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About This Blog

May 14, 2009

During the past few years, I’ve accidentally become a social media/new technologies geek.

Facebook: A Gateway Drug

It started out innocently enough. I joined Facebook for work, way back in 2006—mainly because I was asked to talk with some students about privacy and safety concerns when using social networking sites, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Just days after joining, I was hooked—a common affliction, I’ve learned since then — not just for the professional reasons that had motivated me to join initially, but also for personal ones.

I loved reconnecting with folks I’d fallen out of touch with…and I loved the amount of contact I was having with them. It was not too much (after all, you fall out of touch with some people for a reason, right?), but just enough.

On Facebook, I could see where they are now, what they’re up to these days, who they’ve married and what their kids look like, that kind of thing—and I could share the same about myself. We could exchange warm greetings, birthday wishes, hey-my-cousin-lives-in-your-city-and-is-looking-for-a-job-in-your-industry kinds of things…without becoming pen pals or exchanging phone numbers.

I also found lots of work-related uses for Facebook. Colleagues and I began sharing links to relevant news articles, basically enabling watercooler chats on current events with coworkers in other buildings who I rarely see. We sent invitations to work events, and posted and tagged the pictures of one another afterwards.

Shortly thereafter, I joined LinkedIn too, since it is supposed to be the one for more professional networking, and began working on what is essentially my resume for the world to see…though I cracked up my boss when I asked her, “But, where do you upload your vacation photos?” (spoken like a true LinkedIn newbie —someone who clearly joined FB first!)

From there, my interest has snowballed. I’ve become a watcher of all things online and social, with my latest experiment being Twitter of course.

And So I Started This Blog…

Along the way, I’ve been asked a few times to share my observations and tips with others…and not just on social media. Also on:

  • PowerPoint – It’s a tool with such incredible potential, but more often that not, it’s just misused—an opportunity lost…You know, hideously text-heavy slides with low contrast and way too many bullets, which the presenter just reads, and the audience sleeps through. Ugh.
  • Writing for the Web – The rules for writing well are different online than in print—and it seems like few know how to do it well.
  • RSS – I investigated it after hearing so much about it but not really knowing what it was. If it could save me time, and truly was “really simple,” well then, why wasn’t I using it?

In fact, when I was asked recently to speak about RSS and new media technologies at an upcoming plenary session of a statewide conference, I realized, well…I guess I’m a geek…a well-disguised geek, perhaps, in that I often translate “geekspeak” into English—but, still a geek. Sigh. I may as well own up to it!

And so, this blog. The purpose here is simply to create a single online home on the Web for the best practices and other great resources I’ve collected over the past few years on the above-mentioned topics. I have compiled many useful stories and tips along the way and wanted a place to post them. So, this site here as much for me as for you. (Remember: I speak geek, so you don’t have to!)

If you have a tip or resource to share, please, by all by means, do! I hope you enjoy and find it useful…

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