Friday, April 18, 2008

Great Things From Small Biz Survival

Becky McCray is an instant classic.  She doesn't shy away from her small town life, rather she embraces it, shares it with the world and challenges you to male your business better.

I met Becky, the founder of Small Biz Survival, at SXSW in Austin.  She has become a fast friend, and has crazy good savvy.  (I link to Small Biz Survival from this site!)  She gets "it", even when the subject of "it" changes.  She offers rock solid business advice, and facilitates the conversations and advice of others.

She was also kind of enough to give one of my comments top billing on her site.  Every Friday, Becky offers The Brag Basket on Small Biz Survival.  Its an opportunity to let everyone talk about something great that is happening to them - personally or professionally.  She enjoyed my comment, and thought it was the perfect illustration as to what the Brag Basket can be.  I'll be offering future posts based on one of my sayings that, "The Vision Is Only Achieved Through The Action."

Enjoy her site, and feel free to brag a little....or a lot.  


Monday, April 14, 2008

Politics and Social Media

I don't do politics here.

Unless you count The Daily Decompression just above this post.  I use Utterz for that, and I'm willing to bet more times than not that it is political.  It's a passion of mine, I find uniquely important, and I want to get my view across.

I have been working towards taking my political interests and pushing them further in the social media space.  Not in the sense of pushing my political views, my candidate, my issue, etc.  Rather, the work ethic I take to my political interests.  How I started with the base idea that I don't know about a subject just because I heard a few people talk about it or I saw the NBC evening news.  (Ha ha anyone watches NBC evening news anymore!)

I learned about politics, and solidified my belief system (and still do!), by studying, reading, comparing, researching, going back in history, taking time to think about the subject, recognizing when I am in over my head and then going to experts and more research for clarification.

In learning social media, I have taken the same approach.  I know nothing, now what.  Now, without being too self-effacing, maybe I know a bit more than nothing, but there's still so much to know.  So I am studying, I am reading, comparing, researching, going back in history, taking time to think about the subject, recognizing when I am in over my head and then going experts and more research for clarification.

The beauty of this space; this wide open panorama that no one owns or controls, is that no one - I say no one - can stop the learning process.  The idea of expert is solely in the eyes of the one bestowing the accolade, not the one who self describes in that manner.  The idea of expert, on a more granular level, is the one who helps you understand your issue, helps you get to that next level, gives you that jump of excitement, can help you find your own inner confidence to move forward on whatever subject or product you are working on.

And that's why I don't (try not to is more like it) do politics here.  Social media is about a unifying message, a singular soul, that is different for each person and each group that naturally has a gravitational pull towards each other.  Yet I am not so naive to believe that politics does not exist in  social media.  Who has the most followers, who speaks at the most events, who do you want blogging about you or your company?  The politics do exist - the ones who want to be in charge, claim control, dictate norms.  
And they are in charge, do claim control and can dictate norms - if I let them.  I take that back.  If we let them.


Friday, April 11, 2008

What Does Your Tweet Cloud Say?

Twitter is a really interesting service. What is more interesting is the cottage industry of applications that have been built around it. It really is amazing, as someone who is not a programmer, that so many unique applications can be spawned off of a service that asks only one question - what are you doing?

The TweetCloud is one of those services. It examines every tweet you have ever uttered on Twitter and gives you, in a tag cloud, your hit list. What is it that you are talking about, what is it that you respond to, who are you having conversations with....all of this revealed with your TweetCloud.

This is my TweetCloud.

Now, being that I do lean towards more political views in my other blogs -, - it's not surprising that Sen. Obama, Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain get their fair showing.  What I was most happy to see is that my major Twitter points are more thought provoking.  Know, Love People, Think, Want...followed by Understand, Talking and - my personal favorite combination - Going Great.

Recently, Laura Fitton, better known as Pistachio, posted a link showing the TweetClouds of others.  When I looked at some of them, I got the impression that many people don't use Twitter the way I do - which is a constant conversation out there.  Twitter can easily be your tool for publicity.  However, I can't find the good reason why it should only be a tool for publicity.  To me, for me, the TweetCloud speaks to why I participate on Twitter.

What does it say about you?


PS - Not on Twitter...try this.  Think of what you have talked about or said to others in the past three days.  Now write it down on a piece of paper.  If you talked about it alot, write it bigger.  Not so much, smaller.  Just let the subjects flow until they don't come easily to you.  Now look at the paper.  Is that an accurate reflection of you and your message?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Twitter Effect - Is Sharing the same as Reporting?

Here is a post from Tim Street, who can also be found on Twitter here, in regards to my recent flight on USAIR. More about this event, as I witnessed it and overheard it, on at a later time.

Tim's post was interesting and unexpected. The idea that Twitter can move news faster and with less filters than MSM news sources like CNN, NBC, ABC, etc. However, as I mentioned to Tim in the comments of his blog, I didn't feel I was reporting the news, just that I was sharing a moment in my life. Just as I would share it when I got home.

It begs the questions: In social media and social networking, is sharing the same as reporting? And are there needed, necessary and normalizing filters that we should be placing on ourselves when sharing?

I look forward to hearing from you.