Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Choosing between Social Media automation and Reflective Use

Thanks to the Ol'daily my attention got grabbed by an article from Elsua (Luis Suarez - an KM/IBM social media pioneer). In his reflective blogpost on the industrialization of social media in the enterprise. His words rang a bell, as I am also caught between automating my (not corporate, but as I see it my personal brand) social media stream, because I feel I am not putting out as much as I want to. But after reading his blogpost, I realized the output is not why I started using social media, it is indeed the conversation, the network, the exchange of ideas ... the dialogue. I need to meet with others, discuss ideas, meet new viewpoints, feel what is out there to grow myself or at least to see other directions. Some poignant issues raised by Elsua:

Why do we have to keep up with that constant urge towards busyness (and bursting online activity) vs. pause, reflection and adding relevant value where it may apply into the overall conversation? Haven’t we learned that social networking tools are just not another marketing channel, but purely a conversation amongst peers on a common interest and with a strong urge to connect further along? Have we forgotten how for a conversation to take place out there in digital channels both parties need to be present and for real? providing value and being silent are two sides of the same coin, that is, you

He is hitting the nail on the head. Without reflection, there is no innovative insight, no grounded argument, no linkage to the past that can provide food for the future. 

Another point he raises is the fact that some of us knowledge workers decide to go for automated online presence (I for one simply send my twitter feeds to Facebook, but I am scarcely on Facebook myself apart from sporadic conversations with Facebook friends that are not in my other social media networks... so sometimes I wonder is this the right way?). Luis links this choice to be present online even though it is only automated to the feeling of abandonment which we cannot accept. We rather 'fake' a minimal online presence, then show that we are no longer 'out there'. Again, this feels so true. But then,  for me, I want to keep my network alive. 

Like Luis, and many of us, our blogs seem to stand even if other media are sometimes put on a low frequency output. My blog is what keeps me going, is my valuable knowledge archive, even a bit like my life's tracker (well in a small, but still a meaningful way).  So I agree with him, it is better to be silent at times and stay real, connect on a frequency that suits the personal possibilities, than to be out there without soul, without focus. Having said that... back to the writing board in getting a research ethics pack together... should write about that tomorrow... maybe, sure feels real.