5 Tips The Social Media Experts Don’t Tell You

09Oct08
The Bridge to Social Media

The Bridge to Social Media

Today’s post by Chris Brogan, “Be the Bridge” calls on people who know and love using social media to help others use.  Here’s what he says:

Share the living HELL out of the humanity and the real world-ness that goes into being a blogger and a technologist and someone from the future. Because what you know WILL change the way people live, and it’ll work a whole hell of a lot better if you help people get there, instead of maintaining that strange distance.

I love this.  Chris and other social media experts use their experience, expertise, and talent to guide people through the maze that is social media.  I’m going to do the opposite. 

I’m new to social media, so I’m going to guide you by letting you know all the things I don’t get about social media, all the mistakes, the frustrations, and even the occasional victories I’ve experienced.  Because face it,  I feel your pain, not because I’ve been there, but because I am there!!!

So, here are my first 5 tips the social media experts don’t tell you: 

  1. Social media will make no sense at all to you for a while.  No matter how much everyone explains it to you.  No matter how many terrific introductory videos you see like RSS in Plain English (and they are terrific).  No matter how simple WordBlogger makes it for you to sign-up for your first blog.
  2. It’s not you.  It’s them.  Technorati, WordBlogger, Feedburner, FaceBook, Digg, whatever.  The technology is developing so rapidly it often gets ahead of their own guidance for how to use it.  They tell you to click on the design tab but really that was two versions ago.  And God forbid they let you know which services are compatible with one another.  (Just try uploading a Vizu interactive poll to WordBlogger.  You’ll see what I mean.)  Again, it’s not you.  It’s them.  
  3. Remember the words of Ms. Frizzle:  “Get Dirty, Make Mistakes.”  Until you start mucking around in it, you’re never going to figure it out. 
    Mrs. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus

    Mrs. Frizzle and the Magic School Bus

  4. If you’re thinking of using social media for business, you might want to try it out first on something just for fun — like finding other people who love circus acts or exchanging ideas about foods that start with the letter “P”.  If you mess up, you haven’t humiliated yourself professionally.  And you’ll have lots of fun.
  5. Think about your privacy whenever you’re subscribing to something or adding info to your profile on updating your Facebook.  A modification of an old PR rule:  if you don’t want to read about “it” (whatever it is) on the front page of the Washington Post, don’t post it online.  It’s real easy to get carried away. 
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2 Responses to “5 Tips The Social Media Experts Don’t Tell You”

  1. I love this article, because I’m trying to do the same thing as you (am about a month or two behind you) for the same reason. What is this “social networking?” I’m a long-time researcher who has used the internet for 15 years, but I’m older than the facebook and myspace crowd, and I can’t imagine how college students and 20 somethings have the time to blog, read blogs, IM, etc.
    I want to see whether the new social media can eventually create a new political party that promotes the moderate or centrist ideas most of us Americans support. We believe in markets properly regulated; we believe in the trade-off between growth and the environment; we believe in energy independence for national security; we believe in education reform, which may mean taking on educational unions; we are moderate on those divisive social issues of gun rights, gay rights, affirmative action, immigration, and abortion. We don’t believe we have the world’s final answer on democracy.
    Do you think that the social media will ever be user-friendly enough to develop a virtual centrist political party?
    Keep the ideas about blogging coming. I will keep reading.

  2. Judy,
    Thanks so much for your comment, and I’m thrilled to hear your question about whether or not social media will ever be user-friendly to develop a virtual centrist political party.

    Whether it can be used to develop a true third party, I can’t say. However, can it build support for and awareness of centrist beliefs and policies — absolutely. In fact, that is already happening in social media.

    I just did a quick search of blogs about centrist or moderate parties on Technorati and you will be delighted I think with what is available right now. For example, have you checked out the following, which you can learn more about on the U.S. Politics Guide blog. (http://uspoliticsguide.com/American_Political_Directory/Centrist_Political_Blogs.php

    Centrist Blogs
    TheCenterLane.com – No cult. No mission.
    News, commentary and opinion from the middle of the road.

    Right Democrat – Speaking for the moderate & conservative Democrats. Right Democrat is the voice of Democrats who believe in economic populism and social traditionalism.

    Andrew Sullivan – Writer in the Atlantic Magazine. He has worked as a contributing writer and columnist for the New York Times Magazine, a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review, and a weekly columnist for the Sunday Times of London. Sullivan has been a columnist for Time Magazine, and a regular guest on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” and NBC’s “Chris Matthews’ Show.”
    We Stand Divided – Promotes the benefits of divided government. “It is not enough that your Legislature should be numerous; it should also be divided.” Ben Franklin “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.” James Madison “Divided we ever have been, and ever must be.” John Adams “Divided we stand, united we fall.” Thomas Jefferson.
    Moderate Voters – If you’re tired of the Far Right and the Far Left this is the blog for you. News, analysis, commentary and political opinion.
    The Independent Voter – Opinions about moderate politicians and candidates. Timely writing covering both sides of the political table without going to the extremes.
    Centerfield – Centerfield is the blog of the Centrist Coalition. Political talk and opinion form the middle.

    American Moderate Party – Political blog coming from just right of center. Attempts to bring Republicans back to the party of Lincoln.
    The Moderate Voice – Domestic and international news, analysis, irrevent comments, original reporting, and popular culture features from across the spectrum blog from Santa Monica, California. Discusses current news, events& presidential politics. Many Centrist & Progressive Blog links.
    Donklephant – As the name dictates. Political opinion from both sides of the aisle focusing on moderate opinions.
    American Centrist – Centrist blog with timely news & opinions discussing a variety of political topics.
    The Centrist – A Pennsylvanian’s moderate conservative commentary about state and national politics.
    Centerfeud – Thoughts & opinion from the Left & the Right. Includes blog feeds & Issue-oriented essays.

    Judy, you’ll probably have your hands full just looking at all these blogs and then reviewing their blogrolls. You may want to choose the ones you want to subscribe to (are you familiar with this — you can use Google Reader, for example, so that you can read all the new posts for your favorite blogs. It will save you lots of time.

    Also, if you read what social media groups the bloggers you like best belong to, you may want to sign-up on their community — that way you can really get to know the online community that shares your interests. Beyond that, just do what you did here (for which I am very appreciative!) Comment on blogs that you like the best and soon you’ll see how social media today is already making a dent in promoting moderate political positions. And to the extent that we are somewhat stuck with the parties that we have, you may want to build an online relationship with bloggers supporting the Democrats or the Republicans — to the extent that we are stuck with the 2-party system, I think it pays to try to help them appreciate the need for centrist positions and stop letting the fringe in each party dominate.

    Lengthy answer, but I hope it helps. Would love to hear more on your efforts.


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