Sunday, September 16, 2012

Becoming journey into the world of social media

I have toyed with social media for a few years. I joined Linked-In in a long time ago and set up a basic profile, connected with a few current colleagues and former workmates. I was a casual observer rather than a contributor.

Facebook was a place I went to see what my, then, teenage children  were up to and keep up with the activities of family and friends. For a long time I shared very little of myself on there.

I created a twitter account, then hardly ever went there again, I love to write so 140 characters seemed so restrictive! I joined up with FourSquare, created this blogger account, and eventually got myself a Google+ account. I did not see any connection between these sites and my professional reputation. They were just an interesting distraction. I notice that I set up this blogger account in 2008, wrote a couple of posts in a personal blog and then did nothing until this month when I decided it was time to start sharing my ideas on service management.

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My opinion of the value of social media started to evolve after I attended Chris Dancy's session at Fusion 10 in Louisville. I was pretty well blown away by what Chris was telling us and his enthusiasm was  contagious! Now this is two years ago which, in terms of the advancement of social media, is a millennia!

So I came home from Louisville and looked a bit more closely at my social identity. I had set up two Facebook accounts, one for business and one for personal so that I could separate the two parts of my life, but I realised that was pointless and actually just served to dilute my online presence. I still have the second account, but I have largely abandoned using it and I simply use the rules in Facebook to determine what various groups of people can see of my updates.

I started tweeting, pretty much exclusively when I was at events, so it was a bit spasmodic. I followed a few people, mostly ITSM related, along with a few writer blogs and I gathered some followers...not sure why as I really didn't do much on Twitter at all. But I was really just playing with social media still.

Fast forward to August of 2012 and the itSMF Australia LeadIT12 event. One of the pre-conference workshops was Chris Dancy speaking on Digital Literacy in 2012. Half a day with Chris made me realise that I needed to stop toying with social media and start using it to create and enhance my digital identity, establish my professional reputation and network with colleagues in ITSM globally.

I signed up to Klout and found that my score was not too shabby - for someone who hadn't been trying - at 50. I guess I must have been doing something right, even if I had no idea what that was. Since attending that workshop I have coaxed my Klout score up to 58, and it is rising every day.

Earlier this year I joined the Back2ITSM group on Facebook. This is a group of ITSM professionals dedicated to giving back to the industry, sharing the knowledge they have gained through their experience. I did contribute, when I really felt I had something to offer, but I was generally a lurker and consumer of information. I felt just a little intimidated by the industry stature of the people who regularly post in this, extremely valuable, forum. I have now changed my mindset, and I hope some of the other lurkers on that group will do the same. We all have something to offer, whether you are a CIO, service desk analyst, consultant...or even a vendor, the wisdom you have gathered during your time in the industry is worth sharing. We don't all agree with each other, and sometimes the conversations can get heated, but there is a true respect for the collective wisdom that is available there. Your "aha" moments may very well be just as seminal to another ITSM professional in the group, so I urge you to get on the keyboard and share, even if it is only to say "yes, I agree" or to simply click the "like" button.

As I mentioned earlier, I did not really see the point in Twitter initially, but after spending the past week really looking at the information that comes through that channel, I have found that the bulk of my reading material is coming from there, I have started sharing my thoughts and articles I have found regularly, my follower numbers have more than doubled in a week and I would say that - right now - I get the most value from my social networks via Twitter and Back2ITSM on Facebook.

Linked-In is not providing me with the same value currently. I belong to a wide range of groups on this site, and the majority of what I get is spam. I plan on going through each group I belong to over the next week and removing myself from any that are not providing me with information I can use. Linked-In does hold the most comprehensive information about me, my career, and recommendations from people I have worked with, and for, over the years, so it is personally valuable to me, but I do not believe that I am gaining a lot of value from the other members of this community.

This is definitely a journey that I have just started, and I am sure I will learn a lot more along the way, and I know that there will be new technologies in the social sphere that will continue to change the way we see ourselves and the world we live in. I like to research, so I am sure that I will have a lot more "aha" moments in the weeks to come as I really try to get.  to grips with the "social" me.

So, what have I learned?

  1. I actually do know stuff that people want to read about
  2. There is a huge amount of information flying around the various networks, you have to learn to filter it, otherwise you can waste hours, or even days reading what hits your various social accounts
  3. You have to take note of who you are actually sharing you know who is reading each of your Facebook updates...check the settings, set up groups for the various types of posts you make. Understand how the rules work and post appropriately for the people you are targeting
  4. Make sure that each of your various accounts links back to you...your social reputation scores via  site like Klout and Kred are becoming increasingly important, and they are available to your future potential employers or customers
  5. Our world is changing, and rapidly, if we don't pay attention to being "social" we run the risk of being yesterday's news
  6. Be yourself and always tell the truth, if you don't, there will be someone out there who will catch you out
  7. The six degrees of separation no longer exists, there are probably one 1 or 2 degrees of separation between you and any other socially connected person on the planet (in truth, they probably don't even need to be socially connected themselves, they just need to know somebody who is)
  8. Be nice to your connections....if you like what they are saying, comment, or indicate that you agree with them. If they share something interesting on Twitter, retweet...this all helps their social reputation scores, and hopefully they will repay the favour!
We all need to be using social media, but we need to use it in such a way that enhances rather than depreciates our social reputation.  

So here I am...
Twitter - @kirstiemagowan

1 comment:

  1. Kirstie what a lovely post. It is so rare to find people far enough along in their life where they are willing to be so authentic, gracious and truly thankful.

    Reading, "after I attended Chris Dancy's session at Fusion 10", I was a bit shocked, I had forgotten that I met you there, two years is a very daunting number now a days.
    Collective our hyper bubble industry of IT Service Management folks, everyone's opinion's evolved so very much in that time.
    I think it's fair to say Dancy's World would not exist had it not become the collective obsession to watch my online behaviors and "copy" them.

    It's great that you mention #BACK2ITSM on Facebook. That group reflects real life as I see it existing in a few years.
    Online digital personas (NOT HUMANS) interacting in a place that blends their professional (an idea we need to lose) lives with their work lives.

    People choose to talk about things that are outside the scope of a myopic bubble profession. You would not see videos about the future of robotics next to someone announcing the birth of a niece on the same thread as someone asking for help with Service Level Agreements in any other format on the web globally.

    #BACK2ITSM has had such grief from our friends in the UK on what it should or should not be. So often in a digital existence, definition is time, place and community context.

    I do fear that digizens that are not capable of making the transition to a group like back2itsm will literally not understand how to function in the enterprise of 2020.

    When you typed, "I actually do know stuff that people want to read about" I almost spit my soda out.
    Your blogging has changed the face of sharing IT opinion, with it's elegance and grit, I actually thing you might be the most prolific IT blogger on the planet. Hurry and believe in you like I do.

    I'm about to unleash "EDIT 10: You Happy Puppet" unto the world, it's time people come out of the collective digital closet and understand, that a digital augmented social persona is the farthest thing from human as possibly definable.

    Investing time in your "klout" was my way of sharing with as many people as I could reach, in as many parts of the world, a truth I didn't think they were ready for yet.

    When online, consuming, creating, collaborating, curating, you are not human, you don't act human, and the rules that govern your behavior have made created monsters and God's in every part of the Internet.

    I spent this weekend at a conference in Palo Alto called "Quantified Self" 2012.

    Now a days so much of what we do "socially", "medically" and at work is also being quantified at a rate that was impossible two years ago.
    The conference keynote was a young lady who was wearing a modified eeg system linked to LED lights. As she "beamed" with joy on different topics, she actually beamed.

    This type of sharing, is so important to understand. People pontificate about the generational differences in the work place, what we are seeing today, is much more than a 20 year difference in age, we are seeing people who don't understand permanent, over-sharing or groupthink. They just aren't plugged in, they are the energy.

    For the record, Boomers are more like what we consider gen y to be than gen y actually is.
    The conference is full of PHD's, Medical Doctors, and CIO, CEO, CTO came to Palo Alto to talk about the next stage of sharing, sharing at the atomic level.

    Kirstie you have been very authentic and open about your background and not being a "traditional" IT person, which is funny, I often sign posts and social channels with "You're in IT, act like it", you may not be in IT, but man is it in you.