Social media, social networks are ubiquitous, as they have become an essential part of the knowledge worker‘s apparel and have proven their value in social learning (see this excellent – if long – video of Harold Jarche about this).
Yet there is still a lot of resistance – in France and elsewhere – against adopting social media.
For those who don’t resist viscerally to social media but just haven’t jumped on it, two hurdles often stand in the way:
- The push: how to avoid getting all kinds of irrelevant information in your social networks – and actually understanding the fundamental change with social media -the ‘pull’ effect;
- The password: managing this to physically (well, virtually really) enter the world of social media…
If you are one of those struggling to get into social media yet are willing to try, let’s hope this post helps you properly jump into social media and make the most of it.
The ‘push’ hurdle: Hey, it’s actually all about pull!
The fundamental difference with social media is that they don’t work towards us the people, they work from us. The direction has changed. And we are the ones setting it.
With traditional media, we used to have stuff ‘pushed’ at us: on TV, on the radio, the content – and as shown in the image above, the brand of companies – was invading our space whether we liked it or not – without control. But with social media, we are now in the controlling seat, and we pull content the way we want: we select, curate and develop our personal learning networks, opt-in may not have vanquished opt-out but it’s more of a standard, we are organising our RSS feeds so we get notified about the stuff that matters to us etc.
If you are not sure about social media, remember that in it you are the spider in the web and you select what information you will have for dinner. You can customise your choices indefinitely. You have the power.
The direct consequence is that you won’t get invaded by content, or at least you have every option to stop getting invaded by it.
Read this article for more information about the subtle yet powerful difference between push and pull. And to quote it:
Advocates of Enterprise Social Networks (and I count myself in their number) see the transition from push to pull as the “holy grail” of business communication. Indeed, this is a central tenet of the Business Communication Revolution, because it puts a knowledge worker back in control of how they consume information. However, an all-pull environment is not without its own problems.
Now: claim that power – decide what you post where, decide to read what you want to read when and where you want to read it. Make the world of information turn its head around you, and enjoy.
The ‘password’ hurdle: Manage your passwords effortlessly, once and for all
Now the first hurdle is passed, let’s look at the second hurdle for many people: managing their password(s). ‘Duh!” some of you might say, but hey! with more and more platforms appearing, dangers lure at both ends of the spectrum:
- Use one password a little too often and you become extremely vulnerable to hack attacks;
- Use too many (and increasingly complicated passwords – see the ‘creating a password’ image ;)) and you run the risk of forgetting what your password is. Or more to the point: what your passwordS ARE.
And that is what is preventing a lot of people in my professional environment from using enterprise social networks and a lot of social media platforms that they would be happy to use or at least try out otherwise.
Here’s the good news: there are plenty of ‘password managers’ that help you get rid of goldfish memory trouble (like I have) and retain all passwords to all platforms you have an account with – provided you remember one master password. Here’s how it works:
So, go on then, no more excuse: Check this recent list of password managers, install one of them, get going and enjoy a whole new world of online experiences.
Oh, you may say: but even that ONE password may be hard to generate. Well here’s a tip:
You’re all set now – see you online, in the comments section this time 😉
What do you think? Are there other major barriers towards using social media for those ready to try it out?
Related blog posts:
- Social media: why bother? A French misunderstanding
- How social can you be?
- I share because I care!
- From ego-tripping to ego-rippling: the knowledge ego-logy paradigm
- Engagement and deeper connection in social networks, a dialogue with Jaume Fortuny