The World At My Fingertips by Jill Greenseth Sometimes it gets too easy to look for that “easy button” in the social media landscape. That all-powerful, easy to use, fast, tool that lets us quickly grow valuable & worthwhile relationships with fellow social media explorers. I say “explorers” because there are no real experts in social media, but there are many knowledgeable people who advise and recommend strategies.

The reality is that there is no such thing as an “easy button” of course, but there are several valuable tools that we can use. Among the most flexible and productive is the venerable blog.

A blog is one of your best investments in time for creating a social prescience on the web. Instead of canned pages, color schemes and applets that don’t represent you very well on platforms such as MySpace or Facebook – it’s you who gets to create the content. You get to decide how to present ideas, talk through your points of view and explain things. You also control the type affiliated content (ads, guest writers, etc…) that is published alongside your message.

A blog has the ability to connect to all services and tools that you’re currently using. In fact, a blog can be the portal to all things you on the web and help people get to know your story better. Think of how powerful that is. Instead of a service suggesting what “associates” or “related content” to readers, you have control of it.

Sure, a blog is a bit of work. There are no two ways about it. However, for many people, once you’ve got it set up, there is very little maintenance to do – just write and publish. Add a few links to your other social media/networking tools (Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing, Plaxo, FriendFeed – whatever) and keep up on blogs from similar bloggers or friends.

I can’t stress enough how much keeping control of your own content reflects on you – call that part personal branding. The important part is being able to publish your thoughts and comments in a place that is uniquely yours and not lost in someone else’s idea of social nirvana.

What’s your take? Have you taken the jump and started a blog, or are you content with the services that others provide?

Photo credit: Jill Greenseth

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