I read a lot of things on line. If you read my posts very often, you probably know that all ready. But something interesting happened to me yesterday and I felt the urge to share it.
I was in a meeting with a person that expressed frustration and confusion with social media and feels overwhelmed. She starts off with the list, “I know I am supposed to twitter, blog, facebook and I don’t know where to begin and I am embarrassed to admit it to anybody! Everything I read out there online makes me feel really intimidated. I am so far behind the 8-ball, I don’t even know – what I don’t know.”
She reads lots of blogs and we both agreed how often we’re shocked by blogs and blog comments that are arrogant and hurtful. Almost as if there isn’t a person on the end of that keyboard.
If a person from the “40+ something” generation reads stuff like that, it is intimidating and often discourages them from engaging in a wonderful sharing process that 95% of this whole Social Media “thing” is.
In the Social Media world, I personally believe there ARE NO REAL experts – in fact it is really SO NEW for us NON-TECHIE types, it is okay to feel uncomfortable sometimes. In fact if you are over 40, my guess is you come from a culture where asking for help isn’t easy. ESPECIALLY from a complete stranger. You feel as though you are exposing your inefficiencies and in our day, you could get terminated for that – especially if you are female. I think half of the jobs I had in the 80’s were kept because I knew how to use a telex, was polite on the phone and could type!
How I got started. I have had a Twitter Account for a long time now – (longtime in Twitter years is like “dog years” on steriods-2 years in Twitter time is like 20 years because of how fast this Social Media thing is moving!)
I am lucky. A man that works with us here (@justinrussell) at Sephone, suggested I give Twitter a shot. The second best suggestion from him was that I follow a guy named @chrisbrogan. So I did. Chris Brogan is a thoughtful, information seeker and social media philanthropist in the Social Media world. (My definition, not his – in fact I haven’t even asked him if I can mention him in this post- oops!) Chris is a helper. His blog is written in a helpful, non boastful way. I have NEVER met the man and yet I suggest people follow him whether they are in PR, Marketing or anything else.
Chris gets out there-speaks, blogs, does webinars, podcasts and is available. As far as I am concerned, he is the center of my Social Media – but I think that may embarrass him. He always asks for feedback when he posts something and you know he is listening and reading it all.
A little tip: When you read a blog you don’t like or makes you feel uncomfortable, just leave it and don’t go back. “We” are not their target audience anyway. But keep trying. Eventually, you will find the people that are “your experts,” in the meantime, your skin will become thicker and those “other people” wont make you feel so bad, because you are finding your own way, at your own pace, for your own reasons. It is about you, and after all it is what you want to accomplish.
So, “Come on in, the water is fine!” Get your feet wet, find some people like Chris to follow or read if you choose not to have a Twitter Account and know that most of us are finding our way as all this changes at a rapid pace. Social Media does not take a summer vacation!