My Social Sharing Manifesto

I have perpetual guilt about social media and using it for "tribe" building. If I don't post and constantly try to build followers I feel like I am a lazy lout who is missing a huge opportunity. If I do post, I question whether I am just another annoying person sharing nothing of value or help.


So... at the risk of fulfilling what I am actually not wanting to do, and annoying any reader that happens to be bored and takes a peek at this, I am going to work out right here and now, where exactly, I hope, I stand on all of this.

What do I want? In terms of my work, which I don't really think of as work, but let's call it that. I want to be involved with, and foster small, collaborative, collectives, communities that build neat things. I want to connect with like minded people that want to do stuff. Work together. Share ideas. Connect. And get things done. On a purely personal note I like to share fun photos, good jokes, and great vacations and meals with my family and friends, and I like it when they do the same with me. I don't think my work community wants to see, or hear, all of that noise.

What don't I want. To view cats, watch profile picture changes on a daily basis, follow every persons location check in when I have no personal connection with them, actually even when I do, I don't care if you just had a coffee at Tim Hortons (Canadian thing if you don’t happen to be from here), or watch the diarrhoea of posts that companies spew because someone decided that they must produce 1 post a day, a week, or whatever it is. regardless of whether they have anything to say or not. True confession. I have done all of the above. Which is exactly why I feel bad about carrying on with it!

What I am unsure about. Sharing my world views on politics and society. I think these things need to be said but I have always wanted to keep world views out of my work because of the disruptions it could cause, and trepidation with not wanting to get into it with anyone. I could state them personally but I don't really have a work / personal separation. I am my work and my work is me. No, I don't think that is a problem. I actually think it is a problem the other way round. But back to my point. I think I have been a wimp in this regard. I think I need to be clear about what I believe in, and when called for, speak against injustices and wrongs and stand up for what is right and fair, but not in a hateful, screaming and derogatory way. We are all tired of that.

Given all of the above I think my "sharing" manifesto now boils down to the following:

Publicly share what our business does and where it is going when that information could be helpful to others. Don't broadcast spam how awesome, marketing speak, jargon, jargon, we are. No matter how big the urge.  And don't push stuff out just because the schedule says I have to. Share when there is something good to share!

And then from my personal perspective on work, management, software, life, whatever, publish what I learn and what I think might be helpful to others.

When needed speak against injustices and wrongs and for what is right and fair. Strong emphasis on "when needed". I have no political aspirations and I hate it when people slam me with their world views, evangelical style. So no, don't worry, I won't be screaming from a soapbox every chance I get, however, I need to side with what is right way more often than my, don't rock the boat, I'm Canadian you know, mode.

And then on a personal note, share with friends and family the photos, vacation destinations, kid celebrations, fantastic meals, and that sort of thing. And keep it to family and friends. They'll put up with it. I hope. I don't think anyone else will, or should.

If I do the above I think I can hopefully provide value to those that are interested in what we do, share what I have learned, and maybe others will find it useful, and when called for throw my voice in to try and make the world a better place. Hey, I think I defined my Sharing Manifesto. The angst is already disappearing.

So this now begs the question. Where and how do I share this stuff?  

I hate to admit this but I don't get Twitter. Never have. For the same reason I don't get LED Tickers, and one part of our business makes a heck of a lot of money selling them. I appreciate that people do love a running stream of text kind of stuff, I just don't, I don't see how I can consume anything meaningful, when I have time to consume, when everything is flying by, especially in 140 character snippets. Nope, Twitter isn’t where I will park myself.

Facebook has pushed me over the edge. Yes, I have an account. Yes, I open it when I absolutely have to. Look at whatever I am supposed to look at. And then get out as fast as I can. See comment about changing profile pictures, coffee at Tim Hortons, etc. etc. above.

LinkedIn. Never really got into it. No idea why. Yes, I have a profile up there but that’s just a placeholder. I don’t really ever go there unless someone asks me to connect. And of course, when I say yes, and then LinkedIn pushes that list of everyone you ever knew and suggesting you connect with them, I of course scroll the list, just to see who I actually do know and where they ended up. And many page downs later I realize I spent 10 minutes of my life I will never get back and I abruptly close that tab in disgust till the next time it all happens again. So LinkedIn isn’t my medium, it just doesn’t fit with me.

And then there is G+. It is frickin awesome. Full of communities that actually share things that are of value. At least once a day I go, wow, I didn’t know that, I can use that, we can build on that, we should make that available to our community, and the list goes on. And, all of the goofy family dog photos, hey look at the snow that just fell up north, and the picture of the leaves in High Park that I just like for whatever reason, I can share with my favorite circle “Family” and nobody else has to put up with my drivel. And every photo or video I take on my phone just automatically finds it’s way into my library. So easy... I like G+! I know, I know. Even my kids think I have joined a Google Cult. But I haven’t drank the kool aid that far.

G+ is awesome. But don’t kid yourself. It belongs to Google. It is their repository. Their brand. It isn’t mine, and it is difficult to browse if you ever want to review your diary, pick something out and highlight, and all of things that happen when you use someone else’s social service and not your own.

So I think I will go for the compromise. I will continue to keep my brand,, share my thoughts on my site, my domain, but I will also post them on G+. And of course my blog posts to Twitter without having to think about it, so why not, I’ll post there too. But what I will do extra, is post my blog text, in its entirety on G+. With the hope of connecting with others that have similar interests. Let’s face it, G+ has way better distribution than my tiny little blog.  I’ll keep my blog as my personal diary, my brand. If I do this I think I get the best of both worlds. And then I will of course look for what’s of value to my work and share it with our community on G+ and my personal adventures with Friends and Family at the same place. I love being able to pick my circles and choose who sees what. So civilized!

Thanks for the patience while I work out my sharing manifesto. Hopefully it helps someone else figure out their sharing angst.