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My Social Media Resolutions for 2009

December 31, 2008

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The Internet is filled with end of year reviews, highlight articles, and wrap-ups. Predictions for what will and won’t happen in 2009 are also a popular topic for bloggers this time of year. There’s plenty of nostalgia and speculation out there already – I don’t know how much I would add that hasn’t already been said. Instead, I’ll focus this post on something that I can control – my social media resolutions for 2009.

The parameters of these resolutions are simple – I have to be in total control of whether they happen or do not happen, they are realistic, and they’re somehow related to the work I do with social media.

  1. Blog more often – I know, I know, this is always on everyone’s social media “to-do” list. However, I actually mean it (and yes, I know everyone says that too).  When I started this blog back in October, I had one goal – to give me an external “home base” from which I could become a part of the social media and government conversation.  My goal for 2009 is to build on this humble base and collaborate with all of you in bringing social media to our government.
  2. Focus attention on things other than social media – As Andrea Baker and I have discussed before, I suffer from the fear of missing out.  There are SO many things I want to read, so many blogs I want to comment on, so many initiatives that I want to take on – I have to realize that I can’t (and shouldn’t) try to do it all.  I need to do a better job at doing what I can when I can, while still taking some time to go spend time with my family, go to the gym, and do things outside of work.
  3. Re-read the ClueTrain Manifesto – Whenever I feel overwhelmed or discouraged, I find myself going back to the 95 theses at the start of this book to get new inspiration for what it is that we do.  Business and government are changing before our very eyes – despite the social media world that I find myself caught up in, I realize that I’m still an early adopter.  I’m riding the wave of something entirely new that is fundamentally changing the way our government operates.
  4. Spend at least one hour each day reading about social media – I’m not sure when it happened, but reading, whether it’s blogs, books, newspapers, etc., became the first thing that got dropped when we all got too busy.  In 2009, I’m going to move reading back up my priority list and start dedicating time each day to my Google Reader, my stack of unread books, magazines, and Twitter stream.
  5. Turn more of my virtual connections into real-life ones – Om Malik had it right – Twitter followers aren’t really friends.  Following someone on Twitter or commenting on their blog doesn’t make you friends with someone.  I think we lose sight of that sometimes and forget that actually meeting people in person really helps develop and maintain that relationship.  In 2008, I’ve worked to develop “virtual” relationships with plenty of people from both the social media and government worlds, but in 2009, I hope to turn these connections from simple @’s, retweets, and comments to lunches, meetings, and phone calls.
  6. Use email less (internally) – One thing I’ve realized is that if I keep answering people’s emails, people will continue to send them to me, even if I explicitly tell them that they’re more likely to get a hold of me by posting their question/comment to my internal blog, contact me on Yammer, use my internal wiki page, etc.  I want to be the leader within my organization in getting folks to use email less and our internal collaboration platforms more.
  7. Proactively reach out to more senior leaders in my organization to teach them about social media – One of the biggest challenges that I’ve had in gaining buy-in for our internal social media efforts is that senior leaders often don’t understand how a blog will help them in their day to day life.  In 2009, I want to do more to illustrate the “What’s in it for me” to our everyone at my company, especially our managers.

I’m curious to hear what your social media resolutions are. Remember that you have to be in control of making them happen, they’re realistic, and that they’re related to the work you do with social media. Good luck!

*Image courtesy of Flickr user xmascarol

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