20 Jan · Fri 2012
21 Dec · Wed 2011
You don’t have to do all of these, and you don’t have to become highly proficient at or addicted to any of them. But give one a try until you understand how it works and it’s providing you valuable information. If it seems like it’s not worth your time, you need to devote a bit more effort to find something/someone of value. You should be able to devote less than an hour a week to this and get a good payback on the time invested. And it an easy place to begin working differently in the new year.
- Open/revisit a Twitter account: Find at least 50 accounts to follow. Check the account twice a day. Add more interesting people/organizations to follow.
- Subscribe to a blog: Since you can do this in Outlook, there’s no excuse any more. Blogs are everywhere on the Internet. Do a Google search and put the RSS feed in Outlook. Don’t know how? Google that too.
- Start your own blog: There are several options for starting a blog, including one from Ag Comm Web Services. It’s easier than you think. And make it your resolution to add something to it at least once a week.
- Subscribe to a podcast: If you’ve got an area of interest, there’s a podcast (an audio/video blog) on that topic. iTunes has an entire section devoted to podcasts, but you can find them elsewhere. (Once again, Google is your friend.) And, you don’t need an iPod to listen to them. You can listen right on your computer.
-- Julie Kuehl
07 Sep · Wed 2011
In unfamiliar territory, it’s always a good idea to keep your eyes and ears open. Whether that territory is a foreign country or an online environment, there’s an existing culture that needs to be understood and respected. And learned from.
There will be accepted ways that people interact with each other. There will be courtesies expected. There will be topics considered in bad taste. There will be hot-button topics sure to bring a heated discussion every time. And people will reach out to the stranger, the new person unsure of themselves, and let them get away with faux pas that more native members would be chided for.
Like children growing, listening is a great place to start, but eventually you will want to, and be expected to, participate in the conversation. Because you’ve been listening, it should be an easy, comfortable step to take. You’ll know your way around and understand what people have been talking about.
There are many places to listen such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, etc. You don’t have to listen to all of them, but you should be listening. There are conversations going on about your area of interest and expertise - all currently without your interest and expertise. Like kids trying to describe things they don’t understand, sometimes the stories can get fanciful. Sharing your expertise can go a long way towards a better understanding. Which makes you a trusted source of information in their eyes.
-- Julie Kuehl