Social Media Simplified


social-media-party (Photo credit: cyberpunk65)

HubSpot Leads Automatically Get Social Media I...

HubSpot Leads Automatically Get Social Media Info and Photo Added to Them (Photo credit: HubSpot)

Imagine you’re invited to a party.

You check the date, time and place. You get ready and turn up. You expect to be the centre of attention.

But when you arrive, the party is happening and has been going forever. Everybody is talking at once.

Everybody seems to know everyone else.  People will stop talking, join another group, talk for a while and then return to the original conversation as if nothing has happened.

So what do you do? You could choose a random person and start talking to them. You could choose a group and interrupt the conversation. Or you could wait and listen and when the right time take a chance to converse.

Welcome to Social Media!

The Conversation (Networking)

English: High Speed Business Networking Event ...

English: High Speed Business Networking Event by JCI Français : Événement de rencontres d’Affaires à très haute vitesse organisé par la JCI et l’association EGEE (Entente des Générations pour l’Emploi et l’Entreprise) en partenariat dans les locaux de France Télécom (Paris, Gare de Châtelet – Les Halles en 2006). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what happens after the introduction?

If the introduction is followed by an exchange of business cards then almost certainly it is a waste of time. I find myself very reluctant to exchange cards and will avoid it if possible. After a few introductions like that I probably will leave. My parting thought would be that I should have left all my business cards at the door!

I’d rather have fun and treat networking like a dinner party.  Much more fun!

Start with an introduction and/or an open question. Some examples can be (and I don’t spend my time asking the same questions over and over again) What do you do? Or how do you know the party giver or birthday person? What brought you here? Anything non offensive will do!

Then I may move onto the specific open question. And then I listen. Just listen. And bite my tongue as I can be a serial interrupter!

Then I might share an experience I’ve had that might be relevant. Or mention a similar problem. Or ask for more information. Or, one the things I enjoy about networking suggest someone I know who solved that problem.

Then I might check whether my information was relevant. Does that work for you? I may use the closed question!

But the reason I now enjoy networking is best shown by this story.

I was introduced to a recent university graduate. I asked her what she wanted to do next. She said she was looking at all career options including those outside of her studies. I then asked her what she enjoyed about her studies. She said group work was fun! I came up with a few ideas. She said I didn’t think of that and I’ll look into it. And the conversation ended.

Hey I had fun and I helped someone. Let the rest take care of itself!

Related articles

Activated Almonds : Laughing and Learning

I feel so silly. I got sucked in by the latest Twitter fad. Which hopefully has almost died down. I’m talking about the Activated Almonds tweet storm.

 It began Sunday. I was at first curious. But then I was amused by the social media humour fest (see Leigh SalesJohn Birmingham, just to name a few).

I even looked at the original article.

I paid it no mind whatsoever. I honestly thought Activated Almonds was a typo. I thought it mean Aktavite and Almonds instead (which isn’t funny at all). So much for curiosity.

But then I read Peter Evan’s response. Ah ha! Activated Almonds are sprouted nuts (hardly word worthy at all and certainly less funny than Aktavite).

Then I was annoyed. At me.

I had laughed too much. I had forgotten to learn. Much more fun to do both.

How To Apologise


Apology (Photo credit: Jon Kneller)

In the light of Alan Jones’s comments, I want to add my own.

But not on what he said about Julia Gillard. Many people have commented on that.

I want to turn my attention to his apology. I don’t think it was really an apology.

And why? I found out the hard way how to apologise…

At work during a crisis I panicked and barged into someone else’s office to use the phone.

Only problem was that the someone else was there in a meeting!

Next day, I knocked on the door.  I was asked in. I said two words. “I’m sorry”.

That was it. No problems.

And what did I learn:

  1. Just say sorry.
  2. Don’t justify your actions/make excuses blame the other person .
  3. Otherwise refer to rule 1.

Being Strategic About Trolling

Recently I was trolled on Facebook. Someone left some rather unsavoury comments on a photo I posted.

Angry  After some thought and some research, I deleted the post and blocked the person from Facebook.

The personal effects on me are just that, private and personal. But it raises some questions for me and for anyone who uses social media.

Currently, social media trolling is dealt with tactically. Either you engage with them  until proven guilty and then disengage with them . Many people recommend engaging with them first including me. But this incident has sown some severe doubts.

Sadly, there are some people who will respond to all and every engagement negatively. Dealing with them is time-consuming and tiring (as opposed to dealing with them in person 😉 ).

Unfortunately they have to be dealt with strategically. But how?

From my best guess, the tactics are:

1. You say (and listen) everything to everyone. This encourages trolling but also encourages new surprises and friends.

2. You say (and listen to) everything to a closed circle. This can only be called social media groupthink.

3. You communicate some things to some people (groups and circles). See Google and Facebook!

In truth, options 1 and 3 are acceptable unless you wish to restrict free speech.

But the hard part is to consciously work out what to say to whom and when.  We simply don’t do that in real life.  How can we do it in social media?

What is True Gallantry Anyway?

Lou Pardi’s experience of men patronising women but then being just so sweet and nice about it is summarised in the following blog (

When I quickly read it, my summary was tweeted as “Men are still uncomfortable with successful women and cover it up with false gallantry”. My comments were retweeted by the writer and I received two or three replies agreeing with it. So far, so good. Maybe my fifteen minutes of fame.

Which is all well and good until someone asks the unanswered question. No-one has yet asked me to fill in what I left out. No-one has asked, so Andrew, just what is real gallantry?

But people will. And I know who you are! And this is for you and anyone else who wants to know what gallantry is. At least to me anyway.

I will now throw some light on what I said. Taking the definition of gallantry from the dictionary : brave, spirited, noble-minded, or chivalrous or exceptionally polite and attentive to women ( Which means false gallantry is precisely as described in the blog above. So far so good.

But it still does not answer the question at all. In a post-medieval-renaissance-modernist age, what is real gallantry?

For me, true gallantry is helping someone in need and never asking for something in return.

True gallantry is admiring and praising someone who has prevailed through adversity.

True gallantry is really love that gives and asks no price.

Social Media is Old-Fashioned (Really!)

Before social media, there was the grapevine, bush telegraph or rumour mill.

I found this out growing up in two small country towns. Basically, my parents knew everything about everyone.

There were no secrets there, and now there seem to be none on the internet!

Of course, this is the negative back-biting side of social media, the rumours, whispering campaigns, anonymous abuse.

However, there is a positive side. It’s best illustrated through a movie set in a country town – It’s a wonderful life. The hero of the story loses everything and contemplates suicide. Once his fellow townspeople find out, the grapevine/bush telegraph swings into action and he is bailed out of misfortune!

That is the power of social media.