Yesterday I posted some feedback I received from a good friend questioning my recent immersion into blogging and social media.  Today I heard from another friend who was stunned to hear what I’ve been up to. 

Here’s just the start of what he said:

What the h*ll are you doing? You are a well adjusted socially-ept mother of three who I believe has friends. Friends that live and breathe, that you have had actual social interaction with in the physical realm…

What I found fascinating is that these two friends have little, if anything, in common.  One is a 54-year-old married, American creative director and writer; the other is half his age, single, and a British financial analyst.  And yet, both feel strongly that social media is a superficial and inferior way of communicating.  

Sitting here at midnight, quietly thinking about what they said, I feel that their criticism is worth considering.  Twitter, in particular, seems to me to be taking things too far.  We’ve now moved from rapid texting our friends to sharing every half-thought that pops into our heads to anyone who wants to follow us.  At some point, shouldn’t we care about the quality of our thoughts rather just the rapid deployment of them?

On the other hand, I really like that social media is a way for people to think about and share ideas with others and then see what others think in turn.  What, is sitting glued to the TV better?

So for me, for now, I’m going to keep exploring social media.  I think it’s got lots to offer, and I like how it forces me to think about things and learn from others, including people I’ve never met.  But what do you think?  Where should we draw the line?  



So I just told some friends that I started a blog and worked on it most every night between midnight and 2 a.m.  I asked for their thoughts.  I heard lots of positive feedback, some suggestions, and the following comment written by a friend who is a top copywriter, creative director, screenwriter — a very talented guy.  But here’s what he said about blogging:  


When I was, I don’t know, 19 or 20? We had a great alternative to sleeping, too. And come to think of it, we may have called it blogging. There were so many names for it.

I really have no interest in blogs. That said, yours is put together fairly nicely. But they all read like an inside joke. And I just don’t care. Particularly in a blog about blogging. For someone who doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about blogs in the first place, it’s a bit like watching someone try to pull his upper lip over his head.

The quote that you opened your blog with, by the way, sounded to me like it was penned at a coffee house in Amsterdam by a Scientologist.

Sorry if I seem out of touch or incurious. I don’t read blogs. On the other hand, I am currently reading “The Charterhouse of Parma,” by Stendahl. And just finished “La Bete Humanine,” by Emile Zola. Arguably the world’s first social media-ist.

I’m more of a purist.

So, what do you think?  Is there anyone who has something to say to turn this blogger-hater into a lover?  Or is it hopeless.  Please help!

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. 

Okay, so people who write are writers.  Those who report news are reporters.  Market products or services?  Marketers.

What are people called who communicate online with people — for personal and/or professional reasons?  SM’ers?  SM’ites?

Or, if there’s no noun, what’s the verb?  Bloggers blog.  But what if you use the full array of social media services? 

I feel stupid saying I “use social media” or I engage in online conversations.  Please help!!!

  • SM’ers?
  • SM’ites?
  • Online communicators?

Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations move over.  Sure, Tony travels to every corner of the world, meets outrageous and weird people, and tastes raw eyeballs and God know what else.       

Not so different from me exploring social media.  One day I discover widgets, the next I claim my blog on Technorati.  That night I download plug-ins, upload to YouTube, and venture into my own strange and weird social media communities. 

In the last two weeks, I’ve subscribed to some great sites, bookmarked my way around the web, and best of all, found some incredible guides to show me the way.  Mack Collier’s The Viral Garden and Lee Lefever’s RSS in Plain English to name two.   

Only real difference.  I’ve done it all from my armchair.  Oh yeah, and I’m not puking my guts out!

Gosh darn it, I suddenly had a flash.  In the last two weeks I’ve come from nowhere and here I am — ready to take over social media.  I’m Joe Six-Blog, I love to wink while I post, and the other day I read a blog someone stuck in front of me (I don’t know which blog it was) and I thought, hey, I can do that.  The whole world will welcome me.  I’m ready to be one-blog away from running the SM world. 

And why shouldn’t I be?  I’m just like so many of you who have never really blogged or heard of Technorati.  I have a diverse family, some who blog, some who don’t — it doesn’t matter to me.  I’m very tolerant (although there are a number of you who I think the government should take away your right to blog — you know who you are.)

And just because there are people out there like Chris Brogan or Mack Collier  (Chris and Mack, can I call you by your first names?) and who have huge followings and lots of substance-type stuff to say that might help people in this tough social media climate, I think you should come to my blog.  I’m not like those darn elitist bloggers who want you to check them out just because they have a clue about social media and lots of experience offering real advice and insights.  

So Mack, get off my back, step out of my way, and send me your bloggers.  I’m spunky and I’m the queen of SM.

I’m really enjoying social media.  I love finding great sites like ProBlogger and even when I’m not posting or reading others’ posts, I’m thinking about it.  It’s addictive, isn’t it?

But here’s my question.  Is the only way to be able to have lots of conversations with people on their blogs, on your blog, is if you use Facebook and Tweeter and other social networks?  See, I’m comfortable with Facebook among my friends — people I know personally.  But the idea of opening all that up — my personal space — to others who are interested in the issue I blog on (social media) is just a little uncomfortable and even scary.

So, here’s what I’d like to ask:

  • Is there a line you can draw between your personal space online and your blogging life?
  • What forms of social media must you engage in to interest people in your blog?
  • Does anyone relate to this concern of mine, and if so, how have you handled it?

I’d really appreciate your insights on this.  Thanks so much.