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Sharing the Love: 50 Reasons Why Social Media Is Awesome

13 Feb

social-media-loveIt’s no exaggeration to say that using social media has changed my life.

It’s helped me to build my professional and personal networks (often blurring those lines); introduced me to new music, places, and foods; helped me score free stuff; and allowed me to be a louder advocate for the brands, sports teams, and people I like.

Heck, I’ve even scored a few dates.

So you shouldn’t be surprised when I say I love social media. That’s right, love.

Sure, like anything, social media isn’t perfect; there is plenty about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, et al that drives me nuts. But the truth is, as I’ve said before, if you don’t like social media, then you must not be using it.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a list of 50 reasons why social media is so lovable. Here they are, in no particular order. Continue reading

Stop Doing This on Social Media. You’re Driving Me Nuts!

11 Feb
Photo credit: Martin Lieberman / Instagram

Photo credit: Martin Lieberman / Instagram

When you use social media as much as I do — and admittedly, it’s probably a bit too much — there are bound to be a few things you don’t like about it.

To wit: Not too long ago, my friend Christoph Trappe compiled a great list of his top Twitter pet peeves, many of which I agree with. That got me thinking about some of my own. In an effort to not be repetitive or redundant with Christoph (or my own previously published thoughts regarding unfriending), I decided to expand my purview to cover the social networks I’m most active on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. (And Vine too, mostly because I’m not a fan.)

Yes, there’s plenty about social media I love (come back in a couple days to see that list). But for today, we’ll stick to my pet peeves.

Here they are, in no particular order. Continue reading

I Tweet for Myself. Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Too.

10 Jul

twitter-maskYesterday, I tweeted that I’d rather someone not have a Twitter handle than have someone else tweet generic stuff for them.

Suffice it to say, the reaction was interesting. I got responses that ranged from “a good [social media] specialist can tweet like the person without making it seem generic,” to, more amusingly, “Wouldn’t that put a lot of social media specialists out of a job?”

I replied that yes, good social media specialists may be able to do a decent job of ghost tweeting. But more often than not, they just tweet headlines and links, and maybe an occasional “thanks,” and that makes the real person look bad, like he/she doesn’t care. Ideally, people would just tweet for themselves. After all, it’s really not that hard.

And I meant that. People should be tweeting for themselves. This “ghost tweeting” stuff is for the birds. (Pun intended.) Continue reading

5 More People from Twitter Who I’d Like to Meet Offline

15 Mar

twitter-logo-circleI love Twitter the most when it’s people talking to people, not marketers promoting their products and services, or people autosharing their Foursquare check-ins or Instagram photos, or readers generically sharing an article headline.

Just good ole person-to-person conversation.

When people on Twitter let you in, and show you that they’re about more than their job, and they actually show a personality, then you want to learn more about them and everything they want to share.

Even better, you begin to feel like you actually know these people, even if you don’t.

Because a simple “Follow Friday” tweet wouldn’t suffice, last week I shared a list of five people I follow on Twitter who I’ve never been in the same room with but I feel like I kinda sorta know, and who I would love to meet offline.

Here’s another five, in no particular order:

Continue reading

5 People from Twitter I’d Like to Meet Offline

8 Mar

twitter_logoIf you use Twitter the right way — that is, you use it to engage with other people, not just to share headlines or Foursquare check-ins — then you provide a window into who you are.

That’s why, if you’re active on this social network, you often find you think you know people really well when you’ve never actually met them in real life.

I have that “problem” all the time: I forget that I don’t really know some of the people I interact with on an almost-daily basis.

But that’s a good thing, I think (thus the quotation marks around “problem”). I wish more people used Twitter in a way that made it seem equally personal.

I wanted to find a way to recognize some of the people I enjoy following, but I didn’t think a simple Follow Friday tweet would do it. So I thought I’d start a regular feature here on my blog, a list of a few people on Twitter who I feel I kinda already know and would love to meet offline.

You won’t find celebrities or politicians or other big names here, even though, sure, I’d love to meet Cory Booker, Bill Maher, Alec Baldwin, the writers of Modern Family, and others like them. I’m keeping this list limited just to regular people, ones with whom I’ve never been in the same room.

Here are the first five, in no particular order: Continue reading

Are You Ready to Check in to a Life Less Social?

6 Mar

Foursquare-stickerHow times have changed.

It wasn’t so long ago that I used to check in on Foursquare everywhere I went, to an almost obsessive-compulsive degree.

The supermarket, the gas station, the post office, my home, every store I shopped at in the mall, T stops, my parents’ apartment, my friends’ houses … if it was on Foursquare, I’d check in there right away. And if it wasn’t, then I’d create a place or find somewhere close by to check in to.

I was a stalker’s dream.

But now, I hardly check in at all. Only when there’s a mayorship I need to maintain, or it’s a particularly interesting place (like a movie or a good restaurant or a special event).

Otherwise, checking in to the same places all the time — whether it’s an office, gym, coffee shop, or whatever — isn’t all that exciting anymore. And more important, no one really needs to know (or, if I’m being honest, cares) where I am at all times. Continue reading

Fool Me Once, LinkedIn … Shame on You

13 Feb

LinkedIn emailLike so many other people, I recently received an email from LinkedIn telling me that my profile was one of the most-viewed ones of 2012.

Specifically, that I was in the top 5% of all profiles.

That’s awesome, especially given that there are now more than 200 million people on the social network.

Woo hoo! I’m so proud.

And I’m definitely cooler than all those people who’ve been bragging that they’re in the top 10%. Ha ha!

The email from LinkedIn gave me a nice ego boost. And clearly, I’m not alone: A ton of people have been bragging on Facebook and Twitter that they were also in the top 5% … or the top 1% or the top 2%. Continue reading

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