I’ve been professionally writing for most of my life. In 2004 or so, I bet big on daily blogging, and found a lot of success in the prairie days of the early, roughshod, internet. Years before that, I was writing for paper and online magazines.
One thing I missed in my dedication to longform writing was the initial wave of mixing traditional work with social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. So what I did, in effect, was to give over control of the discussion of my articles to the wild internet where — through back channel conversations of which I was not aware — my work was being discussed and evaluated.
Boles Blogs readership has remained vibrant and steady throughout the years and, lately, we’ve even been growing lots of Followers and LIKErs. All numbers are up across the board, so I wasn’t searching for a cause — or even begging a reaction — concerning our direct-response comments flow.
Funny that people didn’t want to login using Twitter to comment on my articles here, but they were perfectly fine “discussing my work” on Twitter while logged into Twitter. I understand that meme-shift, though. Commenting here is participatory. Starting a new Twitter stream makes you a publisher. It’s all about dynamic control and perception. You fight that sort of back-channel co-opting by being there and being alive and watching and responding.
The remedy for that missed meme was to not just propagate new articles into Twitter and Facebook, but to be more proactively lively in the Social Mesh to make more of a difference and to be more easily found.
With the rise of Google+ Pages Vanity URLs, I now realize how much catching up I have to do — even though the Twitter ride and Facebook stream seem to be slowing down and drying up — and that’s frustrating because I was high on the first tide of Google Wave, and when Wave died, I stepped back and let the new media radicals take over the thought streams where 140 characters trumped 1,000 hard-written words.
Now that I have a sharp tool like Sprout Social to help me mend my social mesh, I can still post my blog work, while also keeping the sidebar of this blog alive with shorter, shared, thoughts punctuated with new images.
In fact, I’m having a bit of a spat with someone on Twitter right now as I write this article. The person is responding to my recent Tweet about horrible “singer” Susan Boyle’s new Christmas album:
We used to have that sort of soap-bars-in-a-bag beatings here on the blog in the comments flow, but social media is now the place to mix it up and fire rockets and burn tantrums.
Now, as I catch up a bit to the meme waves, I have to look more closely at the next social meme and try to not only anticipate it, but join in early as well. Is The Next Big Thing going to be Google Glass? Or something else? My guess is the “constant on” that Glass provides is key to what’s next. Glass is the evolution of YouTube — into MeTooTube — where nothing gets edited and your entire life becomes a streaming, but Google-searchable, channel.
I can’t imagine SnapChat is the next thing — other than being a pretty, bursting, bubble. I realize a $3 billion offer from Facebook disagrees with me, but the self-centered among us seek immortality and longevity and SnapChat erases righteous moments and purposefully disappears the intellectual mound. A toy is fun in childhood, but the adult only looks back on the toy as an oddity and a reminiscence and never something to be used as future mechanism of profitability and desire.
I’m not thrilled with the idea of “going live” all the time, but I also don’t want to be a Luddite, living in the past, and rankling on about paper books and AOL and CompuServe while the very ground beneath me is shifting and twisting into hurricanes and death-delivering tornadoes that will just as quickly pass-you-by as kill-you-where-you-stand — if you don’t move or join the whirlwind.