A List of Objections, Replies and Concessions Regarding Social Media and Tools
1. I suffer from information overload already.
Try just skimming messages in some fora – you may need to look closely at every email you get but you don’t have to look at every Facebook friend’s update.
The right tools for you will feel helpful in time, not like a burden. Experiment for awhile with new tools and stick with the ones that deliver you the most high-quality information, whether those tools are high-quantity or not. (Thanks to Aaron Hockley and Ruby Sinreich for these thoughts.)
Check out tools like AideRSS and FeedHub – just two examples of services aiming to improve the signal to noise ratio.
Times change and so do information paradigms. Get used to it. The amount of information you had access to 3 years ago was infinitely more than people at any other point in history and we’re in the middle of another huge leap right now.
Concession: If you think consuming all this new information is a challenge, wait until you try to find the time to make sense of it! (Thanks to Nancy White for that thought.)
2. So much of what’s discussed online is meaningless. These forms of communication are shallow and make us dumber. We have real work to do!
Much of it is not meaningless, but if you feel overwhelmed with meaninglessness – try subscribing to a search for keywords in a particular service and using that as your starting point for engagement.
Having a presence and starting a conversation is rarely a bad thing – bring quality conversation to a space and you’ll find others ready to engage. (Thanks to Banana Lee Fishbones, obviously a fan of open, non-anonymous public communication 🙂 for this articulation.)
Personal information can be very useful in understanding the context of more explicitly useful information.
If learning how the market feels about your organization, engaging with your customers and driving traffic to your web work – all very realistic goals for social media engagement – aren’t work, then I don’t know what is. Even in the short term, strategic engagement with online social media will have a clear work pay-off.
Concession: The signal to noise ratio will be easier to maximize if you can find an experienced guide to learn from. Just jumping into social media and new tools on your own will not neccesarily lead to a meaningful experience. It could, but it will take longer.
Dont miss the whole post. Many of us, as Stephen notes, can add it to our arsenal of evidence and discourse as we go forward with planning.