With all due respect to the rest of the Influential Voices, I feel fairly confident that I’m on the younger end of the spectrum of writers. As such, it’s easy to extrapolate that I’m a frequent consumer of social media platforms. Oddly enough, as of today I’m probably not using it nearly as much as everyone else.
I use social media for three reasons:
1 – connecting with new and interesting thought leaders
2 – sharing my blog content with individuals who I believe to be interested parties
3 – reading content and material from writers to whom I’ve subscribed and almost always share thought-provoking stories or scenarios
I think of social media (relative to quality) as a tool for extracting answers and ideas for when I’m stuck on a problem. If I hit a snag or I am looking for a good framework or template, I’ll search blogs I read or do a Google search and find the information most relevant to me.
Much like using a hammer when a hammer is called for, I use social media to find the answers instead of letting the tidal wave of potential answers find me. That’s why I’m not active on Twitter much these days – a lot of information that probably doesn’t have a big impact on me immediately hits my feed and I let it pass me by. There’s so much content that it really is like drinking from a fire hose. As a result, I have backed away from Twitter (and my Klout score really reflects it). Also, Twitter does not come into play when I’m searching for answers to my immediately-pressing problems. Twitter waits for no man and I have other things that have more immediate need of my time.
The most important social media tool I use these days is my RSS reader. If I hear or learn about a writer who generates great content or stories about how they approached a problem, they immediately go to my reader. Every day I’m checking out new blog content from writers like Mark Graban, Tim McMahon, Matt Wrye, Ron Pereira, and on and on. No links needing clicking – it’s just all there. I feel helpless without it.
(I was using Google Reader as my RSS reader until the rug got pulled out from under me by the powers that be. Now I think I’ve settled on Feedly as my new RSS tool – The Old Reader and SubPug had their turns at bat and failed.)
I meet new and interesting people via LinkedIn frequently as I post a lot in their Lean/continuous improvement-related groups and I receive a lot of helpful feedback on posted topics and subjects. Of all social media platforms with two-way communication, LinkedIn gets the most attention from me.