Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to pull yourself out of a social black hole

(photo credit: Julie Luongo)

Climbing out of the social black hole isn't so hard...

But it has to be done.

Because your survival depends on it. Doesn't mean anyone is forcing you to survive well, or poorly. That's up entirely to you...

OK, all this mini-rant is because I've been "dark" on the social lines for awhile, getting some other work done. And meanwhile, people have continued to subscribe to my Twitter feed. So I figure I owe at least them - to give them some new content.

But I've been "dark" also because I've been doing some research and some thinking. They'll be another couple books out of this, not so heavy - but I've been doing some of that "philosophical" thinking again, so there's no guarantee.

Now, you climb out of a black hole by doing Archimedes one better and creating a place to stand where you can move the world:
  1. Get a blog or a Content Management System. Best recommended for both - WordPress.
  2. Find or create some stuff to give away or sell. Best is the solutions you've found to the problems you've had to face and solve.
  3. Set up an ecommerce site. OSCommerce is recommended. (Because money is a necessary evil for paying your Internet access, among other things.)
  4. Get everything above and from here on out onto Google Analytics - you're going to need it.
  5. Connect up and study the social networks, social media, and their aggregators. Minimal recommended: Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook. (Everyone has their own favorites, but these three are leaders or will be. Google Connect would be the fourth.)
  6. Make sure your blog/CMS has an RSS feed.
  7. Set up an autoresponder (get a service, don't roll your own) as some people like to keep up to date by email.
  8. Schedule posting everything which interests you several times per week. Don't worry, you'll get better at this.
  9. Pour your heart into it.
  10. Listen for the feedback - better yet, use Google Alerts to bring you everything you're interested in. If someone else is blogging about it, comment (helpfully) on their posts. And link everything of interest to Friendfeed, etc.
  11. Go live your life - but this time, share it with everyone you can.
There's the simplicity of it.

Needs a book to explain all the steps. But for now, just follow Chris Brogan - he'll get you up to speed shortly.

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