Three things echo my thoughts for this post. This morning, I started asking friends in the greater Boston area to help me with a project about information sharing (more when we’re ready to share it). The other day, I riffed off Rachel Happe’s presentation about how social networks improve data sharing and discovery. And tonight, I read Connie Bensen’s great post about blogging 101 out of Geoff Livingston’s Google Reader shared items before I got it out of my subscription to Connie’s blog. The basic thought is this: finding ways to share your information, to move it along a series of networks, will improve your message’s value.
Seek Out Channels
By channels, look for ways social networks can get the word out about your blog, to people who want to know more about what you’re talking about. Now, this is a tricky thing. You can’t just start spamming people. For instance, folks who use Twitter only to re-tweet that they’ve post a blog are quickly unfollowed. But by starting a conversation, and being pertinent, and getting people’s take on things, and by using social networks for more than just reposting your blogs, I think there are some great ways to deliver awareness and value back to your primary media. Here are some thoughts:
- Use Twitter to bring questions about your post back to your blog itself. “Do YOU think social media is more PR than advertising? I blog about it here…”.
- Use Facebook to republish your RSS feed, and apps like blogfriends and others to give you more presence there.
- Use Google Reader’s sharing feature to promote some of your posts so that people who subscribe to your shared items feed can sample some of your posts before considering subscribing to your blog or podcast.
- Use other social networks to at least link back to your media wherever they give you a spot to place a URL.
- Sign your emails with your blog address.
- Make sure your blog is on your business cards.
Seek Out Google Reader Users
I’m starting to see how users of Google Reader banding together might create Rache Happe’s “information arbitrage” system. I saw it tonight with how Geoff Livingston’s promotion of Connie Bensen’s post drew my attention, and that I had already shared it myself before realizing Geoff had shared it. Some folks subscribe to Geoff’s items. Others might subscribe to mine. But now that we BOTH covered it, that story is DEFINITELY going further than just my RSS reader.
So, one tactic might be to seek out Google Reader Shared Items users, subscribe to their shared feeds, and then consider “promoting” some of what they’ve shared, to give stories that matter their own legs. In a way, it’d be like a far less graceful Techmeme. Right? It’d be sending certain stories further across the network.
Comments on Blog Posts
Other people are likely talking about what you’re talking about. Seek them out. Spend a little time in Technorati or Google Blogsearch, looking for those keywords or phrases that describe what YOU like writing or podcasting about. See if there are synergies and connect to those people by leaving comments. Comments are a great way to reach out and meet people of like mindedness, and it’s a great way to seed a few comment areas with your blog URL, so that folks can find more of what makes you interesting on YOUR home turf. Make sense?
Extending the Message
Not every blog post should go out and touch thousands and thousands of people. But sometimes, there are things you want to shout from the rafters. Those posts deserve a little more love and affection, and they deserve a little bit more effort to try and give them the chance to move further out into the ecosystem. There are ways I’m not yet thinking enough about. For instance, what if you read the occasional post into Utterz. Then, some of the audioblogging crowd would get it and enjoy it. What if you made a campaign to get more email subscribers? That would get the message out there further.
So, what do you think? What are other ways I’m missing? How have you experienced what I wrote about? Where have you seen extentions and ripples across the waters of making social media?
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Photo credit, graphia