Well, the next few months are going to be really interesting. The experiences I’ve had with social media and with this blog have started to help me outline how I might go about seeking opportunities to interact during my year in Australia.
I had intended to use social media to reach out and get to know people. However, it wasn’t going to be my main focus. I’ve learned that a healthy social media profile is only part of the equation. I will also need to carry out some on-the-ground work to head out and meet people face-to-face, which was also part of the original plan but now carries much more weight, since an online presence is not enough on its own. The social media aspect just begins and solidifies the in-person relationships I will be building. So, really, it’s social capital building that I’m going to be engaging in and it should be the strength of my weak ties that moves this forward.
So, here is where I start. I’ve begun to research and connect with individuals and businesses in the Adelaide area on Twitter. Complimenting that, I’ve also been researching organizations through their websites and other social media presences. I will probably remain focused on Twitter and LinkedIn in order to lend some credence to my professional skills, abilities and experiences. The blog will further reinforce my intentions in order to offset any concern there may be that I’m “selling” and improve my chances of being considered in earnest. If I am successful, this should increase the sense of safety for those I’m engaging with and hopefully result in affiliation.
In addition to my professional work, I’ve also started a personal blog to share more personal experiences that aren’t necessarily work-related. Another important skill that I’m learning to manage is maintaining multiple streams of information – in this case work and personal. I know that I’m far from mastering what goes where, but a healthy respect for the differences is important. Equally important is knowing where they can overlap. Maintaining both blogs has been a real challenge. I think that we have always maintained separate streams of communication in our lives, but having all of this information online in common formats has meant that we have had to decide what to put where and keep in mind that it is much more difficult to separate the two than it is in real life, where distance can be a contributing factor.
Now I just need to articulate what I can bring to the conversation, not just the technical details of how I will do it. What do you think? What’s missing from my plan? Do you think that this is going to be a helpful way to mange my own profile and connect with others?