Between our The Evolution of Technology blog series and my other weekend technology columns, I’ve found that writing about technology and Social Media is not only fun but I bring, just as I do with my parenting writing, a unique point-of-view. How? Because: I’m NO EXPERT. I use and experience technology as a layman, but express it as a writer. My parenting “expertise” is exactly the same.
I have no degrees of import when it comes to parenting, but I have much life experience. Rather than extol the virtues or condemn the mistakes a parent makes from the lofty perch of an Ivory Tower and/or various degrees, I share my ideas from the gutter of living it.
Other than not having the experience of raising a daughter or kids with disabilities, I think I’ve gone through many of the same things most dads and moms experience, such as the joy of watching your first-born emerge into the world to the pain of divorce. I lived the 24/7 life of a single dad and the challenges of a 2nd marriage and blended family.
The same goes for Social Media and Technology. My only qualification in technology prior to this, my second career, was some familiarity and comfort with filmmaking from my first career. I understood story structure, editing, and other facets of the movie and television series processes but I wasn’t on the line for any specific aspect of it such as the director, actors, cameraman, prop-master, best boy (look it up), etc.
Consequently, given my generation (Baby Boomer) I had to learn new technology and Social Media with an inherent reluctance (“Why do I need Facebook, Twitter, etc.?”) and, frankly, a tad of fear as well. Learning new things can be frustrating, which is why I still leave most new tech purchases in the box on my desk for a while, working up the will and patience to deal with figuring it out once I open the box and discover there’s no manual (anymore) and whatever instructions that are provided look like Greek to me.
But, I’ve learned a lot. One thing I learned is the value of SEO and keywords; hence the title of this column; simply stringing together words that have worked for me in the past. I’ve also come to enjoy writing lists, from the fun and experience of having done 25 columns for 12Most.com.
In no particular order, herewith some random thoughts and suggestions from this still-learning tech layman:
~~ You do need Twitter, Facebook, and other Social Media platforms, especially…
Especially if you’re a parent. Your kids are living on Social Media. You care who their friends are, don’t you? Well, then if you’re not aware of their “life” online you’re not aware of their friends.
Secondarily, being active in Social Media is simply a part of a contemporary existence. Some people resisted the horseless carriage. Other resisted electricity, or the telephone. Resisting Social Media is simply foolish and denying the reality of the world today.
~~ Participating in Tweet Chats is incredible Brain Exercise
A good Tweet Chat like #blogchat or #DadChat is incredibly invigorating, illuminating, and instructive. #Blogchat has occasionally hit over 5000 tweets in an hour. 3,600 equal one per second. Following the discussion takes incredible focus, concentration, and practice.
I call it Brain Exercise and it keeps my mind in shape. I relish the challenge and I relish thinking on the run, so to speak. To be clever is an extra self-test and I love trying to come up with the quick quip or witty reply. I literally believe my participation in such chats has increased my brainpower. Now, if you ask my wife, she’d say it was pretty limited before so…
~~ Plunge in; don’t be a troll or a lurker
Plunge in to Social Media and technology and SEO. Don’t be bashful. Go for it. Try. Tweet chats can be intimidating. Most of them are incredibly friendly so why not dive in? What have you got to lose? The same holds true for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and so many others. As the slogan says, Just Do It!
~~ Social Media is free, but making money at it ain’t easy
There’s a naïve belief that Social Media is an easy way to make money. NOT TRUE. Like anything, it requires a certain time commitment, a certain skill-set, and certain luck. Don’t believe those “Get Rich” quick tweets or emails. Nothing in life is free.
~~ The more you give, the more you get
I believe that the more you give (in life) the more you get. With Social Media, this is even truer. When you support another blogger, you will get support. When you praise or comment another, you will gain respect and influence. You’d be surprised how almost everyone is accessible online.
~~ Comment, Comment, Comment
There are the three “L’s” of real estate (location, location, location) and there are the three “C’s” of Social Media. Comment, comment, comment. Again, like the previous suggestion, you will get as much or more than you give. And, you will learn. Choose good bloggers to read and comment on their blogs.
If you have nothing positive to say, don’t say anything. What’s the point of criticizing or attacking someone you don’t know who may be expressing their opinion? It will get you nothing but animosity in return. And, what for? Be positive or be gone!
I could continue with so many other things I’ve learned in the few years I’ve been a part of Social Media. I just “celebrated” three years on Twitter. I sent out over 78,000 tweets during that period, for a daily average of more than 70. My Facebook page has grown from a few “likes” to closing in on 5,000. I’ve virtually met people from all over the world and met many others in person at conferences across the county.
All of my effort in Social Media has returned value to me that is incalculable. I love it. Oh, and I met my wife online (really)!
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