Lost in Cyberspace!

Cyberspaceship log, August 18, 2009. Anyone with Internet access is given a virtual spaceship, that with a click can blast them to the Cyber-universe.

O yes, Cyberspace is made up of galaxies. I discovered that this afternoon. I’d anticipated a pleasure cruise through social media sites where I have “profiles” — Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Suddenly I was diverted. I ventured to seek the “social media” meaning, the “how” and “why” to tap in effectively – and I got lost.

Whether this happened by being drawn into a black hole, I cannot determine. Yet there I was, drifting. Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin were mere edges of their own galaxies. I veered into Twitter, because the “Tweets” were short, and therefore navigable, or so I thought.

I was bothered that I had more Twitter “Followings” than “Followers.” I went to the Twitter “Help” function, to ask how to cull non-Followers. There was no direct answer. I had to try “key words” that led to links to unrelated subjects, and to readjust the key words to find the link to the answer.

Twitter, like most big-galaxy sites, didn’t offer straightforward question-answer exchanges. I feared that we Cyberspace-travelers were being transformed into mutants, programmed to follow elusive “FAQs.”

How homogenizing, I thought. Yet I couldn’t get around it; the gravity controled me. The only way out was to log-off.

I didn’t want to. I wanted to increase my “Followers.” Now I was bombarded with giant meteors that offered “Tweet Spinner,”  Tweet banners, this Twitter software, that Twitter software, this Twitter service, that Twitter service. Each for a modest price, and great promise.

I recalled my dad using the term “nickel-and-diming” when talking about car repair. Yet here I was in a Cyber spaceship, bumping into entities that promised to get the cyber-engine the best mileage of Followers, fastest. They all treated me like the homogenized spaceship; none addressed my personal navigation.

Well then, I thought, I’ll get Twitter Followers myself. Slow as the process was, ’twas organic. Those I opted to ”Follow” got an announcement, and could choose whether or not to ”Follow” back.

That’s what took most the afternoon, me without a map, navigating through potential “Followers” in the Twitter galaxy. If they interested me, I clicked a “Follow.” I culled through hundreds, distinctive in whom I chose per their brief bios and tiny “Tweets.” (One ‘Tweet,’ or update, is 140 characters max.)

Perhaps that’s where I was lost – ascribing personalization over numbers in Cyberspace. Yet what good were the numbers sans the personalization?

2 Responses to “Lost in Cyberspace!”

  1. :Dee Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkSaNToDbW8

    From Jacquee T: This is hilarious. Thank you!

  2. Tony Says:

    Jacquee,

    I’m actually in the midst of drafting a “Social Media Marketing Plan” for a client of mine. Here’s part of the preamble:

    Talk

    Social media is, in part, about narcissism. Wired magazine once referred to it as “micro-fame.” Everyone likes to show off. Everyone likes to think they’re famous and interesting–even if it’s only to their peers. In short, everyone likes to think that they’re a rock star even if it’s only for a little while.

    Listen

    What are others saying about you? Set up a Twitter search to find references to your company or your projects. Set up a Google Alert for the same things.

    Respond

    The social networking phenomenon offers unprecedented resources to not only start a conversation, but to join existing conversations. Start a conversation with cool photos, but then respond to comments later. Post a comment on a blog post that links to your website. Demonstrate that you’re listening and that you’re not just listening for your own benefit, but because you find what others are saying to be interesting.

    Be Honest

    True social network participation can’t be manufactured or it will fail. Talk like you would in real life. Respond honestly, clearly and concisely. Admit your failures while celebrating your victories. Own what you create. Have fun, but make sure everyone knows it’s you behind the curtain.

    Remain Committed

    Stay with it for the long haul. If you create something that works, don’t stop it after you achieve your goals. Social media participants feel abandoned if you engage them and then drop them. Create a realistic, long-term, sustainable plan.

    (End Preamble.)

    The big thing to remember is that social media is a two-way street. You have to participate to get others to follow your updates. You’re not there to broadcast. You’re there to talk. Think of it as a public conversation. You start talking in a coffee shop and someone overhears something they find interesting, so they join in. Suddenly you have a new friend. That’s Twitter in a nutshell.

    I know Twitter seems weird at first, but once you begin to have conversations, it becomes fun, fast. So relax and give it a little time and have fun with it. :-)

    From Jacquee T: That seems like one crazy coffee shop, on Jupiter or some other astronomical place — with “Followers” talking fast, 20-or-less words at a shot. Ah well, I’ll stick around for awhile. Thank you.

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