Monday, July 19, 2010

Social Rage - Part 1

Man, been a while but it's like riding a bike. Once you've fallen a few times, scraped a few body parts, you just get back on like it was yesterday.

I've been busy with life. I got married, became slightly more important with a new profile at work, expanded my horizons, even got a new pet in between. The only thing that I realized had not changed was that I am considered an ancient when it comes to blogging.

Let me elaborate...

So when in Karachi a few months back a colleague of mine and I decided to setup a mini ad hoc blogger meetup, I wasn't sure what to expect, how to prepare or even what to take along. I did the next best thing, which was to take everything I could (giveaways, etc), a sample item from one of my CSR initiatives, a few printed copies of our corporate profile and my team. It started off okay, but that could have been because of the free snacks and shakes (or as one of the guests put it - you feed, they come).

Nevertheless, the idea was to extend ourselves to the 'blogging' community - to which I considered myself an Alien/new-comer since I haven't really 'blagged' seriously for a few years. The evening passed on, more food was consumed, more time was spent yapping away about how we would like to do this, that and the other from a corporate perspective but would also like to engage the community at large in ways that appeal to them.

After everyone left (some 3 hrs later), I spoke to a good old friend of mine, who also happened to attend the event. She gave me some feedback that I wish I had gotten prior to the event. However, what I reminded myself was that no way is the wrong way, just make sure you learn from each experience and improve each way as you progress.

Not only had I felt I missed the boat, I also jumped on the micro-blog bandwagon and left old school blog posts to the younger generation. See, I started blogging back in 2001 but I can't for the life of me remember the name of the hosting domain. I shifted over to blogspot a few years later and slowly life got busier and blogging just seemed to fade away.

I opened my first Facebook account back in 2004 - when it was limited to college networks, mine being one of the few on the panel before it became a public gathering for all the worlds personalities to come and 'digitally network'. Twitter was a recent phenomenon for me - July of '09 so the month is still etched in my brain. In between I remember something about having an Orkut account (while in college), but that only lasted a couple of years because of some constant privacy issues. Good effort though and certainly a model considered by Mark and co while developing 'the face book'.

The general idea for me was to increase my knowledge of each portal by becoming a member. Strangely, many people have many reasons for being at the networks we choose (of all the thousands available). Yet, Facebook has somehow managed to become the benchmark for all social networking, followed by twitter, youtube and LinkedIn in second, third and fourth place respectively. The rest just get lost in the dirt.

What I never imagined was that companies would also then consider the importance of these 'communication tools', as it were, and offer jobs for people to sit and 'blog' or 'tweet'. It's like getting a job as a game tester at EA Sports or Rockstar Games (a job I almost got long time ago!). As I sit here writing my new testament for taking blogging seriously again, I do so with the idea that I am connected everywhere with a profile on LinkedIn, a YouTube account, a twitter account, a facebook profile (private so bugger off!), a Google Buzz account as of late and now even a rejuvenated blogger account (under consideration for migration to wordpress).

Off all the accounts, the one I am still not comfortable publicly sharing is my facebook profile - even though I have water-tight viewing rights for non-friends, limited profile viewing enabled, etc etc...could it be that the privacy issue had an impact on me? What have I got to hide? Who am I running from? I mean...after all, every one of these accounts is integrated with the other, so what's the big deal? I mean, if I decide to run for President, I'll have to google myself a hundred times (using different search strings) to make sure there is no incriminating evidence floating in the 'world wide web'.

Something to think about? We will touch upon other elements of Social Rage next time. Until then, follow me on twitter and retweet my posts or i'll limit your viewing rights on my FB profile and post a video response to your digital blasphemy, condemning you for all googleternity!

Cheers :)

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