Saturday, May 17, 2008

So, how did you get started... and what difference has it made?

The road to wherever here is . . .

So I was on my Google Reader, minding my own business in the passive reading mode, when I was provoked . . . in a good way.

Tony Karrer did a pass-along inquiry for Karyn Romeis and I just had to respond. The reason I am answering here is three-fold. First, posting on a blog allows links and that makes the post less cluttered (and, ultimately, shorter). Second, I have two blogs that relate to this topic and maneuvering between them would make me (and probably you, the reader) dizzy. Third, I noticed it's been a while since I posted here (though my other blog has been pretty active lately), so I figured I'd kill 3 birds with 1 stone.

And the ability to spread link-love helped push me over the edge . . .

Hi Karyn,

Here's my answers to your basic questions:

* How did you get started with social media?

I started this adventure for very basic reasons, which I detailed a while back in a post entitled How I got started on Social Networking (MySpace, LinkedIn, and Facebook edition. The short version is that I had teen sons & college students in the space and I wanted to know more about it. The exposure to (or increased use of) YouTube and Google Video, Twitter, and Skype seemed to come naturally.

* What was your introduction, and how did the journey unfold?

I started out slow, focusing more on LinkedIn for professional reasons. If it wasn't for the brilliance of the embedded follow-up, I think that sight might have lost me. As you see from the previous answer, I felt that a MySpace presence was required, and Facebook seemed like a great way to get to know my students.

I began getting a feel for how these sites were fitting into my life here, and began thinking about how business could be done in this new market - documented initially here. I documented other parts of the journey in my initial thoughts regarding a police-only networking site here.
I once (well, maybe more than once) got a little overzealous while growing my network and got a serious warning from the friend police at Facebook. I have since matured, and shared my findings in two organized academic presentations (in 2007, and 2008), and on LinkedIn.

I've gotten more creative in my "thinking out loud" and posted a couple of quasi-fables (actually recreations - here and here - the first is my favorite, but it's a bit longer than average). Some of my thoughts on how social media can enhance business are here.

* What difference has it made in your professional practice?

I consider things differently. Never before did I (in the middle of a conversation) say, and think, "That would make a great blog post!."

I hadn't yet written a book (paper here, free e-book here), I hadn't created a global police cross-platform network, and I didn't blog before social networking enticed me (and now I can't quit). I also wasn't previously involved with a global collaborative project like Link To Your World, and I hadn't yet figured out the need to assist those in business with understanding social media, so Link To Your Education wasn't even a thought . . .

And I've met and conversed with some really great people!

I, am in the beginning phases of my dissertation, as well, and intend to post it for access wherever, whenever. I haven't yet decided whether blog or wiki is the better media . . .

What do you think?