It’s a small world after all*, part 2

Dutch Children Sing "It's a Small World"

In “It’s a small world after all, part 1,” we talked about how social media connects people in ways that weren’t possible until recently, and focused especially on Twitter. In this post, we continue the conversation.

Through Facebook I have connected more solidly with my friends

Thanks to Facebook, I have reconnected with old friends from high school and college that I haven’t seen for nearly 40 years, and I get to socialize with current friends much more than I otherwise would, since everyone is always on the run and time for “real world” socializing is short. I have also found some folks who share professional interests, but Facebook is mainly about fun and socializing for me.

Though it took me a year to start using it, up until about last October it was the social medium I turned to most. I connect with co-workers here, but more on a “water cooler” level–valuable, but a different sort of thing than the other two services we’re considering here. Continue reading “It’s a small world after all*, part 2”

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It’s a small world after all*, part 1

One of the great wonders of the Internet age is the ease with which people of like minds can find one another. When people say they don’t understand Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, it just means they haven’t found the “like minds” hook that matters to them yet.

I joined Twitter four years ago, but only really started using it about three or four months ago. I joined Facebook in Jan. 2007, and then went for a year before I posted even read anything. I also joined LinkedIn in 2007–February, to be exact–but went even longer before really using it. It just took awhile to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Though this blog focuses on effective communication rather than social media, social media is a growing form of communication. If you remain confused why anyone would use these services, or if you ignore any of them because you prefer face-to-face communication, read on. I also prefer face-to-face communication, but these services help form genuine connections and friendships. Continue reading “It’s a small world after all*, part 1”

photo by: sanctumsolitude
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Introverted speakers: don’t divert from networking

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Creative Commons License photo credit: she always was the softest thing

Lisa Petrelli understands building on the strengths of introversion, and she also understands networking. She used her own introversion as the foundation for a successful run to the CEO’s chair and authored The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership. Rather than viewing introversion as a barrier to networking, she found ways to leverage it.

She gives good advice in An Introvert’s Guide to Networking, and I want to give a little tweak to that advice for speakers. Continue reading “Introverted speakers: don’t divert from networking”

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New medium, old idea–working well together

Diana Huff points out the obvious, which is often anything but: relationships are crucial in most areas of human endeavor, and yet hard to measure. Her post, “Social Media: Don’t Expect a Marriage Proposal on the First Date,” uses as an example a contact she developed (and that’s really too strong a word, since it implies a conscious agenda) over a period of years in the old-fashioned face-to-face days. She says:

If I had asked [my contact] if she was going to send me work while sitting at that BMA dinner meeting, do you think she would have hired me a year later? Hell no!

It’s the same for social media. You can’t expect people to send you “juicy fat contracts” simply because they’re following you on Twitter.

And yet that’s exactly what many observers of current social media seem to expect, saying implicitly or explicitly that Twitter is a waste of time unless you can track an almost immediate return on investment.

When you’re planting corn, you can tell how much of it came up in a given year. When you are cultivating a forest, you can’t tell the effects of your efforts for a long time, and even when you can see them, you likely will have no idea which seed led ultimately to which trees. As the old saying goes, you can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed.

My take? Whether through Twitter and Facebook, or the old fashioned way of simply being interested in people, cultivate your relationships–not just so you can make a buck, but so you can make a life. When you do, the bucks come much more easily, and much more enjoyably to boot.

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