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Karen Martin and Beverley Ireland-Symonds promote the value of having effective communication skills for individuals, teams and organisations.
Monday, 20 September 2010

Twitter and Facebook – Do you consider the future?

I feel as if I’m still getting to grips with twitter. I love the opportunity to learn new things.  Yesterday I did some research on the Swedish voting system thanks to my friend Anders Sporring. Anders had tweeted that he was going off to vote that day and I was intrigued that the Swedes were voting on a Sunday – not something that we do in the UK

I also learnt a new word “pandiculation” – from Gary Day-Ellison, who I was chatting to for the first time.When he said that he was pandiculating I tried to find the word in an online dictionary to no avail and thought that perhaps it was a made up word.  However, Gary kindly sent me a link to the Quality Health website and the word certainly does exist.  For anyone who hasn't come across it before - it is a medical term for stretching and yawning at the same time – something I am more aware of my dog doing than of doing myself.

Of course I learnt lots of other things as I dipped in and out of twitter throughout the day (and half the night). At nearly midnight GMT I read a tweet from SmartaHQ that asked if there were any insomniacs out there who needed some business advice.  As I was still up I sent a request and was delighted to be sent some information on cold calling.

I’m not sure that I contributed very much beyond general chit chat about food, moving house, music, exercise – all topics raised by people in different parts of the world.  I chose to block a couple of people whose tweets were full of swearing because I think it's unnecessary.

I don’t express political or religious views, not because I don’t have them – simply because I don’t know who’s reading what I write and I can’t really be bothered to get into an argument.  Nor do I make negative comments about well known figures even though at times I’m sorely tempted to. I deplore the practice of both the famous and not so famous carrying out their private arguments in public. And why am I so cautious? Despite a natural tendency to outspokeness,  I've always been aware that once you've said something it can't be undone. That's especially true when something you've written is floating around cyberspace somewhere.

Some people still appear to think that it doesn't matter.  But that's being naive.  If in doubt readSusan P George's blog “Increasing demand for social networking in the job market.”  The blog asks whether social networking is a waste of time. It  makes the case that it isn’t,  citing the sharp rise in the importance of social networking in the job market. Whether you're looking for a job now or in the future or forming relationships to do business, there is an ever growing possibility that potential employers or business associates will look for information about you.  And it's not just being savy about your privacy settings, remember friends can also post information, photographs and forward your blogs and tweets.  Donna Svei makes a similar point in "How to Avoid the Top 10 Faux Pas Seen in Twitter Profiles" having investigated some of the words that people write in biographies and provides an excellent list of timely reminders of things that is unwise to include.

Of course it's up to each of us what information we share and the method we chose to do it.  No one can remain ignorant.  There is a lot of good advice out there.  I only have one suggestion

Tip: Look to the future, pause for a moment and proceed with care.

Thanks to the following people for providing me with the inspiration for this blog.


Anders Sporring said...

First of all, thanks for mentioning me in this post. Secondly, learning is one of the things that keeps me ticking, without it I wouldn't be anything. I learn at least 2-5 new things every day by hanging on Twitter and Facebook. There's a lot of smart people out there that every day, every hour share their knowledge in true Social Media Club Spirit: "If you get it, share it!"