I had noticed the same thing about people making radical changes in their social media use. I don’t mean the “social media gurus” though I’ve seen shifts there but I mean with my peers, regular people who are very active online. I got to thinking and writing a comment — next thing I knew, I realized I was so far into it, I needed to also make my thoughts a blog post. Here’s what I wrote to Mack:
Mack, I think that’s part of the quandry. People frequently want to know how to use the channels we have. And I found in a recent discussion that maybe I wasn’t really helping in the way I was talking through things.
I was with friends that were asking about Google+ and as I explained how I was using it, what I was getting that was value to me, they were replying but I’m not really into photography. They were missing my whole point. The point I wanted to make is it isn’t being used to replace Facebook or whatever but instead gives me a way to connect to people with a shared passion in a channel that compliments the topic. I think the next time I’ll be asking them questions first.
On a happier note, my niece has decided to start selling some of the jewelry she makes at a gallery night. When she was thinking through the how to do that she mentioned she was looking for blogs with tips. Someone laughed as if it was crazy & she said “if people like aunt Janice are writing blog posts about cotton because they love it, then surely someone’s writing about selling & exhibiting jewelry for art fairs.”
I wonder if some of it is about age & the knowledge that individualism is where it is at or people who focus on business impacts versus passions or something else.
(My comment is so long now, I’m going to just save it as a draft blog post — thanks for getting me thinking!)
Part of what strikes me is some of us may have different reasons for participating in the online space. There may be different motivations or objectives. I talked a bit about the way I got into social media with John Blue of TruffleMedia a long time ago. That’s different though from what I get from the channels, and quite frankly for me, if I am not getting some enjoyment or value out of it (staying in touch with people I love, meeting people with similar interests, learning something, sharing info with people who appreciate it, laughing about goofy stuff, etc) or if I don’t see potential for getting something out of it, I am likely to walk away or make a shift. People make me enthusiastic and enthusiasm really matters to me!
One thing I’ve found, if you are using social media to meet objectives then it’s best to look at what motivates you and how you can be enthusiastic for a long-term. Avoiding burnout is important as social media communities build over time, much like funds in a 401(k) account. Putting into it consistently helps you build the best return so when I talk to people who are new to social media about getting started I suggest starting with one channel that sounds best and slowly adding as they see fits them best. Its worked for me. Short breaks are great but radical shifts too often make it tough for others to know what to expect and therefore to engage.
I am going to write a few posts coming out of this on how I see social media and how I use it. I hope you will join in and comment so I can gain understanding on your perspective. Let’s start with enthusiasm…
- Is it important to you to be enthusiastic about social media?
- What makes you enthusiastic in social media?
- How do you maintain your enthusiasm?
- Have you seen a change in enthusiasm for others?
- How can we help increase the enthusiasm level for ourselves and others?
- Do you think making changes in your social media use can increase or decrease your enthusiasm for it? How?
- Is social media different from other pastimes or passions as it relates to enthusiasm & engagement?