Location, location, location!

March 26, 2010 by  

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This is me…if I lived in New York…and didn’t have a car…and had wicked facial hair.  I’d be on my phone while biking. For a while I was good about not doing this while driving (thanks to this video, definitely watch it, but be warned it’s graffic). But to my wife’s strong disapproval, I still sneak it in.

I’m that guy that always has to have my phone in my hands. And not for the calls! Not even for texting! For Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, ESPN and my latest compulsion: Checking in.

It’s location-based social networking. I know some of you barely get the idea of social networking as it is and now I’m talking about this.  In some ways, the addition of real world location might actually make social networking easier to grasp and in some ways, it might make it harder.

so·cial net·work·ing: a combination of websites, desktop and mobile applications that allow users to connect and share*

As the use of social networking has evolved, networks have begun to focus around ideas, concepts and niches. In a previous post I quoted a friend who said, “LinkedIn is for people that I’ve worked with. Facebook is for people I knew in school and growing up. Twitter is for people that I want to know.” MySpace is now, and originally was intended, to be more focused on music. YouTube, videos. Ustream, live shows. Flickr, photos. Each having competitors and imitators.

Location-Based Social Networking

The newest hype in social networking is centered on location (Twitter just added that option). GPS-enabled smartphones really opened the door to new kinds of interaction, interaction in the real world! It was a logical jump. One of the best parts of Twitter for me was the tweetups. In fact, I’ve read that location-sensitive devices in combination of location-based advertising has been in the plans of Google & Microsoft for years. Two frontrunners have appeared in this arena: Foursquare & Gowalla. The idea basically is, as you are out, use these apps to send out a status update about the places you go to and the things you do. If you go to dinner to your favorite local spot, check in and let people know. Leave tips. Leave reviews.

Foursquare

If you follow the rule that states, “It is better to be first than it is to be better,” then this is where you hitch your wagon. Foursquare was really the first out of the gate and they have a great deal of backing. What helped it really catch on was that it is basically a game. You get points for when you check in. You get points for when you add a spot or leave a tip. Those points add up and earn you badges: Newbie, Wanderer, Local, Super User, etc. It’s 100% a gimmick to get you to use it and the genius is that it works. It works even to the point that people cheat to get these virtual awards!

Likes:

  • Badges, Awards & Achievements: Trust me it gets you going when you get these virtual enticements. It almost feels like life became a video game!
  • Lots of Users: Not having enough people to interact with will kill a social network (just ask Google Wave), and Foursquare has the moment.
  • Integration: I love having the ability to pass my activity on to my Twitter or Facebook. I love that there is an app on Android as well as the current mobile app king, iPhone (sorry Blackberry). **Update: Foursquare just added a Windows Mobile 7 App!

Dislikes:

  • Logo: It’s ridiculous that I care, but I hate the purple ball and the teal-ish/bluey square. They recently updated the Android app which gave it a much needed facelift.
  • Address Based or Worse: Foursquare locations are tied to addresses and that causes some inaccuracy on the map. If someone adds a location and takes the time to add the right location, then it’s better, but if they just slap the minimum info, it can be off.

Gowalla

In Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell tells us that if the right people wear penny loafers they’ll explode as the new fashion. The right person for me was Gary Vaynerchuk and the shoe was Gowalla. I can’t say definitively which is better but there are some things Gowalla has done better than Foursquare.  Same basic idea in a little bit prettier package in my opinion. I like Gowalla’s categories and icons better.  I like that it is seems to be tied to GPS coordinates rather than street address which is more accurate (think about the distance between stores in big shopping centers or malls).

Likes:

  • Achievements, Trips, Goodies: Ultimately it’s all still virtual and a whole lotta nothing but I like some of the enticements of Gowalla. Particularly, I like the trips feature, brings in a little more geocaching/treasure hunt to the experience.
  • Accuracy: As I mentioned, it appears that Gowalla goes off of exact GPS coordinates when mapping spots.
  • Integration: Still have the ability to pass my activity on to my Twitter or Facebook. Gowalla did start with apps for all three major mobile platforms, iPhone, Android and Blackberry, which I’m happy about for my Crackberry friends!

Dislikes:

  • Users: There’s not as many users which means it could die off.
  • Phone Numbers: I like that Foursquare has the ability to add phone numbers for the locations, and so far I haven’t seen where Gowalla does that.

The REAL Game

Somebody might call me out and point out the Yelp has been around for while doing the same thing. Yes and no. Yelp and competing sites are review sites. Sure it’s a narrow distinction but I’m pretty sure Foursquare is feeding reviews into Yelp!

You: What?! You mean I’m being tricked into crowdsourcing reviews for other companies?!

Cynical Me: I think so! How’s it feel to be a pawn? Do you like your completely fabricated rewards?

Real Me: Ehh…Who cares! That’s great! Good for them! Pretty creative! I get out of it what I want from it and so I can’t complain. I benefit from those reviews too!

What do you think? Do you use either of them?

Mobile Blogging…Literally

February 23, 2010 by  


So I’m lying in bed, writing this post, while listening to the new Ok Go album, all from my phone! It’s ridiculous how much of a fanboy I am of the Motorola Droid! This picture…got the link while doing all this! It’s called multi-tasking…take that iPhone!

YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, ESPN, Google Reader, Google Buzz, Gmail, Google Maps…basically everything Google. All from my phone! I’m one of those guys that basically needs internet access pumped directly into my bloodstream and the Droid is my IV. Yes, I know I’m an addict.

Being a Verizon-Loyalist/AT&T-Hater, I envied all the capabilities and apps the iPhone had. I waited year after year for the iPhone to come to Verizon, but it’s still “next year”.

With Android, I finally have an app-friendly phone! So many cool apps! My favorites:

  • Qik- Broadcast video straight from your phone to Facebook, YouTube & Twitter
  • PhoneMyPC- Access & control your computer from your phone
  • WorldTour- Changes the background on my phone to live images around the world: Times Square, the Pyramids, the Effiel Tower, Boston Harbor, Sydney Harbor, etc.
  • Rhapsody Beta- They finally released a beta for the subscription music service that I love! I can listen to anything, anytime, as many times as I want!

So far I’ve convinced two guys from work to get a Droid. I wish I had to disclose endorsements or getting paid for any of the products I’ve mentioned but, unfortunately, I am not being paid for any of this! If any of the aforementioned companies want to pay me I would be glad to offer my endorsement!

P.S. This post was written on the new WordPress app!

How & Why Build a Twitter Resume

April 22, 2009 by  

“Twitter, Twitter, all you write about is Twitter! What has Twitter ever done for you?”

Well…I got a job! For those experiencing the joys of unemployment in this economy, you understand, that’s no small thing!

Job Hunt in ’09

The job search today has changed evolved.  While putting your resume on a t-shirt might be “cute”, it’s probably not the most effective tool out there. However, the internet has introduced so many tools (listing services, resume tools, networking sites, etc.) that it’s hard to know where to be.  

I say the job search has evolved because, while we have all these shiny new tools, the fundamentals of finding a job remains the same: convey your value to employers searching for talent. Over and over I learn that, even though credentials and experience are essential, often actually finding a job is, “more about who you know that what you know!”

The People You Want to Know

Looking back at the best career moves I’ve made, all of them came, not through an application on Monster or even a headhunting recruiter, they’ve come through connections: people I knew growing up, knew from school, church, or work. Some individuals are fortunate enough to have vast personal networks they’ve gained from business school, or well connected families.  Some are not. Have you ever thought about how small your world truly is? For some of us, it can be depressing how few people we interact with on a regular basis. Extending beyond that circle of friends and acquaintances can be difficult.

Enter Twitter.

I’ve shared this quote from my friend Jordan Brown (@jordanbrown) before, “LinkedIn is for people that I’ve worked with. Facebook is for people I knew in school and growing up. Twitter is for people that I want to know.”  That is a good portion of why I use Twitter. I’ve been able to build out a Twitter network that extends to every point on the globe and into tremendous varieties of lifestyles and expertise.

With the coming of Oprah (@oprah) and the hoopla surrounding Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) hitting a million followers, Twitter is on the cusp of widespread adoption by the mainstream. There has already been enough marketers spammers gaming Twitter for the most followers. The prospect of even wider reach will only exaserbate the problem. The question becomes increasingly important: “Why should I follow you?” 

How to Use Twitter Favorites as a Twitter Resume

Everyone has their criteria that they run through to determine who is follow-worthy: number of updates, followers, first page of tweets, link & bio. Here is a tip I picked up that might help from online media strategist, Ari Herzog (@ariherzog):

Step One: Mark all tweets that endorse you with the “favorite this update” feature. Anything thats shows the value you provide to your followers, highlight the star. 

The tweets that you’ve favorited are accessible to anyone who visits your profile. A page full of recommendations makes the decision of whether or not to follow you a little easier.  I like this because it makes meaningful #followfriday mentions more valuable. This isn’t a widely known practice and it’s probably going to be overlooked unless you specifically draw attention to it.

Step Two: Promote your favorites page either in your bio or in your Twitter background. I recommend using your Twitter background so you can maximize the limited characters in your bio, particularly since that text is searchable.

What other things do you look for when deciding to follow someone?
Is this something that would help persuade you?

Update: If you are going to go creative with your resume, don’t do a t-shirt, do something like these:
30 Artistic & Creative Resumes

Photo by SOCIALisBETTER

Don’t use the URL shorteners! Here’s a nice short URL to this post: http://ryanscottmiller.com/u/a

The Twitterization of Facebook

March 16, 2009 by  


Kicking & Screaming
: It seems like Facebook is going
to compete with Twitter whether it’s 100′s of millions of
users want it or not!

@joelcomm: 8 million Twitter users is nothing compared to 160 million Facebook users. Yes, it’s big. But you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet.

Facebook has made some curious moves lately:

Facebook homepage redesigned with statuses front & center.
Facebook opening up option to display profiles publicly.

Twitter: The Little Site that Could

Why are they doing this? Answer: Twitter. Joel Comm calls it “the water cooler of the 21st century.” Gary Vaynerchuck calls it “the little site that could.” Many have viewed these moves as a way for Facebook to compete with Twitter. With Twitter on the rise, it seems like an obvious and necessary move for Facebook. The two sites are very similar and have emerged as the two heavy hitters in the social media landscape. But is it really necessary for Facebook to become Twitter?

Integrating Facebook & Twitter

Many Twitter users have been looking for ways to integrate the two for a long time. Services like Ping.fm and Twitter’s own Facebook app have been used to sync across both networks. More recently, third party Twitter apps like Seesmic (Twhirl)PeopleBrowsr.com and the newest TweetDeck release have added Facebook integration. Generally, Twitter users don’t have issues with using both!

I guess there are some Twitter loyalists out there:

@johnmorgan: Best way for Facebook to be more like twitter? Stop sucking.

Even Demi Moore prefers Tweeting:

@mrskutcher:Facebook is cool but Twitter is the sh*t!

A friend of mine, Jordan Brown, says that, “LinkedIn is for people that I’ve worked with. Facebook is for people I knew in school and growing up. Twitter is for people that I want to know.” That’s how I use it. I don’t necessarily think Facebook needs to make a play at edging out Twitter.

The Shiny New Toy

The problem I see is with Facebook users. Facebook is a great place to connect, to share and to keep up. For some users, Facebook is all they use: no more emailing, no more blogging, no more instant messaging outside of it! Even with all that functionality being overwhelming for some, it’s been a winning formula and Facebook has grown to 160+ million users. 

In comes Twitter, with its explosion of users, both everyday and celebrity. It’s the newest, shiniest toy for many people.

Jimmy Fallon is trying to get one of his audience members followers than Barack Obama Twitter account.

Ellen Degeneres overtook Levar Burton and now has her sights on MC Hammer.

But there’s a problem assuming everyone wants the same thing. Facebook serves a certain need and it has done it very well. Is it worth disenchanting Facebook’s established user-base to edge out Twitter? I’ve already seen numerous complaints about the new design. Just search for “keep the old design” in Facebook and look how many Facebook groups there are!

Here are some questions I’ve been asking:

Is Facebook looking to capitalize on an “inevitable” collapse of the revenue-less Twitter?

Will Facebook users warm to the new functionality or will there be another exodus (like the one over the recently discarded TOS revison)?

What do you think?

Here’s a great post on the same idea by Rachel Levy: Does Facebook have Twitter-envy?

Photo by hyperscholar

Influence: The Holy Grail of Twitter

March 13, 2009 by  

Wife: Have you got anything without spam?
Waitress: Well, there’s spam egg sausage and spam, that’s not got much spam in it. 
Wife: I don’t want ANY spam! 
Man: Why can’t she have egg bacon spam and sausage? 
Wife: THAT’S got spam in it! 
Man: Hasn’t got as much spam in it as spam egg sausage and spam, has it? 
Vikings: Spam spam spam spam…
Wife: Could you do the egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam then? 
Waitress: Urgghh! 
Wife: What do you mean ‘Urgghh’? I don’t like spam!

-Monty Python’s Spam Skit

I have read, listened to, and watched at least a dozen people talk about “how to game Twitter” to get large numbers of followers.  What flabbergasts me is they walk you through the steps to explode your followers, while in the same breath talk about how disingenuous and spammy the strategy is!

The Holy Grail of Twitter

Marketers are drooling over Twitter and other social media sites because of the potential they have to drive sales! They see Twitter accounts with massive follower numbers and their eyes turn into dollar signs.  It makes sense why they see things that way.  On TV, you pay the most for advertising when there are the most viewers. In print, you pay the most for the publication with this highest circulation numbers. Same with the internet! You pay the most to advertise on the site with the highest traffic. These people bring their previous experience and assume that it’s only about eyeballs. 

I’m pretty sure Kami Huyse was in one of these discussions with me on BlogTalkRadio. She makes a great point

You can have thousands of followers and be completely unable to drive the traffic or interest that someone with only a few thousand followers can.

So why bother getting a bunch followers that could care less about who you are or what you do? Followers who in fact are only following you so that you will follow them.

What is the real Holy Grail of Twitter? It’s influence! Companies, entrepreneurs and marketers search far and wide trying to figure out how to obtain influence to grow their business. The problem is, with Twitter, having followers does not equal having influence! Kami agrees:

If your goal is to be truly influential, or to drive sales, interest and attention, then gaming is pointless. Having thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of followers will not ensure success on Twitter.

The Great Twitter Debate

Purists argue it’s not about the numbers, it’s about relationships. Meanwhile, everyone else still pursues building their numbers! I can see both sides. Rob McNealy puts it best in his Twitter Policy and Philosophy:

There is a debate in social networking about quality versus quantity of connections, followers and friends.  I think there is quality in quantity and therefore like to grow my online networks.  The more people I can connect with, the greater the content will be and more varied the prospective I learn from.

I generally follow everyone that follows me.  I agree with Rob that having more followers adds to the richness of the community and the discussion. Another personal reason I think people should follow back is the ability to Direct Message (DM) and make asides to individuals. Why pollute the Twitter-stream with comments or questions that would be better as DM’s?

I also genuinely want to connect with people! I review their profile. I click on their link. I read their tweets. I also make notes to myself of why I added them, and what I want to connect with them about with DM Notes.

My Twitter Influence Formula

Relationships matter. Numbers matter. But there is more that goes into the influence you have on Twitter. Here’s my attempt at a formula:

Followers ? Influence

Followers = Reach

Influence = Engagement x Followers

Your follower number is the reach that your message has and a multiplier for influence. If you only have 50 followers, it is harder to get your message out than if you have 5,000 followers. But where I think influence is really measured is in engagement:  How engaged are you with your followers? How do you quantify that? I may have gotten too into this but hopefully this makes sense:

Engagement = Interaction + Compliance

Interaction = Replies + DMs

Compliance = Clickthroughs + Retweets + Followfridays

Interaction is pretty easy: how much are you chatting with people? It’s a common criticism of Guy Kawasaki. Critics say he never interacts with his followers, he just pushes his Alltop content (even though I’ve seen him respond to friends of mine). I think it’s important to respond to every reply.

Next in my equation is “compliance.” Simply put, how often are you able to get people to do something! This is harder to track, but I have boiled it down to how often do people click on your links and how often do you get retweeted. I added how often are you mentioned in #followfriday. I definitely think #followfriday can get gimmicky, “I’ll mention you if you mention me,” but there is value there. When done sincerely, what is that really saying? It’s saying this person influences me! I try to limit my mentions and add comments as to why I am mentioning the people. Here’s an example (and a little shameless self-promotion):

@robert_brady: #followfriday @ryansmiller for doing social media right (ie learning, sharing and engaging)

Is there anything I am missing that contributes to a tweep’s influence?

UPDATE: Here are some great posts from others that I think go well with what I’ve written:

Twitter & the Law of Reciprocity

Person, Functional or Social: 3 Ways to Play on Twitter

Is “Twitter for business” ruining it for the rest of us?

Photo by andyrob

Never “Tweet” Alone

March 11, 2009 by  

           

Social Media Club, Salt Lake City: @intheblack, @jordanbrown,
@jyl_momif & @tmcconnon all checking if they are already
following each other. (Photo by @carysnowden)

You want to know how to use Twitter?

Read Never Eat Alone.

The book predates Twitter and probably most of social networking and is primarily based on old-school, business-card-passing networking, but it covers some of the most effective and overlooked strategies for new-school social networking.

I’m not going to draw all the parallels between the book and Twitter: partly because it would be very long, partly because my copy is currently lent out, and partly because you really should read the book! Instead, I’m going to use a few chapter headings as a framework for this discussion.

Chapter 1: Becoming a Member of the Club

I feel like I’ve moved to New York City or Silicon Valley, where the people I want to meet are right in my neighborhood. Now I live in a community where I mingle with likeminded individuals, all willing to share and help each other. I feel a buzz and an energy from my contacts on Twitter. How can you not get pumped when @garyvee tells you to “go out there and crush it!?” 

Take advantage of that new connectedness! Follow lots of people! Build a community!

Chapter 5: The Genius of Audacity

Twitter changes the access I have to major technology innovators, thought leaders, celebrities, writers & directors, atheletes, etc. But even though the big names are now a mere reply away, there is still hesitation to contact them.

Be bold! Be audacious! If there is someone out there you want to talk to, do it! You never know what kind of relationship you could start! I’ve seen business deals, joint ventures,mentoring and companies come out of Twitter connections. As The Big Aristotle said:

To all twitterers , if u c me n public come say hi, we r not the same we r from twitteronia, we connect

Chapter 11: Never Eat Alone

There are times when I am literally sitting up at night, way too late, wife is asleep, and I’m tweeting! One of the changing moments with Twitter for me was my first TweetUp. I was able to put faces to the Twitter IDs and tiny avatars. I was able to shake hands and laugh with people I knew through 140 character messages.

TweetUps bring life to Twitter. They bond you to new friends. They reintroduce the human aspect of social networking. Find one near you and go! Organize one yourself! Do it for a cause! Do it for fun!

Chapter 8: Take Names

If I meet someone or follow someone that poses a particular opportunity for me, it’s important that I track my interactions with that individual. One way is to add those details in DM Notes to yourself.

Chapter 2: Don’t Keep Score

Suddenly, these names aren’t just names anymore, they’re people. They’re friends and I help my friends. I have tried to make my mantra to help anyone and everyone I can. I want to connect people. I want to be a catalyst for success. And I try to do it without expectation. 

Call it the “Golden Rule.” Call it karma. Be generous and helpful. You don’t lose anything by doing it!

Chapter 27: Build It and They Will Come

Today Jessica Smith from JessicaKnows.com(@jessicaknows) was interviewed on BlogTalkRadio. She was the guest expert brought on demystify social media for a couple of uninitiated & “terrified” hosts. Jessica definitely understands the potential of Twitter and that it doesn’t come free:

“I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is the expectation of instant gratification…Social media is called social media because it requires a social investment.”

What other traditional networking tips apply to Twitter?

How to Create a Makeshift Twitter Address Book

March 4, 2009 by  

Twitter is an amazing tool for reaching out and connecting with people. It is so much more than the vacant prompt, “What are you doing?” Ideas are spread. Information is shared. Connections are made.

The networking I’ve done on Twitter has been worth the time and effort I’ve invested. I’ve opened up career opportunities, business deals, and made real-life friendships. It’s become an indispensible tool in my life and in the lives of many others.

Connecting With Large Numbers on Twitter

There is no right way to use Twitter, but waiting for a dozen people to say something is somewhat pointless. There are better tools to use on that scale.

My attitude is, with so many remarkable people available, why not connect with them? I’ve recently passed the 2,000 follower mark, and a common criticism would be, “It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the connections.” That’s absolutely true. Increased numbers has increased the challenge of making real connections. But it’s worth it the instant you see your first real-life deal or friendship!

DM Notes on Twitter

With 2,000+ followers it can get a tad overwhelming. I’ve come across individuals that would be great contacts for entrepreneurial projects I have in mind, for business deals, for friends’ businesses. How do I remember why I added all these people? Until some programmer builds a Twitter Address Book App (which I’ve heard rumblings of) I had an idea for a solution that is usable, accessible and searchable:

Step 1: After Following Someone, Direct Message Yourself

I use TweetDeck and I have DM’d myself several times accidentally while carrying on a conversation, but here you do it intentionally. Include the new person’s Twitter ID and note the reason why you added them.

D ryansmiller @jimmyfallon New host of Late Night. Try and work it so you get on as a guest!

Step 2: Direct Message Yourself Anytime You Want To Add Important Notes

Don’t stop with the initial note! Make notes about how your relationship has progressed. Have you pitched your idea? Did you meet them at a TweetUp? Do you need to save their other contact info? Do it here.

D ryansmiller @jimmyfallon Sent a reply sucking up. No response…yet.

Step 3: Setup A Email Filter To Organize You DM Notes

Of course you all use Gmail, if you don’t…I’m sorry…I need a second…Suggestion: Switch!

Add an email rule filtering messages titled: “Direct message from [Your Name as it appears on your Twitter Profile].” Add to the rule that these messages will Skip the Inbox, Mark As Read and Apply the Tag: DM Notes. Include, alter or exclude any of these steps as you see fit.

Step 4: Search Your DM Notes

You have a conference call tomorrow with a potential client and you need to remember where things left off. Use Gmail’s search capabilities to access all of your notes for any specific contact OR search for specific text in any of your DM Notes to know who you promised lunch to.

While it’s rough, it’s makeshift, I think it’s straightforward, and it works. It’s a method that you can employ IN Twitter, no new app, no extension needed.  My favorite part is using the email messages you receive from DMs. Leveraging the search capabilities of Gmail makes it powerful and very useful.

I’d love to hear any of your thoughts. Any improvements or extensions of the idea, any experience using “DM Noting”, and any invitations to appear on Late Night…I’m open!

Follow me on Twitter here @ryansmiller

Photo by TOKY Branding and Design

Following the Big Aristotle

November 25, 2008 by  


I’m still waiting for a follow from the Big Shaqtus

The Diesel…
The Big Aristotle…
The Big Daddy…
The Big Shaqtus…
The Big Baryshnikov…
Shaquille O’Neal!

I remember when he first came into the league he made a huge impact, most memorably because he would always break the back boards. I remember even more fondly when he came to the Lakers and we went on a tear and won three straight championships! Of course there was the Kobe feuds, which I think the media way over-hyped and unfortunately led to the breakup of one of the best dynasties in recent memory. He went to Miami and delivered on his promise to bring a championship. Then he came to Phoenix, stepping into a system that many doubted he could fit in, but got slim and fit and sure enough ran right along Steve Nash. This year he is one of Hollingers top surprises of the season.

He impacted the league in a big way and he’s just stepped into a new league where he could have a huge impact…Twitter. Twitter? I would imagine many of you have never heard of it. Maybe you’ve heard me go off about it but didn’t really get it. My quick explanation is it’s somewhere in between instant messaging, texting & blogging. I could/should/will write a whole post about Twitter and how cool it is, but this post is about @the_real_shaq! Unlike some of the accounts on Twitter (Britney Spears aka @therealbritney & Barack Obama aka @barackobama) who have staffs doing posts, @the_real_shaq IS the real Shaq! Here’s some fun things I’ve seen since I’ve been following his updates:

  • Shaq called one of his early followers who doubted it was really him and then invited him to a game! Here’s a story Mashable did about it.
  • Shaq asking where he should go to Subway or Schlotsskys. He chose Subway, so I went too! Could be a huge marketing campaign to have what Shaq orders up at Subway. I guess he’d have to eat there everyday which I don’t know if I could do.
  • Shaq and @PhoenixSunsGirl took pics at their “Twitter Tutorial”. She introduced him to Twitter. Still trying to get them to get Steve Nash on.
  • Watching my friend Nate (@mollermarketing) campaigning to get Shaq to follow himonly to have him do it! He even gave him a few shout outs which will be huge for Nate!

I think Shaq coming to Twitter could have huge implications in bringing it into the mainstream. Check it out!

Don’t forget to follow me! @ryansmiller

Waiting on Diamonds to Play with the Rough

August 1, 2008 by  

Image by oscar alexander
How do I prioritize my rocks?

Earlier I posted about the overload I willingly subjected myself to and how confused I was about tackling it. In the few days it’s been since then I have really enjoyed all the interaction and new connections I’ve made now that I, as of this moment, follow 585 people on Twitter and 135 people on Plurk. How does it work trying to talk to 700+ people? It’s actually a lot of fun! I plan on posting soon about some observations, thoughts and insight from this new experience.

My question a few days ago was, “How do I process all this information?” I got some great comments of sympathy and shared exasperation, as well as great tips from very wise sources! Even though I joke a little about my dad, his advice about chunking tasks was echoed in a ZenHabits post here. As I read that today, a couple things stood out to me:

  • Find your essentials
  • Find your time-wasters
  • Do your Biggest Rock first

The fact that I really took the time to read and think about this post came from an adjustment since starting this self inflicted onslaught. I love Leo’s posts! I get so much out of them! I’ve noticed that in my Reader I tend to put off reading my favorite sources and rip through the posts that I’m confident I can scan and be satisfied. That’s completely backwards! I’m only doing it to get that “unread” number down! One of my new friends twittered today that she had 1,000 posts to get through on her reader! And I thought I had a problem! (It’s okay Erin, my wife’s almost as behind!) But realizing I was spending the majority of my time working though information that was lowest value. Imagine if that was money! Actually, now that I think about it, we do that too! How much time do we spend on activities that have the lowest return! I guess that’s the whole 80/20 Pareto Principle!

Now it comes down to implementing these realizations into my information diet. Here’s a few questions I’m asking:

  • Is this information intake inline with my goals?
  • How much time am I willing to dedicate to this information source?
  • How do I value this information’s ROI?
  • Am I putting those with the highest value first?

I’m still in process with all of this and may revisit it again, but I’m curious how all my new “friends” are coming along. Do share!

This post is part of my Information Overload Series

  1. How Do You Process All This Information?!
  2. Waiting on Diamonds to Play with the Rough

How Do You Process All This Information?!

July 22, 2008 by  

Photo by rwp-roger
OVERLOAD!

Photo by rwp-roger

I have 28 34 (and counting) blogs that I read through my Google Reader. I follow 100 +600 people on Twitter & Plurk (thanks to ProBlogger). I find more and more friends from childhood, high school, college, etc. on Facebook everyday. How do I process all this information!?

I’ve actually cut down the number of blogs that I read (I had some that would post 5-6 times a day)! My reading of ZenHabits has got me to try and simplify. But at the same time, I just added like 80 people to my Twitter/Plurk/Facebook! One good thing is that the additions are not as demanding as the blogs. Which reminds me! I have like 5-6 books that I want to read!

I guess it comes down to priority. What priority is all of this information for me to get through? How thoroughly do I want to digest each source? It’s pretty easy to “fill up on junk food” with all the social networking. Even some of the blogs are low-nutrition! I know that I should spend more time of the information that has the best return on investment (i.e. books, quality blog posts & family info streams). Being that I aspire to income generating blogging, I also need to invest time into developing contacts and relationships. So, while there is going to be a good deal of personally irrelevant info, I do plan on spending time with my “new” friends.

Anyone else dealing with this? How do you handle it?

This post is part of my Information Overload Series

  1. How Do You Process All This Information?!
  2. Waiting on Diamonds to Play with the Rough

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