Review of Share This!
Deanna Zandt has written a wonderful guide to social networks for people who don't feel at home there. She explains what's new about building relationships through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the like, and she encourages us all to participate.
"Sharing is daring," she says. By putting more of yourself out there, within limits that you consciously set, you increase your credibility with people who are just getting to know you. As you become more well known, you win people's trust. At the same time, she argues, sharing personal and professional information helps build a better world. If someone reads and enjoys a tweet I send out about good communications AND they go to my blog and find my Jewish musings, then it registers that a person they respect can be serious about being Jewish (or gay, or a feminist, or...whatever you are. Fill in the blank.) It may be overstating things to say that this will change the world, as she does in her subtitle, but at least it will show what the world is already.
In any case, sharing more about ourselves is the direction we are all heading. "Transparency is the new black." So, better try it on and find a style of social networking that compliments you. In the Resources section of the book, you'll find tips for individuals and tactics for organizations that she recommends. Try a couple and see how they work for you.
Reading this book, I felt as if I were a traveler in a new and foreign country, with a helpful guide pointing out the landmarks and explaining local customs. At the same time, paradoxically, I felt as if I'd come home. Really being interested in other people, helping them with what they're doing, and offering them ways to help me too (or promote a cause we both care about): this is what I've always done.
Back in 1986, when Rona answered a personal ad I'd placed in a newspaper, I realized that we already had met through the local chapter of a progressive Jewish organization. It would have been very awkward if I had kept that to myself and didn't tell her that right away when I wrote her back. By letting her know, not only did I show that I cared about honesty in relationships right from the start. I also (not realizing it at the time) let her see that she knew people who knew me and shared some of the same values that moved me. That was the basis for beginning to trust me. Reader, she married me.
Organizations are also looking to woo people, and they will have to open up more to build lasting relationships with volunteers, supporters, donors, customers, or investors. I would like to focus on helping them do it, online and off.