27 March 2009

Social Media Networking? Pour Me a Drink!

Cosmopolitan in Hand - Copyright 2009 Totem Media, L.C. I created this image using Adobe Illustrator CS3. The drink was traced from a photo I already had (and have permission to use as a source). I had created the hand previously for a logo (still in concept phase) for a local sporting group, and have adapted it for this image. The stylized edging came from a great ancient images CD collection called "All Our Yesterdays - Patterns & Motifs, Vol. 9, Library 1."

My goal was to create an art-deco inspired image and I feel I accomplished my goal through style, color, and imagery. The hand is more contemporary, but it does have an art deco "flow" which I think works.

As you may note, I haven't blogged much lately. I have been busy with client projects, attending part of SXSW, and utilizing two other social media tools, Twitter and Facebook. You can see my "Tweets" (Twitter posts) at the top of this blog, so in a way, I have been updating this blog.

I use Twitter to post updates about my work and interact with others on Twitter whom I know or like. Instead of "friending" someone, you "follow" them. Then you can see their Tweets on your Twitter account or receive them as a text on your mobile phone. If they want, they can "follow" you and see your Tweets. I like Twitter because there isn't such a demand to "be friends with me!" and the posts are limited to 140 characters/spaces. Brevity is our friend! Also, I am very selective on which high-volume Tweeple (Twitter people) I follow. I don't want to have to sort through hundreds of Tweets and maybe miss the one Tweet from a friend I really wanted to see.

I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family - to share my personal side with those I know and care about. A neat feature I use is having my Tweets appear as my Facebook status. Facebook can be "addictive" if you let it. I don't attach applications and I limit the groups to which I belong. I don't go there to make friends. It is more important to keep up with those I have.

There are a few other networking sites I have joined, but I don't use them much. I think trying to keep updated and interactive on many different sites is a waste of time better put to taking care of my business and family.

So, in terms of social media networking and business, having a blog, joining a message board, posting on a mailing list, Twittering, joining Facebook, MySpace, etc. can help you connect with clients, vendors, and industry people, but it is important to draw some kind of line between personal and professional. It depends upon whether you want your clients to know what you're like at home. For some people, it's better to keep that quiet, especially if one lives in a manner at odds with your professional appearance.

Also, more and more employers are checking out potential employees' social media sites, so either keep your private and professional identites separate, or keep everything consistent and "clean" (no porn, excessive swearing, or violence). Some people disagree with this practice, but employers (and good employees) want to hire someone who will fit in well in their company.

I decided several years ago that I would try to be positive in my online communications. It goes with my overall philosophy of being positive leads to success and helps you connect with other positive, successful people. Also, it goes with my belief in being honest and helpful. So, I don't worry about family, friends, or clients coming across this blog, my Twitter page, Facebook, or some of the boards and lists where I post. They may not be interested in my favorite show episode reviews, but I probably won't scare them off! LOL!