I can remember one of my first newbie questions when I joined Twitter just about 3 years ago. “What the heck is this social media termI keep seeing all over Twitter. I posed this question to my friend @NewMediaJim thinking if anyone had a clue about all of this, it would be him. I think his short definition was that if I was writing to a blog, doing Twitter etc. I was doing social media.
I’ve always been about the social part of social media. For me it’s just plain fun, and I’ve met some amazing people and formed some lifelong friendships with people 140 characters or one blog post at a time. I spend a great deal of my time poking fun of people who take social media too seriously. One of my funniest moments in the past year was at a NASA reception I attended pre-LRO launch. My friend @lunarkatz introduced me to someone as a social media expert, and I could not stop laughing. The only thing that might remotely qualify me as an expert is the fact that I was on the fringes of all of this at the early stages. The days when our biggest grief on Twitter was when it would go down and we would gravitate to other similar online options..only to return to Twitter. It wasn’t about the platform, it was about the friendships and the relationships.
My twitter list of people I follow is small, that’s intentional. At one point after a mention from @ChrisBrogan on a @GuyKawasaki blog I was inundated by friend requests on Twitter. I of course accused people of writing my name on bathrooms in cyberspace. That was my 15 minutes or so of fame in the social media world. People thought I had something to say, I do have something to say…but usually it’s a bit sarcastic, with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
I’ve blogged for a long time, first as part of an online knitting community, and later just ramblings from my head. I had no idea if people even read what I had to say. For me it was a way to get thoughts out of my head, and onto the screen. Mostly rambling about what particular thing was happening in my life at the moment.
Today I experienced social media in a new way. Yesterday I did a blog post about my experience at the toy sort, and once again nudging people toward doing for others. It was a pretty typical blog post for me, and one of those that seems to pull from my heart as much as my head. I mentioned the Sheraton in Dallas, and Cafe Brazil, just in passing. Both places picked up my blog post and responded with a comment to my blog, and @Cafe_Brazil_DFW posted a shout out to my blog post.
It made me realize how far social media has come in the 3 years plus since I ventured into this cyberspace stuff. Both groups are smart to handle their online reputations. The company that I work with also does the same thing, it’s a sign of the times. I would easily recommend the Sheraton, it’s a beautiful hotel, and Cafe Brazil has been a favorite place of mine to eat long before I moved to Texas.
I thought that was a pretty interesting day in itself, but when I arrived home tonight in the mail I received a copy of The Ripple Effect: Maximizing the Power of Relationships for Life & Business, it was signed by the author Steve Harper. Long before I moved to Texas while living in Ohio I started reading Steve’s blog the Ripple Effect. Yes, I have been a Ripple Effect groupie for quite some time. I liked the blog so much that I ordered Steve’s book. I was planning to take Steve’s book with me to SXSW last year, and connect with him to have him sign the book.
…and as the infomercial says, but wait, there’s more….
Inside the book, on the third page I found this:
“The tips and techniques offered in The Ripple Effect transcend the traditional ways of connecting and communicating and show you how to take that relationship building to the next level.”
Social Media Butterfly and Business Strategist
Who would have thought? (He did ask me for the quote so this wasn’t a shocker for me..but I had assumed it would end up on the cutting room floor so to speak.) Steve, seriously me a Business Strategist??? It’s probably better than being listed as the Mae West of Twitter. I am quite flattered to be included in the new edition of your book.
Hmmm..maybe there is something to this social media stuff after all?
In the words of my friend Steve Harper…Ripple On!!!