Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Digirati, Twitterati, bloggerati, rati, rati, rati!

Do you fall into one of these "new" communities? I've balked at all this sharing and caring stuff. To me, Facebook was a place for voyeurs and exhibitionists and Twitter, well who the hell wants to know what you had for breakfast or that you have a hangover.
So writing a blog was a major step in sharing thoughts and experiences. Initially, I wrote to record information for myself, an e-journal. But then, family and friends suddenly were in the loop and were interested in my shenanigans and wanted more. My parents finally got bragging rights about my activities and travels. Pity I didn't do this when I was still a canoeing fanatic.
The Freedom Challenge (2300km mountain bike event across South Africa) gave me more impetus on the writing side and I churned out posts detailing our preparations and riding community antics. Then I discovered the value of Twitter. It was the perfect news tool. From anywhere in the country, so long as I had cell phone reception, I could keep everyone updated as to our progress. As the event took about 3 weeks, it was extremely potent method of communication, especially as I had a new Blackberry featuring Twitterberry.
But once the event was over, I figured that was the end of it. But no. I began to read up on using Twitter as a marketing tool and to my delight I have found enormous value in searching for interesting people in business who in turn referred me to other people of value. The short messages allow me to skim through the information and choose what I want to follow up on. 
The problem is, where does it end. The ability to connect with information is so easy. No more subscribing to newsletters, just follow the person and choose an article to read.
I still don't have an interest in the social aspects of Twitter although, I have remained more connected to family and friends overseas. Some of the people I follow tend to overshare their personal lives and I can see that despite their fame and profile, they will soon be unfollowed.
So I am learning about social networking as a business tool and have added some of these facets to my cycling race websites. My only fear is that by the time I am up and running, these tools will be passe` and it will be the next big thing that I will be scrambling to understand!

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