Nearly every Q&A session panel I am asked to be on I am singled out and asked what my focus is on my ScotDuke.com site. I guess it is a fair question because by design I purposely do not focus on any one thing. However, it does demonstrate the change people and businesses need to back to being more social online.
Just Me Being Me Like You Should Be
What you will find on my blog is a wide array of topics. What the overall theme of my site focuses on has to do with me highlighting things of interest to me, offering information on issues I have dealt with and mostly offering my experience more than my opinion on things I find I have a real solution to offer.
Overall, what I post here is an example of the best form of Socializing Online I have found. Many times what I talk about here moves to offline discussions, but most of the time, like this post, most issues I post are initiated offline during one of my many chats I have with people coming to me to sort out what the internet is all about.
Long History of Being Social Online
As you probably already have done, if not I suggest you do, is check out my archive of blogs. By looking at other posts I have made over the nearly 15 years you will clearly see I have been out here a very long time.(Sorry, nearly 2500 of my pre-2005 post were lost in one of the many cyber bully attacks going on back then). You will also notice there are a vast variety of subjects I have touched on. Some of my posts are incomplete, some where glances of a specific part of a much larger issue and many are just my sense of humor.
Gotta Be Yourself
When you lump all of my posts together it should produce a clear picture if me because, it is Me! Isn’t that what being social is all about??…being able to touch on nearly anything anyone would want to talk about?
To me, online social networking is just like offline social network with the exception that online I might be talking to someone, place or thing with a name like HammerHead43. Where as in real life I would be talking to someone with a real name..even though it may also not be their real name. Nonetheless, if they are addressing me in a respectful manner I will socialize with them on whatever they want to discuss or visit on.
In the Beginning Nothing Was Not Real
It is common knowledge that since 2000 I have been on every online social network worth being on. My log shows that I have actually been on nearly 52 different ‘so called’ online social networks and I was very active in all of them. I did not do like many and just sign up and sit back and see what is going on. I jumped in, built a following and got after it. What I learned was how to be social online.
Most of these sites are long gone and a few of them I was part of developing are also long gone. Back in the early days of Social Networking..a few years before Facebook and Twitter were conceived..I was in the social spaces as Me, and also in many (gasp) using a fake name so I could see how people react to unusual behavior.
Being Social Works
So, as you can see, I have gained extensive practical experience in what works online and fortunately, what does not. This experience is now very valuable.
What doesn’t work online seems to be where I spend a lot of my time these past few years primarily due to so many people finding me as a source of validation of what is real and not real out here in La- La Land. It excites me to help people who are struggling with understanding the internet as a whole, but is even more exciting to see on people’s faces their astonishment..and sometimes disgust… of finding what they thought was REAL was not.
Like the many people I talk to who see themselves influential on Facebook, but not on Google+. Their expression on their face when they realize that most of what they appear to be on Facebook is manipulated by Facebook, is priceless to me. Unfortunately, many of them still like the flavor or the Facebook Koolaide and fight the change social media made with Google+ came about.
Be Where Things Are Real
This is the reason why I am selective where and when I am online. My selection of what Social Space I use is based on my experience. Where you find me the most will be the spaces I have found…using my insider and outside sources and experience to validate the space..to be the best place to be.
Right now that is Google+. Why?? Because I find the value of my time is better spent on G+ since what I say today on G+ can be found later on Google Search. What does this mean? It means that if I provide today some of my valuable experience on Google+ it is insured when someone needs this information a year later it will be on the Google Search. I prove this everyday.
There is an Art to Being Social Online
But let me get back to subject of today, the Art of being Social Online.
It really shouldn’t be any secret to those who know how to socialize offline on how to socialize online. It pretty much the same with the exception being one is standing in a room with a drink in hand and the other is sitting at a computer with a mouse in hand..and a drink in the other if you choose.
The Rules of the Game
Offline there is no way to not be yourself. It should be the same online. Rule number 1 should be knowing this..Nobody is going to take anyone serious who is not interested in using their Real Name..and show their real face.
If you are one of the many who think hiding behind a falsehood is safer, think again. It use to be cool to be a character or a cartoon figure online. Now, with more people filling the internet whose mission is to be harmful all being ‘unreal’ does is make people push away from you. How can anyone truly socialize online if most of the people they should be socializing with are running from them?
Rule 2, and the most important one to date, is being yourself has tremendous value to social networking…both online and offline. It can change your life, it can advance your social wellbeing and it can make you millions of dollars if that is what you are after.
The Art of socializing online formed around developing the skills of just being YOU. For the businesses who want to benefit from all the money they spend to enhance their digital footprint, the ROI you are looking for comes from the owners, the executives, the employees…the people…of the businesses being themselves and interacting with others as themselves.
So, as you see, there really is no secret to socializing online. If you are scared or you have good reason for not being yourself it probably would not be a good thing to be online. It use to be you can carry a fake identity and get away with it. Unfortunately, the world of socializing online has changed towards not trusting anything unless it can be validated, and the includes you…and me. I chose to be me and I am happier about that.
That is what I hope to accomplish with my blog and my presence on Google+.
Let me know how I can help.