Examining the ongoing challenges of delivering high-quality, value-added ERP services in Higher Education.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Taking Stock of 2013: Part II: Social Media

As I started drafting this blog, I was feeling pretty smug about my social media activity during 2013. 

Then I downloaded an archive from Twitter and re-examined my year. Only 893 messages (including re-tweets) for the year. Peaked at 188 in September (courtesy of frenzied activity at Oracle Open World) and I’m not sure what happened to me in May, when I managed a measly 29 tweets (less than one per day!) My goal coming into the year was 2,000 tweets, a completely arbitrary figure that was just slightly off the mark… I spend both ends of my daily commute, all elevator rides, and a few too many other stolen moments catching up on my feed… How the really active guys – those with 100K tweets to their name -- keep up their pace, I’ll never understand. Maybe I’ll set the bar at 1,500 and see how it goes.

My other goal for 2013 was to reach a total of 400 followers – another arbitrary figure, one that teetered within reach since September; the ebb and flow of followership teased me for months, as I’d hit 399 on Monday, get a notification of new followers (yay!) only to find that my total had dipped to 398. But as of today the meter reads 411, at least half of whom are actual human beings.

Nothing against the brilliant technologists and leaders I follow, but Faces in Things (@FacesPics) often makes me laugh aloud in public – hands-down the best follow I made in 2013. I realize that this account in many ways justifies the common conceptions of Twitter’s inanity, but the facts are the facts – no other feed makes me look at the world so differently, seeking the eyes and smiles in everyday spaces.

More seriously, what amazes me most is how I can learn so much and derive consistent value from Twitter and yet utterly fail to convince any colleagues, direct reports, or friends to engage. There are a thousand IT professionals at my organization and my guesstimate is that only 10% have Twitter accounts and barely 5% are active. For me, this is a strong proof against the long-term viability of the Twitter business model… I’m glad they raised so much money in their IPO, enough to keep Twitter around for a few years in case that business model never coalesces!

The final dimension of social media to consider in recapping 2013 is this blog... Every year I tell myself that this is the year that I'll commit to blogging. Really commit. Blog daily, attract a following, maybe a book deal. I set a target to blog once weekly -- 52 total posts. This should be an entirely realistic goal -- think of all the prolific bloggers in this world who post daily (or more)! But alas, my discipline wasn't there. Only 35 blogs for the year... I hang my head in shame and renew the same target for 2014. Let's do it!


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