Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Rant

Every year, it's the same thing: PC holiday greetings and terms (it's Christmas break people, stop trying to pretend otherwise), mass consumerism as a display of affection, greeting cards, Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving (it started earlier than that this year) and it goes on...

Now before you think I'm the Grinch who stole Christmas (a day late mind you) or a cane-shaking 90 year-old kvetching about the younger generations (I'm 22 folks), let me explain why all these things are bothersome.

I like gifts.

I like having an excuse to give people gifts.

I like the winter season--holidays and weather and all.

BUT I don't like what happens in the name of all of this gift giving...

Giving meaningless gifts just cause you can or you feel obligated (this is not a gift card rant though I suppose some of that logic applies).

Credit card debt.

Political correctness in the name of inclusion. (People have different holidays because they have different beliefs; we don't need to make it out to be all the same to demonstrate mutual respect.)

What was the point anyway?
If it's a season dedicated to showing people in your life that you care, there are plenty of other ways if you're broke. Cook a big friend and family dinner. Write a long letter to someone near and dear. Buy gifts when they make sense--as an inside joke or because it's something the person wants or needs. There's no reason to put yourself into debt to prove you care (and if your friends don't get it, get new friends).

If it's a season underscored only by potlatch and consumerism, maybe I am the Grinch.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What's the difference between a post and an article?

Yesterday I asked a question on Twitter. Today I'm still thinking about it.

I asked, What's the difference between a post and an article?

And here are the responses I got:

@fairminder (Jim Spencer of JBSPartners): research, focus, length, accuracy, supporting evidence, editing, revising, proof reading and sometimes a second pair of eyes

@LewisG (of bizsolutionsplus): Isn't a post something we place on a blog, often much shorter than an article which we find in traditional media or perhaps web site

@dJdU (Rich Hilliard): articles are forever, posts last only for the lifetime of their "container" (usually someone else's article)?

@jackhodgson (Jack Hodgson): good question. or "message" for that matter?

I asked the question because I had generally thought of posts as relating to blogs or online media and articles as relating to print or more traditional media forms. But sometime yesterday I found myself reading an piece online and I thought to myself, "this article is really interesting." I caught myself then wondering if this piece was also in print or if the publication was online only.

I considered the outlet to be an authority on the matter I was reading. So now I'm wondering if the answer is more subjective. Does the post / article distinction have less to do with the location of publication and more to do with the pub's authority or credibility?

What do you think?

Monday, December 17, 2007

With Twitter Down

I have no one to talk to directly; I don't have instant gratification for my fleeting thoughts. But perhaps that's not a bad thing.

Often times, the links I share through twitter, could also make interesting blog posts. Yet, because I've already shared them, I don't feel the need to write more than 140 characters about whatever the topic of the link was. (Note: I have no intention of creating all link posts--and if I ever do, please feel free to yell at me.)

Hopefully, with Twitter on hiatus, I'll write more shorter posts. Hopefully. Hopefully.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Social Media Buffet

I am one of those people that goes to a buffet with that gotta-eat-my-money's-worth mentality. Sometimes, I'm meticulous about trying each and every tasty looking morsel. Then other times, I pile on the usual favorites (i.e. mashed potatoes) and eat and eat until I'm so overstuffed I can't eat any more. Wait a second. Take a deep breath. Go back for thirds.

There are long periods of time where I avoid buffets all together--either because it's not worth the cost or because it's not healthy.

Social media is a buffet. With the best of technology and relationships, social media allows you to snack and sample (as Jeremiah Owyang suggested), over do it or skip it for more diet friendly options.

Eating healthy in social media requires a balanced diet of community engagement platforms (Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc) and real-time networking (i.e. human to human time). Knowing that, and putting it to good use are two different things. If social media is a buffet, I fall into the binge and purge pattern of social media consumption--interested, engaged, participating, overloaded--stop. Ignore it all for a little while. Start over.

This seems to be my natural pattern for social media--binge and purge. So I'm looking for good ways to maintain a steady level, while still leaving room for breaks and snacking elsewhere. It feels funny to structure social media into my day--it's not organic to plan for X amount of blog posts or Z amount of time on Facebook or Twitter, etc. What do you think?