linkedin

Learned Advice from Living Social Media

Well folks, the show’s over: I came, I blogged, I conquered. What most of you don’t know is that I started this blog as an extension of a grad-school course: Social Media Theory and Practice by the indispensable, innovative, and often imitated Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith.

She’s classy to share her trade secrets with novices and burgeoning professionals. And in four months, her apprentices have Googled, WordPressed, crowdsourced, conversed, curated, chatted, Cinemagram’d, Wiki’d, tweeted, tumblr’d, photographed, video’d, viral’d, YouTubed, 365’d, optimized, LinkedIn, Facebooked, FourSquared, Yelped, Pinterest’d, recon’d, resourced, TechCrunched, Jarvis’d, Rosen’d, Shirky’d, Storifed, metricked, mapped, and engaged audiences. All for our own brands.

I emphatically understand that “life is about small events,” as Brad King penned. Every interaction (IRL and online) is an opportunity. And I’ve taken advantage of many:

  • My Storifies and hashtag participation have linked me to renowned academic journalists across the country.
  • Generous link-sharing resulted in guest posting on one of my favorite sites.
  • I’ve interviewed and subsequently quoted 60 people. Many new to me and now future contacts.
  • Actively following a new Facebook group led to being cast as a movie extra…now proudly touting an IMDB.
  • Mapping data netted me free drinks on a sunshine-laden patio.

If President Obama appointed this professor to a post, she’d be THE nation’s Social Media Czar. Thank you, Carrie, for imparting your wisdom, helping me find my voice, and uncovering a new passion.

My five-minute thesis, “Journalism Disrupted: Entrepreneurs & the Nouveau Niche,” with inclusions from Dr. Brown’s #SOCIALJ and Dr. Kelley’s #JPRENEUR classes. Presented on April 8, 2014 at Christian Brothers University for Ignite CBU. 

LinkedIn-and-Out and Back In

LinkedIn has baffled me over the years. I found the public resume format with so many intricate details quite odd, especially when I wasn’t job hunting.

However, its presence and uptick in use among professionals and employers have solidified its credibility. I’ve caught myself researching people online (e.g., those applying for a position), and if a well-constructed LinkedIn profile surfaces, I trust them a bit more.

That’s one of the many powers behind social media tools. By having a presence on a robotically-algorithmic site, it can spark an emotional response: “Oh, thank goodness she has a photo!”

While I’ve been a member of LinkedIn for years, I’ve seriously neglected my activity there. About every six months, I’ll log in and find 300+ people trying to “get in my belly network!” I usually can recall an interaction with about 65%. The rest is a guessing game.

But since I’m a textbook Leo, the more, the merrier!

Further, I did some profile pruning recently and am finally happy with the layout. I moved volunteer board positions to another section, “Organizations,” which has kept my day-to-day work history crisp.

Even though I haven’t listed five bullet points for each title, I did include one summary sentence of my work. It’s not the kitchen sink. It’s not a resume. But it should provide a telling glimpse for friends, colleagues, nosey competitors, and unknowns to understand my scope.

I write this as a testament for fellow skeptics to revisit an old site with the mindset that you don’t have to conform to rules or guidelines that modern-day Emily Posts preach.

Just try what works for you. If it doesn’t, there are thousands of other sites awaiting your mastery.

Supersocialgeoconnectedocious

Take that, Mary Poppins!

Social media has found its niche by being able to create bonds over pretty much…anything. (Hence, the super duper headline above.) Mundane tasks such as making lists have been re-envisioned as communal activities. Pinterest has attracted brides-to-be and established a daydream-like forum to ogle mason jar glasses and barnyard backdrops. Even Steve Buttry has found that pros use it to spice up the newsroom.

What’s more fascinating is how social media has fervently sorted and introduced people like Yente the matchmaker. LinkedIn visually maps how people know or could know one another through three degrees of separation. (If they upped it to six, I could finally meet Kevin Bacon!)

In Here Comes EverybodyClay Shirky describes how many applications and sites are social tools. People naturally congregate with one another, and our favorite people-finding apps facilitate this action. The geo-tracking features within apps and mobile devices have supercharged real-life connections. By checking in on Foursquare, one can more confidently search for the 5-foot roommate who’s hidden in a mosh pit. And these features are getting more precise.

The new neighbors on the block are Bluetooth-style transmitters and beacons that more accurately track one’s physical location by applying it to the surrounding environment or venue. The NFL has tested this by sending alerts to stadium attendees so they can fast-pass their way to shorter hot dog queues. And that’s just a sliver of the capabilities being developed.

Well, isn’t that special?

But what if companies, the NSA, or (even worse) helicopter moms start tracking us like blood hounds? For all the convenience that social media has granted us, privacy issues may dominate the next century.

Orwellian? Definitely. But as a super-social Leo, I can dig it.

SNL's "The Church Lady"

SNL’s “The Church Lady”