This post could easily be about how I spent the last two weekends sweating my physical and intellectual butt off to completely reorganize my home office and upgrade CK to WordPress 2.8, but you would be like, “Whatever, it looks the same to me,” or “Um, I’m reading you on my RSS feed, so I don’t really care,” or possibly, “Dude, I haven’t read blogs for two years. Send me a tweet about it.”
Which is fine. I mean, should I also tell you about how I swept the floor? Backstage is backstage for a reason. Props people work hard to keep actors focused on their performance, not for the applause.
(Plus, at CK I’m the prop person and the actor. And the box office manager, the technical director, and the old lady ushering you to your seat. You get the idea. Excelsior…)
In my increasingly uncluttered life I’ve been trying to make some more time not only to read other blogs I admire, but to interact with them. That means reading carefully and responding, which sometimes yields thoughtful comments.
I’m sometimes hesitant to leave my thoughts lying around in other people’s homes when they could possibly lead to interesting content back here at my own homestead, but I’ve arrived at a happy medium – I’ll link to all of said intriguing posts as well as giving you a snippet of my reasoned replies.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the discussions I’ve weighed in on in this past week.
(If you find yourself wanting to do the same, try subscribing to Backtype, a simple monitoring service which will doing all of the the keeping-track for you.)
My biggest comment splash involved wading in to a discussion about corporate brands invading our social network avatars – as argued between two of my favorite super-knowledgeable Twitterers, Scott Hepburn and David Spinks on Scott’s blog Media Emerging. Should Apple, Nike, or Marlboro be allowed to pay people with a major presence to sport their logos as a sign of endorsement? Here’s a series of excerpts from the meaty discussion:
Me: The Social Network upper-class of digital natives love to pretend that networks are sacrosanct and shouldn’t be perverted by this sort of casual marketing presence, but SM is just a digital representation of our physical selves. If you’d wear an Apple shirt in real life, why not emblazon your avatar with a logo in a show of support? If you won’t go anywhere without your Uggs, why not make your avatar equally as Uggy?
David: think it crosses the line when a user is being paid to sport the logo. It’s untruthful and misleading.
Me: I would posit that all online identities are inherently fictional because they are selective – filtered and with context. It would be impossible to attain the shock value of [someone having, or being paid to have] Apple tattoo, as there is an inherent untrustworthiness in an online identity.
Church of the Customer is a business blog frequented by my co-workers. When I stopped by this week I was met by a post bemoaning the recent trend of turning social media strategy over to interns.
It’s a topic that hit close to home – not only because I’m working on social media at work, but because I don’t think “intern” is a reason to withhold a job responsibility from a top performer. In my various internships I gave sales pitches to thousands of potential high-dollar customers and launched a four-color publication, amongst other high-profile duties.
With my panties in a twist, I posted a reply. To date, no response.
Why limit an intern’s service to the SN team to his or her brief stay at the company? A solid SM plan could leverage departing interns as street team members, which would spread the burden of knowledge transfer over time, and also expand brand influence.
Yes, it is scary, potentially unsure territory for intern #1 and #2; they’d surely need to start with a strong skill set and require constant guidance. They certainly could not build your entire SM strategy on their own. But after the start-up investment of your regular guidance, the position would be increasingly empowering for each subsequent intern. And, those internships would be AMAZING for students. That’s what every internship should aspire to be.
One of my new favorite reads is Overcommunicated who recently shared some thoughts on how mispelling her name is a sign of more than just poor typing. I agreed, and added my own spin:
With clients I try to make a point of talking to them about their alternative spelling, or asking if they go by a shortened version. In one recent case where I got [a client’s name] wrong out of inattentiveness to a quickly-fired email, my initial palling around allowed me to follow-up making light of myself, since from our original chat about it I should know better.
Ritu is an internet communications guru who “Violated The First Rule Of Social Media” by counseling on internet communications while letting his own blog go stagnant. He wrote a post about an all-too-familiar-feeling for me – having more game-changing ideas than I have the time or the knowledge to implement, to which I replied:
I have constant big, genre-shattering ideas, but frequently they require a skillset or scope that I don’t currently have the ability to implement, so they get relegated to the “if only” pile the next morning.
This is an area where success breeds success. If you hit one big idea out of the park, it’s more likely people will assist with and subscribe to your subsequent ideas, making each one easier to implement than the last.
I wasn’t sure I’d hit it off with Tim Jahn when we met on Twitter, but we share good taste in beer as well as a positive outlook on life. He write succinct posts whose entire purpose is stated (or queried) plainly in their titles.
I like to turn the question around and try to define something I *am* the best at doing. Am I the best songwriter or communications person? Probably not. Am I the best communications person who is also a songwriter? Maybe. Am I the best communications person and songwriter who is also a blogger and a member of a boy/girl harmony duo. Probably, yeah.
As people we’re each an aggregate of all sorts of things we’re not the best at, but hopefully when they’re taken together it turns out we are the best at being ourselves.