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When Is a College Reunion Not a College Reunion?

5 Jun

brandeis_reunionSo, here’s the thing about college reunions. Mine, anyway.

Ten years out of school is a significant milestone. Which is probably why, at my 10-year reunion, there was great attendance — in addition to many members of our class, there were lots of spouses and kids in tow. And it very quickly turned into a disappointing, awfully superficial affair: Many people overdid it with the hyperbole (they had “the most wonderful husband” and “the best kids”) to show off how well they were doing, and made all kinds of excuses about why they hadn’t stayed in touch over the years. It was kind of like the old-fashioned cliché of reunions, complete with social anxiety and lots of one-upmanship. (Remember: This was in 2006, when most people weren’t using Facebook.)

Suffice it to say, as a single guy who was frustrated personally and professionally at the time, it really wasn’t my scene. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, there were folks there I didn’t care to see (like, ever), who I went out of my way to avoid. So I didn’t enjoy that reunion very much. No surprise. And I skipped my 15-year reunion altogether.

This weekend, at my 20-year college reunion (a fact I’m still trying to wrap my head around), it was a very different scene. Continue reading

Want to Build Stronger Online Relationships? It’s Really Not That Hard. #CMAD

29 Jan

CMAD videoIf you didn’t know, this past Monday (January 25) was Community Manager Appreciation Day (or CMAD, for short). It was a chance for people and companies to celebrate folks like me — social media managers and others who work so hard every day to grow our businesses and organizations by building stronger relationships with customers, clients, and others using blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social channels (and offline means as well). And to learn from each other as well.

As part of the day, a social media company called Zoomph reached out and asked me to share a quick tip for building stronger online relationships. I was happy to do so. That video is below. Continue reading

10 Thoughts About Blogging After 10 Years of Being a Blogger

1 Sep
Photo by Joey Gannon

Photo by Joey Gannon

Anybody who knows me knows that I can be a pretty lazy guy.

I’m not easily self-motivated, I don’t really work out at all (despite multiple attempts to start doing so), I go to the same places more often than I try new ones, I leave things till the last minute, and many nights, I’m happier to stay home rather than to put in the effort to go out.

All of which makes today a very important day. Continue reading

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