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August 26, 2010 / Mervyn Dinnen

Connect. Engage. Share. Learn.

Sometimes I need to go back to why I got on to social media in the first place…remember why I love it so much and am, quite frankly, a little obsessed.

For me Social Media is all about 4 actions:

Connect

Engage

Share

Learn

And if you want a fifth, then it’s Entertain!

When I’m not getting those I get frustrated, I feel like I’m standing on a crowded platform with loads of people shouting at me. And I’m not happy. That’s when I want to rant.

Luckily I’ve made some great connections, a lot of whom I have now met offline, and I’m learning things from them all the time.

I did have a blogrant a few weeks ago about too many experts, too much white noise, and self promotion and broadcast replacing engagement. It was the way I felt at the time and I needed to get it down in writing.

Wasn’t the most popular post I’ve ever written (note to self…blog rants rarely are popular posts) but it was something I felt I needed to get off my chest. It’s my blog and I’ll rant if I want to.

Today I read three really interesting posts.

First up was an excellent blog from digital marketing expert Mitch Joel – The End of Conversation in Social Media – followed swiftly by Flip Chart Fairy Tales take on the same post Social Media – The End of Conversation.

From the titles it won’t be a surprise to learn that both conclude that there is little real conversation and debate in social media and blogs now.

Then there was Jessica Merrell (blogging4jobs) with a right old rant about the hard sellers, posers, underqualified, over-enthusiastic, and those that rely solely on their charm and good looks. I love reading Jessica’s blogs; I’ve met her a couple of times and found her to be sassy and smart and someone who tells it like it is.

It’s interesting when other people get frustrated to see how it impacts on their writing. Even in a rant there will always be something that gets you thinking. A view that can  make you question your own.

And what I’m thinking tonight is that more people need to get back and rediscover why they fell in love with Social Media in the first place.

Connect. Engage. Learn. Share…it’s what makes the platform work.

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7 Comments

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  1. Jessica Miller-Merrell / Aug 26 2010 4:46 PM

    Mervyn,

    Thank you for the mention. While I write for my audience, marketing, and clients, I do it (write) mostly for myself and because of my life situations and experiences. It keeps me honest and motivates me. What I have found through blogging and social media is that I am not alone in my thinking. There are others like us.

    In fact, I remember the first time I talked to Trish McFarlane, Steve Boese, and Shauna Moerke on the phone. It was like I was talking to myself at times and that was a wonderful thing. Being an HR/Social Media person who leverages these tools can be a lonely place but social media helped me connect with other great people who share my ideas and help me become stronger and firmer in my beliefs that this medium isn’t going away.

    Jessica

    @blogging4jobs

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Sep 1 2010 12:09 PM

      I agree Jessica, certainly the social learning aspects of social media and the way we are able to not only share ideas and information, but also to inspire each other with what we say and write, are reasons why I think the medium will not only grow, but will help provide the template for future learning and development.

  2. recruitingunblog / Aug 27 2010 2:36 AM

    Mervyn,
    This is a very good post. The majority of friends, fans, followers and connections rarely communicate. social media is largely a spectator sport with at most 5% of your network ever really communicating, and in probability, no more than 1% met or spoken to. This makes social media largely broadcast with a much smaller internal network that communicates.
    I would place Share at number 2 on your list. The first part of the relationship is giving help, advice, resource or opinion through your blog or other channels. You do so without expectation of return. I learn from many and hopefully give to a few. Don’t get disheartened if it is only a small number that actually engage.

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Sep 1 2010 12:15 PM

      Fair point Bill, there will be some relationships where the sharing will definitely come before the engagement. I also think that we will engage with different groups in different ways…certainly hobbies, interests, pastimes and passions (like football teams!) will help foster close engagement fairly quickly. The learning doesn’t have to be about our specific areas of work…we can enlighten each other about a whole range of things.

  3. HRMargo Rose / Aug 30 2010 7:52 PM

    Mervynn, for this reason, I am a huge fan of your blog. I’m a big believer of free speech. In The U.S. people protest, and speak their minds. They are supported by our first amendment rights.

    I love your blog, I also love Bill’s they are staples in my google reader. I also have both you, Bill & Wendy Jacob in my twitter Favorite Brits list so I can follow you exclusively.

    You are a precious gem of a friend. I appreciate your friendship more than you know.

    Sincerely,

    Margo Rose HRMargo
    http:/hrmargo.com

    • Mervyn Dinnen / Sep 1 2010 12:17 PM

      Thanks Margo! The platform has enabled me to not only connect with someone like you, but to share ideas and ultimately to meet! I firmly believe that we are in at the beginning, with endless possibilities available!

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