Blogging About Blogging
I try not to get too meta on this blog, but I was having dinner with Amy Tenderich and her husband – who are in town for the Diabetes Research Institute conference tomorrow – and talked for a little bit about how to manage time on social networks.
I showed them the magic of Twitter on my iPhone – even got a handful of tweet replies when I asked people to say hello! – and I also shared some stuff that my clients had done on various social networks, like Facebook. I told Amy that I followed more than 450 people, and that just over 400 people follow me. Like most non-Twitterers, she asked me how I could possibly keep up with that many people.
A lot of it has to do with not keeping up. With being okay at missing certain messages and not reading all the blog posts because there simply isn’t enough time and if something really important does happen, you trust that you will eventually find out about it. Being in social media, there’s a lot of demand on knowing what the latest It Thing is. I spend hours on the Internet each day, and part of what I do is make sure I know what social networks are the coolest and what bloggers are the most influential. But the problem is that all of it is so dependent on what you’re trying to get out of it. The other day I read on a blog (forgive me for not knowing who, but if someone recognizes it, please tell me!) that people should not focus on being a part of every single social network and tool but instead identifying one or two things that work really well for you and focus all your energy on that.
Although this was advice given to people like me who are in charge of the reputation of our corporate clients, I think this applies to the diabetes world. There are so many social networks out there, so many blogs and website. It can be a real challenge to keep up on everything. It can get overwhelming and when you are dealing with a disease as overwhelming as diabetes I think it’s important to step back and take a look at what you are trying to get out of this online companionship. What are you most interested in, what do you enjoy most as it is? Do you want to be actively apart of debates and discussions – social networks like TuDiabetes.com and DiabetesDaily.com are probably the best place to go. Are you more of the quiet, lurker type? Reading a blog might fit better. Are you so busy that you don’t have time to do more than shooting out a few thoughts throughout the day? Try Twitter.
It’s okay if you don’t read all 200+ blogs in the Diabetes O.C. I certainly don’t. Most of the people I read are people I have built relationships with or are people who have commented on my blog. I also tend to focus more on adults with type 1 diabetes, versus parents or adults with type 2 but that’s simply because those are the people I relate best with. On my poll that I did last week, the vast majority of you are also type 1 diabetics which makes sense.
The point is, in the world of health 2.0 and social media, there are a lot of options. There are a lot of different ways of meeting and learning from people. You don’t have to join all of them to feel connected to people. But when you do choose something, try to really get involved with it. Take the time to craft your blog posts and you’ll get a better return on your time’s investment. Same with conversations on social networks. It’s impossible to be good at everything so be great at what matters to you and with the people who are making a difference in your life. That’s the best kind of social influence I can think of.