Caught Walking Around Naked

June 23, 2009 at 12:15 am Leave a comment

Eager, but apprehensive about putting my blog online, I forwarded a link to a trusted friend.  I asked him to be gentle but honest, and let me know what he thought.  I let him know that the blog still needed lots of work and there were missing pieces, but I was hoping it looked good enough to debut. 

After reviewing it (it took him about four minutes, given its fledgling stage) he called me with his constructive criticism.  He was helpful, and I was mostly relieved that he wasn’t on the other end of the phone laughing hysterically; or worse, warning me not to go public with this stuff. 

He commented, though, on the number of web pages I had bookmarked.  “What do you mean?” I asked.  “I’ve only got three or four of them on my blog.”  But, he began reading off the titles of some of my favorite sites, one after another, after another.  He wasn’t kidding.  He could see every single one of “my favorites.”  I felt myself go pale at the thought of what I had just done.  Kind of like one of those bad dreams where you’re walking through the mall and suddenly realize you forgot to put clothes on!

The sense of panic passed quickly, though, when I realized that the worst damage I could have done was reveal to the world that I’m somewhat of a geek.  Although I have more than 200 bookmarked websites, they all fall in one of three categories:  skiing, social media and healthcare.  Nothing I should be embarrassed about.  Whew – bullet dodged!

This experience made me realize two things.  1)  There’s so much to learn about using social media, and you can’t wait until you know it ALL for fear of making a mistake . . . or you’ll NEVER get to start using it.  2)  Using social media can feel like you’re exposing yourself to risks such as judgment, embarrassment, and maybe even incrimination.  For these two reasons, I can understand why people might resist getting involved with social media.

This has added to my motivation to develop tools and models that will help people get quickly up to speed on social media while minimizing the fears and risks that come with the territory.  I have been keeping a daily journal of my social media work: my progress and discoveries, my missteps and setbacks, the jewels and nuggets that I come across.  I’ve got the makings of a primer of sorts; a guide that could be used to reduce the learning curve in becoming a social media maven.

Of course, I know that if I dig around enough I can probably find something similar already written and published, and could recommend it.  But I like the idea of sharing my personal experience, and backing it up with solutions that have worked for me.  I will organize my own story and make it available to whoever happens across my blog and wants to use it.  It will, of course, be MY approach, and I will not assume that it’s the best way for becoming an expert user of social media.  But hopefully it will be helpful to some degree to anyone who is trying to learn all they can about the fabulous opportunities and adventures that are coming to us through this still-new and quickly advancing form of communication.  (When I have the guide ready to post, I will put it on a page called The Learning Curve.)

Besides the two realizations about fear and risk, having my friend review my blog also taught me something else:  When you’re using del.icio.us – a fabulous social bookmarking program – you should mark the “do not share” box in the tagging dialogue box if you don’t want a particular bookmark visible on your blog.  It lets you share only your best stuff . . . without revealing everything you own.

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Entry filed under: Learning, Social Media.

Just try to ignore Social Media Chasing Rabbits Prohibited

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