The noisy and fast paced battle for eyeballs is slowing. If you are one of the popular few that have managed to rise above the din, congratulations. Whether you’ve made it or not, expect that visibility is going to continue to get more difficult, and more hierarchical, as the noise floor continues to rise.
What if you don’t have time to post all the time while feverishly monitoring all your social media feeds?
You are going to post less. Make it count.
What to post and where
The first step in communicating more effectively is to differentiate between ephemeral and memorable. Your reaction to the latest headline is ephemeral. An article that does a great job contextualizing recent events is memorable.
Continue to do whatever you do with the ephemeral. For the memorable, first post it for reference, then do whatever else with it. Where to post:
If you can write a few paragraphs about your reaction to something, write a blog entry. I use WordPress, YMMV. If you don’t currently have a blog, setting up and getting started will take an hour or two, but after that creating a new blog entry is simply create/edit/save. If you have a website, make sure your site references your blog, and your blog references your site.
If you just want to keep a link and a sentence why it was memorable, add an entry to your reference links list. I use Membic, YMMV. If you don’t currently have a list to track your references, setting up a membic theme will take an hour or so, but after that you just write/edit/save. If you have a website, embed the reference links from the theme as a page within your site.
If something is time dependent, put it on a public calendar. I use Google Calendar, YMMV. You (and anyone else) can overlay your public calendar on top of your personal calendar for a complete view of what is going on. If you have a website, embed the calendar as a page within your site.
Posting memorable content generally in addition to socially adds depth to your web presence, and provides a way for people to connect with you even if they are not involved on your favorite social net. It helps others, and you will find it helpful yourself.
How to monitor
Returning to the original issue of feverishly monitoring all your social media all day trying to keep up, it’s ok to let that go every once in a while. Balance your socializing with some in-depth contact.
For those friends whose insights you value, ask if they have a website, blog, reference links list, or public calendar. You can merge the calendars into yours. For everything else, merge them all into a single source with an RSS reader. I use Feedly, YMMV. It may seem a lot at first, but keeping up takes a fraction of social media time, and it’s high quality stuff.
Talk to your friends about RSS
Like email, RSS is older technology. It’s not as old as email, but it’s definitely an old school web approach from a time before some of the web giants were quite as giant. It’s seriously powerful, and it’s seriously underutilized. Many people I’ve talked to haven’t even heard of it, so it seems worth mentioning.
Newspapers, news channels, blogs, reference lists, and other web sources have RSS feeds. Using a feed reader, you can gather all the sources you want to track into a single comprehensive overview. Check it out.