I wrote a post a little while ago about how I was going through a period of social media fatigue. It kind of faded into the background a bit, but ever since then I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to engage with others online.
We do this in a variety of ways. Some of us form deep personal relationships. Others joke and play. Still others network on a purely business level. We all choose different ways to join the digital community.
I joined Facebook (five years ago!) to keep in touch with high school friends as we all spread out to varying colleges. I joined Twitter (it’s already been over a year) first because a variety of friends were on it and then because of all the interesting people I could follow. I joined LinkedIn because that’s what you do for business networking (not going to lie – still don’t know what I’m doing there). I joined a host of other networks that I don’t even use (just in case I want to some day).
And then there’s this blog.
It’s a bit weird to consider writing a blog as a form of engagement, in that it is kind of a one way form of communication. After all, I moderate the comments, I write the entries, I control how my posts are distributed to the public. But the fact of the matter is that I release this blog out into the world for others to read. And I read the blogs of others. In a manner of speaking it’s a two way network, because what I don’t control is what you think of me (and what I think of you).
I originally created this blog in part because I wanted to express my opinions. Because I wanted to control what people would see when they Google me. And because it’s kind of what you expect from Gen Y-er who is interested in social media.
What does this mean exactly?
Looking back at my usage of this blog and other social media networks, I’ve decided that a change is in order. Here’s three things I hope to do:
- Stop following people on Twitter just because I like the idea of following them. More often than not I end up skipping over/missing their tweets anyway. Why do I follow a ton of internet marketers and graphic designers when I am interested in the fields but not involved in them?
- Explore new networks. Brazen Careerist recently relaunched their site to incorporate more social networking features. I’m not sure if I’ll use it yet, but I should at least invest time in the network to see if I like it. As new networks launch (and old ones evolve), I would like to alter the way I use them to match.
- Make a commitment to this blog. Even if few people read it, this is still my own little corner of the Vox Populi. My own place to express my thoughts and figure out what works for me in the digital space.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to experiment. I’ll be starting by posting short commentaries about a few things at the same time. Chances are some of these will be revisited when I write full entries, but most things will probably start as these “seed” posts. You can think of it as something between the 140 characters of Twitter and the paragraphs of more traditional entries.
First up? Probably a thought or two on the new Brazen Careerist, plus a look at the difference between reciprocal and one way relationships in social networking communities. Check back soon.