(An abridgment of a former series…)
Social media provides an effective avenue for enlarging your sphere of influence. But as mentioned before, your absolute bottom line is the quality of your content. Influence is worthless without it. But assuming you post quality content, here are a few suggestions…
Use but Don’t Be Abused
Every person has 24 hours in a day. Recall the economic nature of time discussed previously: where there is time spent, there is opportunity cost. Do not let social media master your clock. More specifically…
Blogs. I highly recommend blogging, but decide how much time you can invest in advance. Also, don’t expect to attract a huge audience. Your priority is quality content. If you build it [with integrity], they will come. (Build a .com website today. Or read more about starting an academic blog.)
Facebook. I recommend this site with reservations. I have found it helpful for networking and keeping up with friends and family. I have also watched many people spend entirely too much time using it.
Twitter. I have been using since July or August. So far, I have only found it helpful to (1) keep up with a few important people; and (2) keep those who follow me up to date, especially with respect to new blog posts. So far as I know, Jim West still contends that “twitter is twaddle.”
Other sites. Taking a look at the wagon above, you’ll notice some other popular social media sites. YouTube can be effective if you want to publish short clips that are readily accessible. Flickr is great for picking up nice photos for blog posts (like the bandwagon!). Digg can serve as a vehicle for distributing your content. These sites are just the tip of the iceberg, but they tend to be the most popular.
I’ve found that blogging is great for getting profound things off my chest and giving people a place to go if they ask me a question I need to spend some time answering. Facebook is great for keeping my family and friends up-to-date with what’s going on in my life, pictures, videos etc. Twitter is excellent to keep me up on many blogs and what other people that I want to keep up with are doing. Blogging I do mainly from my computer, Facebook I do some from my computer, but mostly from my phone, and twitter I do almost always from my phone. My Twitter updates my Facebook, so I mostly just do twitter, with the occasional blog for something that I want to say. Many people take these things and turn them into “something to do” rather than a vehicle to help you learn and teach. It’s something I do in the in between times to keep up. Great example, I saw your Tweet so I came to this blog… I also have a Pod-Cast, but rarely use it…
It has been interesting to watch the integration of various social media sites through third party apps. Before long we will probably be managing everything through one app. I believe Google wave does something of the sort, though I haven’t received an ‘invite’ yet! 🙁