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Mark Stringer's Blog

Just Tried Out Leapfish

I just tried out Leapfish - it seems to be a pretty good social media aggregator.

Here's my profile:

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Saturday, December 5, 2009 at

Mark Stringer's Blog

Social Media is Just Another Conversation (and therefore not only for trendy 16 year olds)

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

- T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

Glad to see that most of the people who commented on this story - - thought it was rubbish.

It feeds some really insidious and damaging ideas about how the world works.

  • We shouldn't act our age - we should always try appear younger than we actually are
  • There is a way that you should act on social media sites like Twitter and young people know what that is and older people don't.

Both of these are wild assumptions. Why not admit your age online? I'm 40 by the way. And why assume that a bunch of 16 year olds have cracked some internet Da Vinci code that you cannot be party to?

The real truth about Social Media is that NOBODY knows how to use it, we're all blindly feeling our way. You can see this as a scary thing - as the author of this article clearly wants you to, or you can see it as a wonderful opportunity to innovate. How do people my age and background talk to each other on Twitter? How do they talk to people of other ages and backgrounds. I dunno, lets make it up!

Oh sure, there are lots of people trying to claim that they know how to use it and can teach you for a fee (or for the price of looking at ads while you read their article online). But just right now, nobody really knows.

To be honest I think this quote:

"Twitter is really all about letting other people know how savvy and well-connected and clever and plugged-in you are, all, of course, in a completely low-key, under-the-radar, provocative-yet-cool way."

Reflects more about the fears and character of the author than it does about anything that's said on Twitter.

So what if you're not savvy and well-connected? What if you do want to Twitter about something not quite so savvy and well connected? Perhaps how hard it is to cook carrots (something I've been told off for)? If this is what you want to Tweet, that communicates to us out in the Twitterverse something real about who you are. If we too have trouble cooking carrots, we may feel really close to you at that moment and decide to follow you more closely and recommend you to all of our carrot-troubled friends.

If you did try to come across on Twitter as savvy and well-connected when you weren't do you think it would work?

Of course, that doesn't mean that you don't have to prepare a "face" as T.S. Eliot wonderfully describes it. Social Media is just another conversation. Would you take your cue on how to have those solely from a 16 year old? In any conversation there are things we say, and things we don't say. But as with any conversation, the degree to which what we're saying is related to what we actually think and feel is a major factor in deciding whether other people will want to talk to us.

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Friday, July 17, 2009 at

Copy-lefted - use it how the hell you like (now - end of time).


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