Social media

The Quickest Way to a Better Career

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I hate meeting people. I would prefer to be holed up in my apartment, lovingly arranged to every last detail purely to make me comfortable, than to present myself to the world. It’s not that I actually dislike people, but the whole process. The getting ready, the logistics, scheduling a time, finding a place – nevermind if you can’t meet me in my preferred five block radius. If it’s raining outside, I will cancel. If I have a blemish on my face, I will cancel. If you want to meet for no reason, I will cancel.

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Why Instagram is Art

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I love Instagram.

It gives me a great deal of pleasure.

I’m not kidding.

Ryan and I had a big argument about this. He said he felt like a lot of people were on Instagram – including himself – to satiate the human desire to fit in and not be left out. I said it’s because Instagram is art.

Creating is fundamentally part of the human experience. Construction workers report high levels of satisfaction at their jobs (if the project is on time), because they can step back and look and see what they’ve done at the end of the day.

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Work is Irrelevant

Work, that of pursuing a specific passion or purpose, has become irrelevant. As technology increasingly gains momentum, we’ve moved from the age of work/life blur to the age of tech/life blur.

For instance, if you’re a writer, it’s not the content that matters (the work itself), but how the content is consumed and packaged. “We are on the brink of accessing digital content through what they call the ‘splinternet,’” argues Columbia Business School professor Rita McGrath. “Devices, hardware, software, applications and content, rather than being offered interoperably in a wide-open World Wide Web are increasingly going to be stacked up in proprietary ecosystems in which denizens can talk only to each other.”

So iPad apps like Flipboard, Zite and others like it are becoming the norm and offer “a much more natural way to consume content on a tablet, and the aggregation they provide is like having a customized newspaper available at any time,” argues Matthew Ingram on GigaOm.

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Resource Guide: Best of Social Media

Mostly, I try not to write about social media. I have no desire to be known as a social media expert despite the fact that many would agree that’s how I receive a paycheck every two weeks. I find the topic itself fairly stale, but sometimes I can’t help myself.  So, I write. In these posts, you won’t find the top 5 Ways to Build Your Facebook Page, but rather an inquiry into the social media tools that shape and dominate our lives.

1. Bloggers Are Not Writers (98 comments)
Bloggers are good at a great number of things, but writing doesn’t always top the list.

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Bloggers Are Not Writers

There are exceptions, okay. But very few bloggers can actually write. Bloggers pander to a crowd trying to satisfy the hive mind. Blogging is entertainment. Many bloggers are good at marketing, building community, relationships, and especially aggrandizing self-promotion, but not writing.

Crowdsourcing is a bloggers’ anthem. I remember my first blog. I deleted it. The posts didn’t get commented on and weren’t passed around. That wasn’t the point. But for bloggers, that is their mission; to create 500-word packages, bold-faced and headlined, read and digested in two minutes or less, bursting with lackadaisical opinion and junk epithets.

“Blogging is not writing,” the author of You Are Not a Gadget Jaron Lanier agrees.

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Good spreads – without marketing

Trust is easily bamboozled.

Like in social media, all you have to do is start a blog and write a lot of content– it doesn’t even have to be original or even good. Next, find partners and create alliances where you tweet, digg and stumble each other’s content. Abuse whuffie to make crowd-sourcing work for you. Mass follow everyone on Twitter, import them into FriendFeed to inflate your subscriber numbers, and then unfollow everyone but twenty on your list. Spam people. Promote under the guise of community. Push. Pull. Publish.

Give your efforts a few months in the oven, and then… voila!

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Will you regret your online presence?

Bloggers, Facebookers, Tweeters and more seem to be constantly besieged by warnings from young and old alike that we will regret our words, photos and thoughts. One blogger reveals, “I look back at some of my own posts and shake my head.” Online tools make it possible to change in front of the eyes of the entire world… And some believe this is going to be pretty embarrassing in the years ahead.

What do you think? Do you share enough to worry? How do you think your online activities will affect the future?

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Stop writing about social media to be a successful blogger

Stop writing about social media. Talking about how Twitter is or isn’t an effective networking tool is boring. Really, freaking boring.

I read a lot of posts on social media hoping someone will say something new, but that never happens. We need to stop masturbating to what the tool is and start using it to see how it works.

Some of my favorite bloggers have said recently that they want to stop their current blog and start writing a blog about social media. How unoriginal. You aren’t an expert because you write about social media. You’re an expert because you use it.

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The four truths of blog and social networks to use to your advantage

Last Friday, Monica O’Brien of Twenty Set wrote about how blog networks sucked and that there wasn’t any advantage to being part of one. I disagree and this post is my response.

Here are the four universal truths about blog and social networks, and how to use them to your advantage:

1. Network means it’s not just about you. Social media by definition is social and is thus a give and take world.Traffic will not magically be sent to your blog, nor will exposure magically occur.

Joining a network – whether that be a blog network like Brazen Careerist, a social network like Facebook or Twitter, or the professional network LinkedIn – doesn’t mean that all of sudden things will be easier for you.

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Social media is difficult like intimacy

“Yeah, but it’s just a blog,” someone said. About this blog. My blog. We were talking about social media.

I didn’t have a response at the time. I was like George in that Seinfeld episode (he goes to great lengths to deliver a retort to a coworker), floundering for the perfect comeback.

I couldn’t come up with anything, and later realized that this person? This person doesn’t even have a blog. Pfft. How can you possibly understand the concept of social media if you’re not a participant?

Of course you can understand it on an intellectual level. Like, I understand war even though I’ve never been a soldier.

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Social media doesn’t create new generation leaders

This post was originally published at Conversation Agent. Thank you to Valeria Maltoni for the opportunity.

We have a deep desire to feel that rise in our chests, the quickening of our breath, the spread of a smile.

Generation Y wants to change the world.

Not the environment. Not healthcare. Not education. Not poverty. Not racism. Not sexism. Not war. Not cancer. Not anything, really.

Just the world.

We want to change the world.

And in wanting so much, we get so little.

Restlessness courses through our veins, for we are never doing enough or being enough. Volunteering, leadership, and entrepreneurship, nor the eventual acceptance of the mundane satisfies our edge.

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