Can you recall your first step on the social media path, or are you reading this thinking about how to take it?
Having spotted a Dan Slee tweet on 29 December, I immediately added it as a favourite, not just because I like his vibes but also to bookmark it to read at a later date (he’s a bit of a legend, do follow him on Twitter and through his co-authored blog comms2point0, I’m sure you do)…
Days later I revisited that bookmarked tweet and followed the link to find this poignant message…
Clearly then, what started as a foray into the world of blogging was met with such unexpected floods of well-intentioned support that disengagement became the only obvious option; totally understandable.
How does this affect you?
Social media can be daunting for those who find themselves in a personally sensitive or vulnerable position, especially if it is all a bit new.
Currently, before tweeting, posting or blogging, I always contemplate the consequences on my professional standing of what I’m about to write – can this adversely affect me? I’m now thinking I actually need to start considering more, how does what I say affect you?
As a result my policy is now, don’t share – til satisfied it won’t cause more harm than good.
Contravening the rules
Regardless of whether you’re new to social media, a socmed graduate, or an old hand then I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘don’t share‘ causes confusion. After all, it seems on face value to contravene standard conventions. However I’m not stopping sharing but simply giving it a little more thought.
This simply replicates how I try to live; and social media for me is more than just a channel, it’s now an integral part of my life.
Also, helping people recognise the value, potential and power of social media now holds growing interest for me – a central question always being, what are you trying to achieve?
For example, that tweet I shared of the helicopter crash in London, minutes after it first appeared in my timeline, served no purpose. I couldn’t guarantee it wasn’t fake and I’d find it difficult if I were to discover a viral image showing a situation in which my family or friends were killed.
You’re in safe hands – I’m a surgeon
What you’re trying to achieve is one question I’ll be asking on Monday 21 January, when attending Edinburgh’s Social Media Surgery (that you’re in safe hands – I’m a social media surgeon, is what I’ll be asking you to believe).
If you operate in the Third Sector and are in or around Edinburgh on 21 January with more questions than answers about your organisation’s approach to, or use of, social media then I’d encourage you to register.
There is no charge at all and with space still available as I write, I think this is a fantastic opportunity not to be missed.
How to weather the storm? Be prepared
Scotland’s weather forecast over recent days has warned of snow, so I’d be surprised if you don’t have a snow plan – a spade in the boot, salt below the sink or maybe simply gloves in the pocket.
I’ll be advocating that it’s this logic and level of planning and preparation that your basic social media strategy and toolkit should include.
Above all, I contend, you need to understand what it is you’re trying to achieve. Without goals you can’t win, without planning and preparation you might get snowed under.
Whatever you do, please don’t share this… until you’re satisfied you’re doing more good than harm.
If you’re in the Third Sector, hope to meet you at the surgery. If you’re not, maybe sometime soon. I’m always available for tea and cake. In the meantime, take it easy.
Photo Credit (featured front page thumbnail image): L.C.Nøttaasen via Compfight cc
Lovely post as always, Kenny. I must admit I didn’t realise that the splendid chap who had started the blog had stopped because of all the attention. It must be the equivalent of learning to play the recorder from scratch only to find 10 seconds later the curtain rising and you find yourself on stage at Wembley Stadium with lots of people looking at you. That’s a bit scary.
I must admit the first time I ever tweeted I thought long and hard about what to post. Pressed the button and then wondered where and how it had gone.
It was a link to the excellent A Season With Verona by Tim Parks. I tell people this was the finest book ever written about Stoke City.
Sharing is a good thing. It’s what makes the world go around and the social web work. If you hadn’t have shared this on Twitter and you’d have never known about a great football book.
But it’s true to say that sharing without thought can be damaging.
Not for the lion’s share of what sails into our consciousness but certainly in a crisis information which may or may not be true, for one.
You’re right Dan, I don’t need to screen 90% of tweets and 99% of my blog posts for sensitive content or comments as I try to be measured; but still think I can do better to share with propriety. I suppose it is about unintended consequences; comments or content that we’re conditioned to sharing that seem harmless on face value that I’m challenging myself to re-consider. It’s fair to I’m not always going to get it right!
I guess this is just part of my digital evolutionary self-experimentation, though will be careful not to create a monster! Speaking of which, just finished watching Match of the Day…
Kenny – here’s the key phrase from your blog that everyone should reflect on before picking that button “Currently, before tweeting, posting or blogging, I always contemplate the consequences on my professional standing of what I’m about to write – can this adversely affect me? I’m now thinking I actually need to start considering more, how does what I say affect you?” Fabulous – if only everyone would approach it in the same considerate person centred way – great blog.
Thanks Derek, really appreciate you sparing the time to read my blog and comment. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there – about offering others’ person-centred consideration.
My latest evolution, which I’ve blogged about, is really digital self-experimentation about unintended consequences, I’m simply pressing the buttons (or not) and seeing what happens. I’m sure there will be (hopefully just minor) mistakes on the way but as long as I harness the learning and use that to develop and grow then I think positive results are more likely to follow.