Category Archives: social media

What’s Been Keeping Me Busy?

I haven’t posted anything to the blog in four months but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. I thought I’d share a few thoughts as I return to my blog.

Professionally

I continue to work “at the day job” on a handful of projects with a lot of help desk support squeezed in as requested. My primary projects include the deployment of a new document management system (DMS) and the redesign of our website.

Nearly 14 years ago I was part of the consulting team that helped implement the existing DMS and now I’m working with consultants on migrating the data from the previous system to iManage Work 9.x. As with any project, there are real challenges that come along with change but I’m doing my best to prepare the new DMS as much as possible so that the transition is as seamless as possible.

I am also working on the switch over from our existing website to a re-design site hosted by the same vendor. My role is more project manager with a lot of quality control mixed in. Our switch over to the updated site will be completed in a few weeks and like the DMS project, I’m taking the lead in making sure the content is migrated properly and the user experience is the best it can be.

In addition to the projects and the general help desk support I provide, I was also a speaker at our internal conference. Prior to my employment at the irrigation district there used to be annual training days. The idea returned and a team of volunteers organized the event and presented as speakers in multiple sessions throughout the day. I volunteered and presented on networks with an overview of our business network and IT infrastructure.

network presentation

Network 101 Presentation

I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the anxiety I had preparing for the day. I received some nice compliments on my presentation which helped reinforce how much I enjoy public speaking and helping others better understand topics that are not part of their everyday world.

Personal Growth

In the world of personal growth, there is one person I’ve given nearly all of my attention. As I commute or complete mundane tasks I listen to or watch Gary Vaynerchuck’s online content. I aspire to work with his level of enthusiasm but more importantly, I do my best to live my life with the same positive attitude and level of optimism that he has. If you aren’t following Gary I highly recommend that you do.

Very recently I’ve also been working hard to be better about managing my time (also something Gary speaks about and the fact that if you want something you have to make sure you’re making the best use of your time). To help me with this endeavor I’ve returned to Nozbe. Nozbe is the task management tool and service I’ve relied on for a few years and although my use of the product ebbs and flows I’ve been very consistent now since the New Year. To that end, I’ve been studying other Nozbe users through YouTube and Twitter to gather ideas of how to efficiently complete my projects and tasks. I love that it is available on all the platforms that I use and that it has a nice integration with Evernote.

Coaching and Volunteering

Since August of last year, I’ve been head coach (or in baseball terms, manager) of one or more teams at any given time. As of today, I’m actively coaching one basketball team, two indoor soccer teams, and managing one baseball team. I know to some that may seem like a lot but youth sports is becoming a passion of mine and I enjoy working with the kids in helping learn the game and more importantly helping them build their confidence. I often receive words of thanks and appreciation which feeds my ego and wants me to do my best with every kid I work with.

Aside from coaching, I’m serving my second year as Registrar for Roseville Pony Baseball and with baseball registration over I can finally breathe again. Registration opened last October but the “season of intensity” lasted all of January into February. I’d spend 3, 4, 5 hours a night assisting fellow board members, managers (coaches), and most importantly parents interested in registering their son or daughter. There were many days I’d spend more time on baseball than work or family but it was a labor of love and now I get to shift to focusing more on other things like coaching my boys and their teammates.

As my Registrar tasks taper I’m getting to also focus on the league’s social media presence. By doing so I get to have two of my worlds collide with youth sports and my desire to improve my social media expertise.

Personal Brand

Along with the above, as well as being a husband and dad, I continue to skirt around the idea of building up my own personal brand. The challenge of “putting yourself out there” for the world to see and perhaps scarier, your family, friends, and coworkers, is a daunting thing to overcome. There are a couple of things Gary Vaynerchuck has said that has made me less fearful.

  • “Document don’t create.”
  • “You’re going to die.”

“Document don’t create.” In other words, don’t spend time worrying about generating the perfect content. Instead, use Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, etc. to capture what you are doing and share what you can that gives value to your audience.

“You’re going to die.” As a fan asked Gary for some motivating words he spit out “you’re going to die” and what could be more motivating? I mean, really. If you aren’t happy with the way your life is then now is the time to realize that one day you won’t have a chance to change it. Live a life of no regrets.

And so I replay those words over and over in my head to push me to get past the barriers I’ve lived with for a long time. I know I want things to be different in my life. I love what I do but I think I can bring value in different ways and so I’m exploring my possibilities and plan to bring you all along for the ride.

Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you with your journey.

Looking For Inspiration? Search Twitter and Use Hashtags

There is no shortage of places to go online to find inspiration. Start following the right people and your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds will begin to swell with quotes, videos, and images.

But, if at the end of the day you have exhausted your streams and want to find new content or you’re looking for new sources don’t overlook the power of search.

I’m taking some advice I heard recently and I’m really trying to take more action of what I want to learn and do. So I’m spending more time on Twitter and specifically Twitter search. I decided I wanted to find more conversations about leadership so I searched for #leadership and instantly a never ending list of new quotes and images appeared with inspiring and motivating content.

Sure, you can enter any hashtag and you’ll find all of the related Tweets but if you’re looking for positive and encouraging words and other forms of inspiration in an endless stream head over to search.twitter.com and enter #leadership (or any similar hashtag).

USE SEARCH.TWITTER.COM TO FIND MORE RELEVANT CONTENT, INSTANTLY.

In a world where Google and YouTube continue to dominate the search engine scene I recommend testing out twitter.com/search to find new content that appears immediately for your consumption… not links to other pages. If you really want to start getting involved in the community start engaging with the folks posting the content that you found.

So do you use Twitter’s search to find new content? What was the last thing you searched for?

#LIFE

Earlier today I was watching a video from Evernote’s Tips & Stories blog series. The post, How Six Amazing Women Get More Done with Evernote, included a video about Shaa Wasmund, an entrepreneur that uses Evernote to help run her business.

I’m always intrigued how successful entrepreneurs run their business and especially enjoy learning how they incorporate Evernote. So this morning I watched the video and in one scene I saw a wall hanging, that of course caught my eye, and I immediately paused the video to grab a screen clip of the wall hanging that spoke about LIFE.

Motivational quotes about life.

I eventually returned to the video to learn more about Shaa, her business, and her use of Evernote but what intrigued me even more is how much I’m in tune with inspirational content and looking for ways to include that content in my social media streams. So now I’m not just reading, listening, and watching for personal growth and self-improvement but I’m continuously on the look out for content to share.

As I work on generating my own content I’ll continue to be a content curator sharing content that I find of value and believe others will enjoy as well. And as a side note, that photo is generated 14 likes in less than an hour. That’s quite the hit of likes for one of my Instagram posts considering it wasn’t a personal photo liked by family and friends.

Oh, and you can thank Seth Godin for inspiring me to worry less about the final product of my blog posts and more on just getting new content on my blog. If you’d like to learn what I mean by that be sure to check out the EntreLeadership Podcast: Seth Godin – Dealing with Change. It is by far one of the best podcast episodes I’ve listened to, ever.

When I first started using social media and joined both Twitter and Facebook I, like many others, didn’t understand the differences in the two platforms. I don’t think anyone 6-7 years ago could have imagined exactly how the two would evolve. I chose to view Twitter as a more public bulletin board and Facebook was the online combination of the high school yearbook and living photo album.

Although the two platforms were unique they both prompted you with like questions. Twitter asked, “What are you doing?” and Facebook asked, “What’s on your mind?”. Each platform hoping to have a population of eager users new to the world of social media fill it’s pages with content luring others to join.

So as a new user to both I chose to post only to Twitter and have my tweets sync with Facebook. At the time it was the fastest way to share what I was doing (or what was on my mind) and move on.

Fast forward half a dozen years and my social media updating workflow has evolved. I don’t necessarily have a defined process but with the advent of TweetDeck, HootSuite, and most recently Buffer I no longer am required or desire to rely on one status update for both of my audiences. Although it is obvious now it wasn’t so obvious a few years ago that my Twitter and Facebook audience would differ.

So as of today, for the first time since having accounts on both Twitter and Facebook, I’ve disconnected the sync and will be more proactively choosing which content I publish to Twitter and Facebook. I may use HootSuite or Buffer to publish the same to both or what I expect I will be doing more frequently is updating each platform with unique status updates.

To disable the Twitter to Facebook sync from Twitter:

  • Log onto Twitter
  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Edit Profile
  • On the Profile page I unchecked “post to my Facebook profile”

Twitter Profile

I know that this is most likely what the majority of those that have been using both Twitter and Facebook have been doing all along but as I progress down the road of developing and documenting my social media experiences it only seemed right to note my original thought process as well as the change for posterity. Of course the converse is an option for anyone looking to enable the sync and have all Tweets forward immediately as Facebook status updates.

I imagine six years from now things will be entirely different with a world of additional options no one has even though of yet.