Wrong thing to worry about, I know.

What is or was wrong was to allow myself to get sidetracked by too many side-shows on the social web. It’s a great time-sink to explore the latest & greatest. Fun too! However, it really is a delicate balance of habits, and knowing when you’re spending too much time on any one tool, network or site is key to gaining the strengths of those sites and leaving the weaknesses behind.

What’s the answer to it all? Moderation. Just like enjoying a nice adult beverage, it’s only enjoyable in moderation. Also, you get the chance to explore and learn things more in-depth and find how they can augment your life positively rather than simply taking up time just to update statuses and read walls.

So take a break from Facebook, lighten up on your twittering, take a walk and bring only your thoughts with you. You’ll learn a lot more than what folks are doing right that moment if you can let yourself take a breather.

Do You Fear The Spotlight?

In the Spotlight by JeremyHall What’s keeping you from taking the next step? Something more than simply being noticed I hope! If you’ve got ideas, or something to say or to share, you need to do something about it. Do you blog? Do you podcast or video blog? Are you on a social network? How are you making yourself heard on in this brave new world online?

The biggest thing for those sitting on the fence is simply to make the decision that they want more opportunity than they may have now in their lives. One way to do that is to start participating online. That can take many forms, from simply joining a social network, or building your own personally branded blog and going to town on creating content.

Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong if you’re interested in building your brand. Don’t wait, don’t second guess yourself. You are too valuable to the world not to share your knowledge and play your part. Now is the time.

Photo credit: JeremyHall

Social Web: Blogging Constant Change

I’ve been reading a lot of bloggers and fellow social media travelers lately and they’ve all had a common thread. That commonality in opinion is that there is a shift in blogging vs. social networks, and I have to agree that there is.

It appears to me that a lot of the interactivity that used to occur on blogs is moving to the major social tools (pick your favorite). As usual, there is a blogging meme to go along with that, something like blogging being ‘dead’. While I can’t speak to the realities of that & it does seem to me that many of us are spending a lot of the time we used to spend on blogging, now on the social web.

Instead of posting opinions or taking hours crafting a great informative post, we immediately share what we’re currently doing and where we’re doing it. We can do it on the fly with most phones, and since status updates are a mere sentence or so & it’s nothing to whip off a few of these messages and move on.

Does this have a negative consequence for blogging? I think not, but I’ll admit to being biased. Even so, anyone can point to my own blog and see that I’ve been lax in posting in the last couple months. Sure, it is due (in part) to the social web and all the easy-to-use tools. Sure, there are a number of known bloggers either hanging it up, or going on hiatus. However, I think that there are many times when people simply need to do something else in order to rediscover themselves. I remember Robert Scoble doing this about two years ago for a few months. Russell Beattie took a long break before coming back to the blogging sphere as well.

Neither of these guys had preconceived ideas of how long or why, but just knew they needed the change. It’s something I’ve thought about myself when I’m struggling.

I guess the point is that blogging is dead, but the realities of the social web are the same in every part of life: change is constant.

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