I’m a fan of Nicole Crimaldi. There. I’ve said it. We connected on Twitter a while back when I realized we were on the same Metra Train in from the Western Suburbs of Chicago. We were both tweeting away, and I recognized her home town right away. Later on, I guest blogged a post for her, and during our exchange, she really encouraged me to start blogging. I knew I needed to get to blogging. Heck, I had started and stopped and started and stopped a few dozen times, on 5 or 6 different domain names. It took Nicole kicking me in the pants to really get me going. For that I’ll always owe her a debt of gratitude!
I’m a social media junkie. I’ve had a Pro account on Flickr for years and years. I was the first person I know to actively use LinkedIn. I’ve been a Facebook fanatic since just after the service was opened up beyond the walls of academia. Admittedly I was a bit slow on the uptake with regard to Twitter, but I certainly qualify as an active user these days. And yet…..
And yet, I found the “relationships” I was building with these services to be lacking in depth and meaning. Sure, it was great to “connect” on LinkedIn with other like minded folks, and even better to rediscover old High School chums from 20+ years back. Catching up with what they’ve been doing for the past 20 years is rewarding and gratifying: seeing pics of them, their children (and in some cases grand-children) is very nice – quaint even.
But was I truly connecting through these services? It didn’t feel that way. I felt more a voyeur than a friend, catching glimpses of people lives, and not truly connecting. That’s all been changing recently. I’ve consciously been changing my routine and pushing my boundaries in an effort to maximize the value I contribute to and receive from my social networks.
Below are three things we can all do to ensure we’re fully engaged with our social networks.
Take an imaginary trip with me. Let’s visit the best company you’ve ever worked for. It’s an incredible company, right? A high performing business that others only wish they could work for. And yet…
At some point in time you probably saw a problem. The problem seemed obvious to you and to many of your peers and colleagues. Maybe it was a lack of coherent strategy; a misalignment between departments; an untapped opportunity to drive additional revenue; a sweet and painless way to shave costs and expand the bottom line.
Being a thoughtful and diligent employee you likely suggested a variety of ways to address this problem. You documented the issue, built a business case that solved the problem and scheduled time to discuss both your observations and work with senior management. You made a compelling case and crushed the presentation……and nothing happened. Nothing.
In 2003 I began managing a team of consultants that sold online marketing services to small law firms across the country. I was working with one of my consultants in a highly depressed rust belt city – an area that has been economically depressed for the last 25 years or so. During this time, we had occasion to meet with a client of ours who was THE local high-end divorce lawyer. Its one of those strange businesses that don’t seem to make sense. I mean I could see a bankruptcy lawyer in this economically depressed area, or a social security disability attorney….but a high end divorce lawyer? It seemed to defy logic. I just had to ask him:
I’ve been following Kelly Olexa for quite some time now. I admire her energy, knowledge, experience and her willingeness to seemingly lifecast every aspect of her being. I don’t know too many people who share more online than Kelly. I find that courageous, amazing and totally awesome!