Networking

I understand why people call it that, but I don’t like how impersonal that term is. Yes, when I go to networking events, I’ll talk to you for a few minutes about what you do, where you work, etc. But I’m also the guy who wants to actually get to know a little more about you. Where are you from originally? What brought you to Denver? What kind of music are you into? Because I know that I don’t remember people I meet for their job title. I remember people for who they are, what they’re passionate about, how they see the world.

Yes, the point is to make a “professional connection,” but I think that making a personal connection with someone is 1) not only more enjoyable, but 2) will be far more likely to turn into a connection that might help get you a job one day, or a new client, or freelance work. It took me a few of these types of events to get over my own self-consciousness, but now I love going to networking events. Not because I’m so eager to meet someone who can help my career but because I’m eager to meet people.

Everyone you meet has their own interesting story or fascinating things about them. It just takes getting past the networking small talk to find it.

Creating content that matters

I’m not much one for clichés, but all the recent discussion on how companies can generate content to drive people to their websites and social media is, as they say, putting the cart before the horse. Shouldn’t one have information or opinions he wants to share and therefore use the medium of the web to do so rather than try to create content just to fill up that medium? This new backwards approach to inbound marketing, I’m afraid, is not only clogging up the internet with useless information but is also cluttering our brains with content that has been generated to the end of selling crap.

That’s one area where I know both the nonprofit I work for and the company I’m launching with a friend excel. The reason we have websites and blogs and social media is because we have lots of content that helps people, and we need ways to distribute it. Is inbound marketing an added benefit of that? Yes. But that’s not the motive behind our efforts.

The fact that the sum of my efforts might make someone’s day better – or, on the rare occasion, even change someone’s life – makes me feel very good about what I do. And I like that I can laugh at the problems greedy corporations face in their effort to find something to say that’s worth saying.

The next big thing or the next nothing?

Being in the field of online media, I often learn about the “next big thing” pretty quickly after it comes out. The only problem is that, most of the time, the next big thing turns out to be something that didn’t quite go over how some folks had expected. I remember when I first heard about Twitter, I immediately signed up signed up because I figured within a week, all of my friends would be on it and that would become the means by which we communicated the most (this was before Facebook became so dominant). I also initially misunderstood what Twitter offered. I thought it was a service where you’d post “Hey, I’m at such and such coffee shop” then your friends in the area would drop by if they were around. Well, it wasn’t that – though that does exist now with Foursquare and Facebook places (if that one ever really takes off).

All that to say, Posterous is now being touted as that “next big thing” because it allows you to communicate across all the other social network and blogging platforms via email. I’ll admit, it sounds pretty sweet. And it’s one of those things that, even if it doesn’t catch on, may still prove very useful to me. I guess we’ll see.

(p.s. This is my first test-post via Posterous.)

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Addendum:

I guess there are certain dangers and pitfalls to being on the frontier of new technology services. I will tell you this: DO NOT create a Posterous account. I”m not sure exactly what it was doing, but within thirty minutes of me giving the site permission to access this WordPress blog and my Tumblr account, both of them were frozen. I couldn’t even log in to them. Finally, after two hours and a number of page refreshes, I was finally able to log in and change my passwords. Once I did that, both accounts started working perfectly again. I honestly didn’t even know it was possible for a third-party app like that to freeze you out of your accounts even when you try to access them through their own site login pages. And, another thing is that Posterous doesn’t allow you to delete your profile after you created it without emailing them to request the removal of your account.

Despite sounding like a great tool, I’m afraid something fishy (or phishy) is going on there. Moral of the story: don’t use Posterous. Or the moral might be that I should stop signing up for accounts on more sites.

Posterous. Hmpf. More like prePosterous. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Confessions of an online media specialist

Here’s the thing about Twitter: I don’t get it. I mean, I understand it – retweets and @Mentions and hashtags and Twitter parties and such. But it just doesn’t seem to work for me (nor with the demographic of my organization, but that’s another issue entirely). That’s great that it’s helping foment revolution across the Middle East, but I’d rather not use it. And this is not because I’m “old school” – I love Facebook, Tumblr (which shares similarities with Twitter) and LinkedIn. Just not Twitter.

I don’t know if it’s the delivery format of information (the Timeline) or the utter worthlessness of some users’ posts or the flood of updates or the fact that most of the people I’d care to keep up with aren’t on Twitter. And that last one may be significant: Twitter interactions with people who I don’t know in person offer me little to no sense of satisfaction, even if such communiqués may be helping me professionally. But the odd thing is that those same kinds of interactions on Facebook do feel rewarding. I’ve had a couple exchanges with Elena Verlee from PR in Your Pajamas and Amy Porterfield from Social Media Examiner, and those were quite informative and enjoyable.

So, there it is. I don’t like Twitter. It may just be because I think the verb “tweet” sounds utterly ridiculous unless you’re referring to what a bird does.

Is anybody else with me on this? Does anyone want to try and convince me otherwise?

[Addendum: I guess I sort of ended up convincing myself.]