Monday, January 17, 2011

Brave New Conversational World

Facebook, Ning, Tweet, Wordpress
4Square, MyLife, Tumblr, brain mess!

It's a brave new world and I don't think I understand even a half of it. Sure, I blog. I've been doing it for a few years now and I have seen it as a way to write my thoughts, kind of a public journal. I've made some lovely discoveries along the way, finding some wonderful folks with whom I now "virtually visit" on a fairly regular basis. But I'm no blog phenomenon nor have I really tried to be.

But I think it's time to learn the tricks. I'm making serious plans to make use of my pretty hefty resume in the communications and media relations field. So I did some outreach the past few days. Let me tell you - it was an eye-opener.

I spent an hour or so with the very nice Ric Dragon of Dragonsearch Marketing. The economy may be on life support but Dragonsearch is growing, and growing fast. He offers website optimization - which basically means he'll help you spread the word about your business or website. He's good and there's a reason - he told me that if you really want to try to keep up with a field that's changing moment by moment, you've got to become a fanatic.

"Lots of late nights," he warned me. "Lots of reading. Lots of writing."

I'll share with you one concept of the many he threw in my direction: Twitter isn't about promoting yourself or what you do. Its biggest use for business is to create connections - start conversations - develop a wider network of acquaintances.

I hate Twitter - to me, it's an endless barrage of banal announcements.

Coffee's cold. Ew!

Stuck on the LIE!

I hate Mondays!

But Ric left me thinking of Twitter as a massive cocktail party - there are dozens of conversations going on, lots of introductions, short bursts of information. And out of those connections can come real, useful business relationships.

I'm not going to doubt him. I met him on Facebook.

So let the learning begin!

Any of you been struggling with this one? Any tips to share to get up to speed?


ArtSparker said...

The short answer is yes. I have been coming to the conclusion that I am just not cut out for the social network - I am quite introverted, and find small talk in real life uninteresting. The idea of devoting hours each day to this - Since I am mostly making things by hand, I am more inclined to market to bricks and mortar stores.

Do you read Seth Godin? He seems to think that it's not so important to present everywhere on the web to be successful, but of course it may simply not be necessary for him.

Susan said...

ArtSparker, I am also an introvert, but I play an extrovert on TV, to mangle an old joke. My inclination would be to disconnect my television and my fantasy goes so far as to disconnect from the grid entirely.

But reality is that my field is communications, so I guess I have to learn this fast-changing aspect of the field. I will be dragged, reluctantly, into the new decade (maybe even millenium) if I want to be able to say I really DO know the ins and outs of communication these days.

But I shall have to read Seth Godin. Sounds like he'd be very reassuring and give me more argument for my old-school habits.

ArtSparker said...

Seth's blog is like a "Poor Richard's almanac" for the internet. One valid point he makes is that you can be incredibly active online making busy without actually accomplishing much. This is, I'll admit, partly a personality thing...I myself am so easily distracted, aside from anything else, I can't imagine keeping my eye on the prize in the tumult. With a communications background, you may have a better handle on signal to noise.

I am perversely finding even more validation for my rebelliousness...


Susan said...

Yipes. Thanks much for letting me sit here and read that while increasing my odds of keeling over! :P