Are you getting burned out by the amount of information that is available to view on YouTube, to be read in blogs and online news sources, and online networking? After attending SXSW over the weekend and earlier this week, I can honestly say, "No, I am not getting burned out." I have an even more intense desire to learn as much as possible about the social technologies on hand and how they can benefit my company, the clients we serve and me – which obviously includes my family.
My kids are fairly aware of my obsession and regularly ask me to put down my mobile device and interact in real time, face-to-face with them. It has become somewhat of a joke and game with them now and I always promise to try and do better. Wait a minute, who is the parent here? I seem to remember asking my son to turn off the Playstation or XBox or Wii multiple times over the last 8 years. How the tables have turned?
It wasn’t too long ago when social media was a pastime, a way to connect, and an opportunity to share what was going on in my life - my life not my work. Now, I am interacting with business associates, marketing my company, screening candidates, sourcing candidates, sourcing vendors, screening vendors, communicating with colleagues in our London and Sydney offices, listening to what clients have to say and following up, interacting with partners, as well as, monitoring the activities of those that occupy our marketplace - whether they be current clients, potential clients or direct and indirect competitors. It has changed the way we do research. It has redefined marketing. It is cementing relationships and allowing for transparency on all sides.
It is strange to think of how it has changed my life and my work. Strange but good. The community aspect of social media allows for casual introductions to individuals, companies, or brands. Seekers of information can easily find company details or resources within companies to contact. It keeps us on our toes, entertains, defines, and can be a pitfall and wide-open forum for mistakes or errors in judgment. Not that errors didn’t occur prior to the advent of social media, for certainly they did. But our openness with the world wide web permits entry to anyone you allow in. Care must be taken and privacy reviewed as the fluctuating rules will certainly keep you on your toes.
Never underestimate the information that is available about you or your company online. I was surprised last week when I directed attendees in an unConference session to visit pipl.com and find their profile. I had assumed many were familiar with this VAST online database. But many were not. If you have provided any type of information about yourself online anywhere, including your home address and home phone number, chances are those details can be found on pipl. Go check it out. Pipl yourself. The freelance power of sourcing information will scare you.