Chris J Powell

Social Media Monday – When Riding the Wave is Not the Best Idea

Several Months ago I had decided that for my own sanity it would be best to just “ride the wave” and see where things would take me.  I haven’t actively added any new Social Bookmarks or new Networks to explore but I wanted to consolidate and work on connecting with as many people and organizations as I could to ensure a real strengthening of my Social Networks.  The challenge of “just riding the wave” is that just like a ship…there needs to be someone at the helm!

It is funny how life tends to give you just what you need to be able to make the most out of what you have when you release yourself to the potential.  My efforts in Social Media and Social Networking (yes they are different) have been just like the Surfer’s quest for the perfect wave.  While I don’t pretend to have found my “nalu” yet…I have discovered that I am not alone in the quest…and have started to form some interesting bonds across the interwebz!

That is the beauty of working through the world of bits and bytes…there is no barrier and absolutely no restrictions on who or what will find you and your efforts interesting.  Embracing the future for me has effectively seen the traffic on this site double in the past 2 months, I have achieved my “early Network Goals” the most daunting of which was achieving 500+ LinkedIn Connections…but only have them be people that I have communicated with in a meaningful way at some point.  I now have 3-5 people per week connecting with me…I don’t need to search…they search me!

But why is it that I say “Riding the Wave” is not a good idea?  Is it not part of nature to “go with the flow”?  I would say absolutely not.  If I was to just “Ride the Wave” I would be perpetually stuck on the beach which in concept sounds good…the reality is…I am both “Master and Commander” and need to be at the helm to determine my own future.  I can not allow any one or anything to control my destiny!  It is my duty to myself and to my family to help shape and form that destiny into a legacy!

Social Networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ can tend to focus on and agenda that is their own…but despite a strangeness that comes from what Social Networks take from each of us (that little bit of anonymity and a lot of personal privacy) there is a real option (for those who choose to) to start to reverse things and take control of what is the “Social Destiny”.

Regardless of if you or your company are new to Social Networking and Social Media…take some time and plan what you want from the experience.  Doing things just because everyone else is, is like riding the wave…and it is not fun having the 100ft wave come crashing down on you because you were ill prepared for the experience!!!

I leave you with a final parting thought on this the day that North America celebrates the contributions of the “working class” yeah you know…people like you and like me who bust their humps every day to make a living:

 “Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” – Jay Baer, Convince & Convert

Chris J Powell

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