Tag Archives: social media

Time for a Social Media Scrub

By Informartica8vo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsIn my initial post about Project Reboot I listed social media as one are that I was going to focus on and I figured I should dig into it sooner rather than later as it is an area that has gotten out of control.

(A word of warning, I’m going to use one set of terms for things here for simplicity. Please feel free to substitute the appropriate term for any given social media platform.)

When starting out I went through periods where I followed everyone, followed no one, unfollowed some, followed others, toyed with lists, alerts – you begin to get the idea I think. My social media engagement is far from optimized and I often find myself questioning the value of it.

Social media is a very interesting beast, there is no right or wrong way to do it – there’s the way you want to use it. Keeping that in mind I’ve decided to create a guidelines that I’m going to use going forward.

1. No more platforms (for now)

It’s easy to get sucked into the latest and greatest, that new shiny object, the killer platform that will the be death of facebook. For the foreseeable future I will not join any new platforms, nor will I evaluate them. I know that this is a rather drastic standpoint to take but if I don’t, I’ll continue to look at and join other networks which I may not be able to maintain going forward – best to cut to the quick and be done with it.

2. Focus on my core four

This is a follow on to item #1. I belong to a number of social media platforms and while I don’t intend to cancel my accounts with them I won’t be focusing on them. I’m not going to be looking to build networks there (at least for now) but will continue to use them in a reduced manner. The focus going forward will be my core four – Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and facebook.

3. Be more selective in who I “follow”

On some networks this is an easy thing to do as I was selective when I started using them, others, not so much. One I hit the reboot switch on this area (more on that in a moment), I’m going to force myself to ask the question, “what value is this person going to add to my life?” If I can’t answer that question in my own head I won’t follow them. That’s not to say the individual won’t go on a ‘watch and see’ type list, or a list centered around one of my areas of focus, I’m just not going to commit to the relationship right now.

4. Engage more

It’s a simple statement, and a bit vague to be honest, so what do I mean by it. I’m going to work on sharing a bit more, as Guy Kawasaki says, “act like NPR.” So expect to see a bit more from me concerning items of interest to me which I hope that you’ll also find interesting. Will there be personal updates sent out? I’m sure there will be, it is a social platform after all.

I’m also going to work on being better at responding to those that choose to reply or comment to what I post regardless of platform. In the past I haven’t been as responsive so I’m going to be working on that.

So, with those guidelines in place it’s time to get things under control. Since I’m focusing on four different platforms each will have it’s own ‘reboot instructions.’

facebook – I’ll start with this one as it’s my smallest network. When I began using facebook I made the commitment I would use it to connect with those I went to school with along with family and friends. So far I’ve been doing a pretty good job at keeping it that way. So for the reboot I’m going to review my list of friends and create a list for each distinct group so I can share things more appropriatly if need be.

LinkedIn – I’ve been on this network longer than any other (joined in 2005) and like my facebook account I’ve always been a bit more critical about who I connect with. The number of connections here is quite a bit larger than facebook but I’m going to take the same approach here – review and trim. I’m not expecting to remove connections but you never know, I’m also going to review my group memberships and the email settings (getting a bit too many from the system lately).

Google+ – This is the last network I joined and unlike the twitter and facebook I had a tendency to circle folks without necessarily looking at what they posted – good to build up what’s in your stream, bad if you’re looking to get value out of it. The nice thing about this network is that I did try to organize circles so sorting through things is a bit easier. So for this network I’m going to be uncircling a number of folks – not because I don’t like you but you might not fit in with what I want to focus on right now or you might not be using the service and you’re in a circle because you are in my regular contact list. I’m also going to look at the communities I’m in to determine if I should stay or go as well as look for ones that fit where I’m going.

Twitter – I saved this one for last because I tend to share the most on this network (at least lately) and it is also my largest network where I’m following about 3700 folks. At one point I was in that mode of “it’s all about the numbers” and worked the system to build a larger following (about 4700 folks right now). As both numbers grew the amount of just plain junk in my twitter stream has grown to where I sometimes can’t see any real content and feel I’m missing out on things. In this one case I’m going to simply wipe the slate. I’m going to unfollow everyone and then slowly determine who to follow. The nice thing about twitter is their list function, you might be in a list and I’m seeing your tweets but I may just not follow you.

One final word about this part of my project – it’s already underway. I know others that have done these types of things and given their followers warnings, not me. I’m going to just dig in, putting out warnings, asking for folks to contact you to stay connected are in my mind just ways of stalling. This post is enough of a stall for me.

So there it is, in not so small of a nutshell, my guidelines and reboot instructions for my social media setup – how do you keep your social media life in check?

Image by Informartica8vo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Getting ready for Project Reboot

There’s a term frequently used when you get to a point where nothing seems to be working, or no forward progression seems to be happening, or when those involved just don’t seem to be happy.

Reboot.

In my case it’s recently occurred to me that I need to reboot things – not just this blog but my life in general.

So I’ve decided to create a project for it and I’m calling it Project Reboot. What I’ve been sketching out in my brain will make it’s way onto the page over the next couple of days and then come Monday, July 22, I’m going to start digging in and reboot things.

Here are some of the things that I’m going to be focusing on over the coming weeks (probably months).

This blog – I’ve had this site for quite a while and it’s changed, morphed, gone dormant, and seen high activity over that time but it’s never really been focused – that’s going to change.

Social Media – I’ve been involved with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn over the years and have created a monster out of it. I’m going to define what I want to do with each of those four and then make the necessary changes to move in that direction.

Tools – we all have our favorite tools we like to use and I’m no different, but how many do we need? I’ve been evaluating tools WAY more than I should be and have decided it’s time to decide. Some of the choices may require me to make changes elsewhere but it’s time I drew a line in the sand (in sand so I can change it later if need be).

Offline – My offline world has been going through, and continues to go through, a HUGE number of changes. I need to get a handle on that, get better organized and start to do the things I’ve been putting off.

I’m sure I’m leaving things out but that’s the rough outline and let me say in advance to those that may not like what is about to come, you have my apologies but sometimes you just “gotta do what you gotta do” – it’s nothing personal.

Building your own knowledge base

How many times have you been in a position and said to yourself, “where did I see that article?” Given the great expanse of the Internet more than once I’d wager. Of course that’s only the online world, what about all those books and magazines (you do remember paper right?) you have piled up? How about the all the interesting sites and sounds you’ve come across when you’re out and about?

We’re exposed to thousands of data points everyday and the question becomes how to take that information again when we need it. To do that you need a personal knowledge base.

I’m not talking about just a collection of information, nearly everyone has the ability to do that. With the advent of the modern browser we can bookmark articles, save emails forever (or just about), review articles from hundred of websites if we choose. With the phone you have you can take snapshots of anything you wish, short videos, record your voice and even send a text message or make of phone call.

Then you have all the social media you’re reading and creating.

So you have all that information but that’s not a knowledge base.

A knowledge base is that collection of data overlaid with your own comments, observations and what you learned from the experience. When you read a book or an article you take something away from it – make a note of it. You took a snapshot of your kids playing in the snow, you’ll get the time, date, and place recorded automatically if you took it with a smartphone but not the why – add it to your notes.

Of course the other part of the challenge is finding a way to make it all available to you when you what it – no matter where you are. A place that you can continue to add items as well as pull from that stock of knowledge.

For me that tool is Evernote. Every device I own and use as it loaded on it. It’s become an integral part of what I do and who I am. It’s not just receipes and receipt photos – it’s also where I’ve stored photos of my kids, articles I wanted to read and any observations I had about them. I keep meeting minutes, newsletters, even voice mails – it’s a treasure trove of data.

As I’ve used Evernote I’ve come to learn more about how these pieces of data are connected – I even connect them using note links so I can move easily between them. I tag things, use keywords in titles and date code them (date codes is an upcoming post) all so I can find things easier and draw conclusions from that information.

I’ll be coming back to this topic often but my question for now is, do you have a personal knowledge base?

Also, be sure to check out the Wikipedia article bout Personal Knowledge Management.

bit.ly Sidebar makes it easy to share links

bit.ly.sidebarI mentioned a few weeks ago that I’ve moved to Opera as my primary browser and to date I’ve kept the browser fairly close the base install. I did this primarily so I could get use the the browser itself before I started to “tweak it.”

My latest addition to the browser is the bit.ly extension.

When you click on the extension’s button the sidebar appears on the left hand side of the browser tab you have open. In addition to giving you the shortened link (which you can single click copy to your clipboard), it also gives you areas to share directly with your social media sites.

Be sure to grab it at: http://bit.ly/YFzVIt (Opera only)

Add a Manager to Your Google+ Page

So you created a Google+ Page for your group or maybe that website you want to promote and now that things are moving along you realize that you can’t do it all yourself – you need help. So you think about having someone help you out and then you realize that the page you need help with is connected to your personal Google+ account and you don’t want to give your login information to someone else (and who can blame you) so what do you do?

You add a page manager, or two, of 50 (that’s the limit).

What can a page manager do? They can do everything you can as the owner of the page with two exceptions. First, they can’t delete the page, and second, they can’t change the ownership of it. They can however invite and remove others from the manager list so you might want to be careful as to who you make a manager of your page. (There’s a break down chart at this Google help page.)

That being said – let’s add a manager to the page I have for my other blog, ofdiceanddragons.com.

First things first, navigate to your page and in the upper right hand corner click the gear symbol and select, Google+ settings.

Google+ Settings

When the setting screen loads you’ll want to select the “Managers” option that will be seen on the left hand side of the screen.

Select Managers

Now you’ll invite your page manager by entering their email address into the invitation box you’ll see in the middle of your screen and click invite.

Invite Manager

After you click invite an email will be sent to the individual you want to be a manager for your page. It will look something similar to what you see below.

Email to new Manager

They need to click on the “Become a manager” link and then they’ll need to accept the pages terms and agree that they are authorized to manage the page (check the box) and hit accept. (Note: If they are logged into more than one Google account they will be asked which account they want to accept the invitation as.)

Accept Invite

Once they’ve accepted the invite they will be shown in the Manager’s List which appears right above the invitation box.

Manager Listing

That’s all there is to adding a manager to your page. If for some reason you decide that you no longer wish to have the person manage your page simply click the ‘x’ at the far right of the line and they will be removed as a manager and will receive an email stating that.

Hope that helps and gives you a bit more time to enjoy Google+ and less time managing things.