Hug a Social Media Curator!

(This post is the 4th part of a five part series about participation in the world of Social Media)

It’s a zoo out there!

I’ve got 45,000 unread emails, 1,750 unread notices in facebook, and countless tweets that come flying by me each day.

The Social Web is a crazy place.  Everywhere you look, “Creators” are busy creating content and “Consumers” are seeking the latest and greatest.  Who makes it all work?

The Social Media Curator.

The word Curator normally applies to a museum executive or someone who manages a collection.  Going back to when I studied Latin, it comes from the word cūrā, meaning to care for or attend to.

Social Media Curators care for and attend to the best of the Social Web.  They save us all time.  They make Web 2.0 worthwhile.

It’s time to hug a social media Curator!

When others click away from something they like and move on, the Curators among us share it, retweet it, bookmark it, list it, or forward it.  When they find people that serve niches, they follow them, list them, and introduce them to the world.

They are the only reason that my twitter stream and Flipboard app actually work. (hint, if you don’t “get” twitter, it’s because you don’t know any curators)

Without Curators, we are stuck digging through the billions of updates each month just to find something worth reading (besides family or celebrity updates).  With curators, the best of the best in our field rises to the top.

It’s time to thank the curators!

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Here are some different types of curators I’ve relied on.  Who are yours?  (Please share and I’ll check them out)

Like this article?  Check out  “Web 2.0 – Why Sharing is Caring”  or subscribe to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email

Social Comatose? Time for Sleeping Leaders to Awake!

(This post is the 2nd in a five part series about participation in the world of Social Media)

Any leader who hasn’t embraced the social web by now must be near retirement or in a coma.

Either that, or they’re in China.

I don’t have a problem with 90 year old retirees ignoring Social Media.  However, the rest of us will have to learn to live in a world that gets its news and information from the internet and the millions of blogs, tweets, updates, and posts that are shared each day.  They are the mail, magazines, and conferences of a new age.

The rise of Social Media cannot be ignored.

Last year I volunteered to form the social media program for a large healthcare association. The goal was to engage the membership, improve communication, spark collaboration, and let non-members know what they were missing.

As part of the plan we began discussing upcoming conferences, sharing pictures, and sharing ideas and best practices.  All good things.

However, there is always someone who doesn’t get it.

The CFO of a large healthcare system informed me that he was irritated about this change.  His entire group of employees (thousands of people) was not able to access the association’s information on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, but then he eagerly defended his policy of blocking all social media sites.  He didn’t want his employees wasting time.

He didn’t get it.

In reality, what he must have not wanted was informed employees, cutting edge information, reduced consulting costs, and free advertising or recruiting.  He was too afraid of letting go.

It looks like he’s in good company.

According to the the annual PwC CEO survey, only 57% of  CEOs indicate they will not “significantly change” their strategies to meet new realities of social media usage by their customers.  Even more disturbing, 10% of marketing leaders (the most educated on this topic) still indicate that social media is not important to their company.

They’re sleeping and won’t see the iceberg ahead!

Of the four types of participation on the social web, acting like you’re in a coma is the only one that I believe is wrong.

Here’s why:

So much information is available on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to help organizations be quicker, smarter, and faster.  Ignoring this information amounts to leadership malpractice.  Using healthcare as an example, just look at these Social Media tools that are available for:

No matter what industry you work in, there are similar resources.  If you know someone who is asleep at the wheel of a department, division, or organization, it’s time to wake them up.

The world has changed.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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The 4 C’s in Social Media Participation

There are only four ways of participating on the social web. You can choose to be:

Some people are Comotose, and will be shocked when they wake up to see what the world has become. Unfortunately, they may also be unemployed, uneducated, and behind the curve.

Consumers spend most of their time reading, watching, and consuming the materials that are made by the Creators and shared by the Curators. All three work together and are necessary.

Most have more than one role.

As part of my own development (and those I work with), I’m going to begin a series about each of these participation methods and how they fit together.  My first article will be a call for action to those in a coma.

It’s time to wake up!

Stay tuned!

Aaron@Biebert

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3 Behaviors that are “Social Selfish”

Yesterday I wrote that “Caring is Sharing” on the social web.

But what about someone who doesn’t share, like, or add to the discussions we all depend on?  What do you call it when someone takes in everything on the web, but doesn’t give back?

I call it being “Social Selfish” and I believe that it hurts everyone.

For the record, I think that we are all self centered sometimes when it comes to social media.  With too much to do and too little time to do it, something must get pushed to the side.  

Sometimes that means less give, and more take.

This post is not about those situations, but rather for those who have never commented or appropriately shared anything that someone else created.

Even though I believe that being “Social Selfish” is bad for everyone, I’m not convinced that people know that they’re doing it.  After all, Web 2.0 and Social Media are still gaining mainstream usage, and people may not truly understand what they’re doing.

To help explain these behaviors and how they hurt us all, here are three “Social Selfish” actions to think about:

1)      They see something amazing and don’t comment.

By not commenting or adding anything, they’re also not helping the material develop.

If a person doesn’t have anything great to add, a simple encouragement or acknowledgement is nearly as helpful.  It takes a lot of time to prepare material, and it’s nice to have encouragement.

For those of us who don’t advertise or promote products on our blogs, these thoughts we write or record are not-for-profit.  We’re spending our time sharing thoughts and ideas for different reasons.

For me, I love hearing new ideas, growing, sharing, and learning.  This community was built for that.  Your comments are payment for the hours I spend each week doing this.

2)      They see something amazing and don’t “Like” or share it (assuming it’s easy to share).

By not sharing, liking, retweeting, or similar action (validating what they think is great), they’re not helping it spread.

Not helping a great idea spread hurts everyone.  In many ways, Web 2.0 is like an information democracy where the best ideas are identified by how many times people share, like, or comment on the idea.  Not liking or sharing is similar to not voting for a leader you believe in.

If you like it, “Like” it!

3)      They take someone’s material and use it without giving others a chance to find the originator.

I frequently see people quoting other people in tweets or emails without crediting the originator’s name.  This hurts the advancement of good ideas and great thinkers, and makes it hard for people to collaborate with the originator.

One of the ways great ideas (and thinkers) advance is through discussions and interaction amongst those “in the room”.  Sharing a great idea allows that idea to gain momentum.  However, sharing the idea without giving credit makes it hard for real collaboration to take place.

We are all pioneers in the Web 2.0 world, and I humbly submit these thoughts for your consideration.  Since I personally have a lot to learn, I welcome any suggested additions or subtractions for the list (let’s discuss below).

Have a selfless night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Web 2.0 – Why Sharing is Caring

We need each other to make this work.

Instead of the one-way communications of the “old internet”, Web 2.0 is about each of us contributing to a much more interactive and informative network that consists of blogs, tweets, wikis, facebook posts, videos, pictures, and the comments and follow-up discussions that go with them.

We are the creators of the new internet.

The tools we use for the new web are called “Social Media” (think Social Studies, not Social Hour), and they have changed the world we live in.  Instead of sitting in a virtual “lecture hall” listening to a few websites do all the talking (think 1990’s), we are now all in a digital “convention hall” discussing amongst ourselves in one great conversation.

With such a level playing field, the new challenge is not the availability of information, but rather the hunt for the “good stuff”.

  • 30,000,000,000 items are shared each month on Facebook.com (official Facebook stats)
  • 2,890,000,000 tweets are posted on Twitter each month (official Twitter stats)
  • 200,000,000+ blogs had been started by 2009, with many more added each day (Technorati)

That’s a lot of content!

I have absolutely no idea how I would find the best of it without your help.  The content I need is a needle in a haystack without your sharing, liking, bookmarking, reblogging, commenting, and linking to it. Obviously search engines are part of the solution, but they need your help too.

That’s why “Sharing is Caring.”

Share something great tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Part 1: What is Social Media?

 

I’d like to start this series by defining “What is Social Media?”

The definition of social in this case refers to living within a community, not necessarily the fun or trivial type of social you might picture when thinking of parties.  Social means community. 

As for the word “media”, there is no clear definition of what makes a website or online service “social” and just like many concepts, it has taken on a life of its own.  However, one thing remains clear:  The rise of Social Media and the activity of “Social Networking” marks a fundamental change in how we use the Internet.

In the past, the internet was a tool you used to get information from websites in a one way fashion, from the website to you.  Now, the Social Media revolution has created a more social, collaborative, interactive and responsive web.  This marks a change in us as a society and the Internet as a technology.

Today, we aren’t just using the Internet as a tool — we are becoming a part of it.

What is Social Media? It is the group of tools that create the new web, the human web.

 

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.