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May 6, 2009

Exploring Social Media: What’s in Your Bio?

Exploring Social Media article series badgeIn “Five Tips for Composing a More Effective Social Networking Bio” by Maria Langer of Maria’s Guides, she asks if your social media bio is really saying what you want it to say and makes a good point:

Your bio is your primary way to tell people who don’t know you what you’re all about. If they’re heard about you from someone else or stumbled upon one of your Twitter tweets or Facebook wall posts, they might be interested in learning more. They might even want to become your . . . wait for it . . . friend.

…Think of your bio as bait on a fishing line. Who will it attract? But, at the same time, how many people will ultimately be disappointed by the mismatch between what your bio says about you and who you really are?

She includes some basic tips for creating a virtual biography such as be brief, accurate, meaningful, careful with word choice, and avoiding really personal and private information, but let’s take the picture you paint of yourself online in these various sharing outlets a step farther.

What is most important for you to share publicly? read more

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November 4, 2008

Exploring Social Media Series

One of the Anderson Historical Family Farms in Wisconsin - copyright Lorelle VanFossenHanging on the wall in a family friend’s home is a quilt bearing the name of our grandmothers. Surrounding their names are the names of men and women from their community. Funds were needed for a community project so a quilt raffle was developed. Each participant embroidered their names onto flour sacks in this once agricultural community now lost to the time and the metropolitan expansion of Marysville, Washington, USA. All the flour sack squares were sewn together to create a simple and colorful bed quilt, padded with a left over blanket and backed by a bed sheet.

The quilt was displayed in the community center of the now lost village while community members spent what little money they had on raffle tickets, knowing it was going for a worthy cause. Her grandmother won the raffle and the quilt comforted the beds and the spirits of their family’s sick and cold children for decades, finally finding its way to her wall in honor of the past and community spirit that once thrived in a place covered with housing subdivisions where no one knows their neighbors.

For the village of Sunnyside and others around the world, community quilts were their social media tools and resources. Neighbors would get together in between long days of planting, harvesting, and familial responsibilities to chat and share stories and news over pieces of fabric.

Local bars served the same purpose, along with food and drink, to create a family away from family where people could be “themselves” and share their thoughts with others, often encouraged by the spirits. read more

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October 26, 2008

Define Social Media

As I described in Learning Blogging and Social Media in Hawaii, I learned a lot about the future of the web at the Social Media Club Workshop in Honolulu this past week as part of Hawaii Geek Week.

One of the biggest problems facing those who consult and train others in social media, as well as business that need to know about social media, is defining social media. What is it?

Many simplify the concept and say that it is Twitter and blogs, especially blog conversations and comments. Others offer complicated answers that have to do with building your online identity and brand.

The last few workshops and conferences I’ve been to, including Podcamp and WordCamp Hawaii, battled with the definition of social media and the role it plays in today’s business and economy.

What does social media mean to you? How do you use it? What is it doing for you? How do you define social media?

Exploring Social Media Series

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