It’s 5 a.m. and the staccato bursts are making it impossible to sleep: tch tch tch tch tch tch TCHI… tch tch tch tch tch tch TCHI. The tiny but loud Northern House Wrens have a young family in the tall bluebird house near my office but their voices seem to penetrate no matter where I am in the house. The Chippewa Indians called this bird O-du-na-mis-sug-ud-da-we-shi, meaning big noise for its size! No kidding.
Since I started this blog in early March, I’ve discovered other voices that have become invaluable in my journey to learn and apply social media. These voices I want to keep close by, as the tools and techniques for the channels change at a frequency that makes my head spin. Some I follow through RSS feeds, others through Twitter, Facebook or a combination of these channels.
- The first of these voices is @timethief. Clear, current and correct, her onecoolsitebloggingtips is one of the best resources for WordPress-hosted blogs. I frequently revisit her posts, like the recent three-part series on changing themes, as new needs arise. My second blog is now in progress using Cutline and I’ve suggested a friend check out the Structure theme to improve the look and feel of her web site.
- Both Darren Rowse at ProBlogger and Brian Clark at CopyBlogger can be counted on for great blogging tips.
Social media voices
- Tamar Weinberg is a “social media consultant and tech geek at heart” with many notable achievements. Her Social Media Strategy from A-Z post is typical of the excellent quality you’ll find on Techipedia.
- Ink Rebels have great tutorials on blogging. I especially like how they incorporate images with their well-written texts. See their a-z list on how Twitter can make you a better blogger, for instance.
- I’m one of the more than 7,000 fans that follow the Social Media Examiner through their Facebook page. Their high-caliber content ranges from tools and tips like how to create a custom twitter background, to posts on research. Check out the summary of their 2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report or download the full report.
- For one thing, Outspoken Media provides liveblogging coverage as well as recaps of SEO and Internet marketing conferences. Lisa Barone’s coverage at the SMX West in early March made me a fan. Her posts are always a good read. Take last month’s post on Facebook and privacy.
- I follow Mari Smith on Facebook as well as Twitter. Mari is a dynamic and hugely popular social media speaker, trainer, consultant and networker extraordinaire. She is THE go-to-expert for Facebook and makes everything easy to understand and apply. Woot!
- Posts by new media thought leader Brian Solis take my mind to wonderfully exciting places. He writes like Stephen Lewis speaks. Stephen addressed a conference I once attended and his eloquence and passion infused everyone in the room. At the time, he was the United Nations’ special envoy for AIDS/HIV in Africa.
- In the Future of Marketing Starts with Publishing, Brian talks about the maturation of social media, publishing, marketing and communications and how businesses must become media to earn greater relevance and thought leadership. Read more about digital darwinism in the evolution of social media and business.
- Chris Brogan “speaks, blogs, writes articles, and makes media of all kinds at [chrisbrogan.com]. ” Do you use LinkedIn? Check out his posts on using LinkedIn effectively. Feed your business head talks about the need to bring in new material to inform your opinion and grow your learning.
- Do you vary what you read? I subscribe to some 60 or so blogs. Some deal with small business; others on design feed the senses; the rest are all over the map. No gardening blogs. It’s hard enough to focus on work with the come-hither views I get from each window.
Give to get
I find a lot of value in Twitter. Mitch Joel has an interesting post on the Two Types of Twitter Stars: Publishers and Talkers. I mostly follow Publishers, who use Twitter to share bits and bites of interesting things they see or hear about in the world and online. I try to contribute likewise.
That you need to give to get is a basic tenet of social media. In truth, I’ve gained much more than facts and figures on my deep dive to learn and apply social media. A bruised idealist, I’ve discovered a sea of genuine and generous individuals. Collectively, they’ve helped shore up my belief in people.
This new virtual network has been a lifeline in my “rebuild.”
In my previous work life, resources in a corporate tower cubicling well over 2,000 employees were never too far away. Need a web page? Just go down the hall to visit Terry or Rob in Graphics.
Nine months into my new work life, I’m surrounded by trees, not buildings or people. My main companions are furred and feathered. I photographed one of the wrens peering out of the birdhouse and posted it to my Facebook profile, mentioning the noise the pair was making as they shuttled back and forth to feed their young. This led a former work colleague to comment on my “great office”!
Yes, it sure is.
PS: You can find more information about house wrens at Sialis.