Posted by: drewdice | January 7, 2011

The river

You may very well be facing similar challenges that others express with regards to what seems like a proliferation of information that you see and hear – especially as more social networking and social media channels appear.

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear someone express something like “there is just too much information…I can’t keep up!” or “I’d like to get more involved in social media, but it is just too overwhelming, and not only don’t I know where to start, but I just don’t have the time; where am I going to get an extra hour or two a day??!”

Hey, I get it – those are real and valid concerns, so if you find yourself in one of those camps, you are by no means alone. Here is the good news – you actually DO have the time; you actually CAN handle the flow of information. Want proof?

Before the current social media explosion, life was happening, news was happening, technology and business were advancing, all at quite rapid paces. You didn’t always hear about things; you didn’t always have access to the information at your fingertips, and guess what? Life went on, and you led a healthy and productive (I hope) life.

Today is no different – yes, you have easier access to information, but it is your choice, what and how much information you want exposure to, and how often you want that information. One of the great things about social media channels is that there are other folks who are making their living aggregating information, connecting people, setting and following key trends, and making it easily available to you. That’s right – DOING THE WORK FOR YOU.

So, when you think about the best ways to engage in social media and social networking, here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

– Set a strategy first: what are you hoping to achieve through your participation in these channels? For example, do you intend to be a connector and community builder? Do you want to be a voyeur (which is totally fine, here, by the way – watching, listening and observing is a great way to learn) to gain insights that will help you drive your business, brand and knowledge forward? Having an end goal in mind is a great place to start

-Listen next: pick a few channels to which you subscribe. Depending on what you lay out as your goals, you can ask for recommendations on key folks to follow and valuable blogs to read. Some of my favorites include Chris Brogan, Mashable, Daniel Pink, Right Source Marketing, and Harvard Business Review. Check them out to see if you find the thought leadership and information useful. I know I do.

– Let the river flow: You can subscribe to news feeds for the channels you find most valuable, and set your preferences for how often you want information to come your way – sort of like a faucet – if you want more information, open the faucet; when you need/want less, close it. Let all of the other extraneous information flow past you – and it is OK. Life will go on, and you don’t need to worry about what you are missing. In all likelihood, if you are really in tune with what you want and need to know, and are following and/or are connected to thought leaders in those areas, you are already getting access to what is most important.

So, if you haven’t “gotten out there” yet, my hope is that these thoughts give you some hope and direction. If you are already tuning in, not only do I hope I’ve given you some new things to consider, but also I welcome your additional thoughts and ideas – please share!

Cheers,

Andrew

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