Monday, May 28, 2012

The First Step

I'm 55 pages into Deanna Zandt's Share This!  I've had two big surprises so far.  One is that the book has said very little about techniques or tactics for using social media: it's mainly about the attitude you bring to it.  I tried to summarize that attitude in my very first tweet:
Recipe for good conversation: Listen. Ask questions. Pay attention to answers. Contribute when you can keep the conversation going.
(And, I might add, be yourself.  Not necessarily your whole self, everywhere, all the time...but nothing but yourself.  People will trust you partly because you show you consider them trustworthy.)

Surprise #2: most of this is what I do already, face to face.  I would never dream of walking into a room and telling everybody, "Listen to me because what I have to say is the most important thing"--so why would I walk online and do that?  And on the positive side: I try to share information and ideas and make introductions that I thing people would benefit from.  Does it really matter whether I do that face to face, on the phone, by email, or on Facebook or LinkedIn?


Larry Lennhoff said...

One of my common recommendations when a person finds themself in an on-line feud is that if geography permits, try to meet the person in the real world. I'm not surprised that social media recommendations mirror polite society - we just haven't let learned to carry that etiquette over into the virtual world.

Larry Lennhoff said...

One of my recommendations to people when they find themselves in an on-line feud is to meet the other person in the real world if possible. It is much harder to be rude to someone than to be rude to an id. (I wonder if a visual mode of communication such as Skype might be almost as good.)

I'm not surprised that a lot of on-line etiquette is identical to that of the real world. We're currently going through a sort of global internet adolescence - it will take time for healthy norms to be establish and for people to grow up.