digital literacy

How To Become Your Own North Star On The Internet

We're all digital strategists now.

 

In fact, if you aren't thinking deeply about how and where and with whom you appear and interact on the web, you need to start.

Today. You can and should be using your online presence as a 21st century life & work skill to connect with relevant people, information you need and enriching opportunities. I'm going to help, so you can get started today. (And the resources I'm sharing with you are completely free, so if you want to buy something you'll have to go find a different post.) I've been saying all of this for years. Doing it for years. As a content and digital publishing specialist, I've been showing people how to use their own content to connect purpose and action in digital spaces, for 5 years, both in private and group coaching environments. Along with Tara Agacayak and Tanya Monsef Bunger, I built a curriculum at GlobalNiche, a social web training company that's now shifting into an empowered digital life movement, so you can do it on your own, or in groups, wherever you are and whoever you are and whatever you do. If you are a person active online, this training will ask you the strategic questions you need to be thinking about. If you're not yet active or don't love being online, this will help you figure out what makes sense for you. Our combined 25 years of experience, including major expatriate life and work challenges, forced us to tap our backgrounds in culture, info tech, media & psychology to create this network-activating system using the backbone of the social web. We've used this method to survive. No matter who or where you are, you can use it to thrive.

I'm now making that training perfectly free, so you can take advantage of all our guidance immediately.

 

Want to learn how? It's my gift to you! Start by downloading the handbook

 

  When you download this powerful free handbook you're going to start to transform what you do, how you do it and with whom. This repeatable, dynamic six-step method will help you become your own North Star on the Internet and bring you closer to the people and things you care about. You'll emerge with inspiration, direction and confidence:

    • a vision that lights you up and goals you can measure
  • a do-able plan and digital skills you need
  • and a practice and peer group you can rely on to keep going

 

 

Here's what people who've done it say:

    • "I felt I couldn’t catch up. The way GlobalNiche describes social media – it’s about using technology to communicate naturally – clicked for me." ~ paralegal
  • “Opened my eyes to my own assets. It has given me the confidence to bet on myself.” ~ work-at-home parent
  • “I doubled my Twitter presence just by learning about good Twitter etiquette.” ~ scriptwriter
  • “I’m blown away by the possibilities. I now have an action plan. I feel a huge shift in my life." ~ academic
  • "For people who are wondering if what they have to say is valuable.” ~ financial officer
  • "Helped me to recognize and own how I am being virtually “seen” and make positive and educated changes." ~ landscape contractor

 

With this non-dogmatic foundational method you'll:

    • uncover the real value you've already created: by taking inventory of what you've been doing, detecting the patterns in your activities, gaining insight into what you're drawn to
  • put your mountain of natural resources to work for you: by acknowledging all that you’ve created and use it to gain insight into who you are and who you want to be
  • show the world how you make sense: by linking what you've done in the past & are doing today with your wider goals
  • recognize that you need to become visible to meet people you want to collaborate with, work for, hire
  • combine who you are and where you want to go with the tools available to express yourself
  • make empowered, focused decisions about how to operate online
  • go beyond managing your reputation online to using social media to represent your best self
  • meet and enter conversations with your peers, mentors and customers on the web
  • get recognized by authorities & peers in your field, recruiters, the media
  • identify how to use existing materials as building blocks for future projects
  • identify new ways to use social media, which platforms work for you (and which do not), and how to use those platforms to your advantage
  • express yourself with the best social web tools available, including how to use Google+, Quora, ScoopIt and Storify to your benefit
  • gain a new understanding of the best social media and content management and strategy tools, formats, methods to try
  • establish an interactive calling card at a site like About.me
  • learn best practices for blogging frameworks like WordPress and Thesis, blogging services like Twitter and Tumblr, social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram
  • learn best uses of video and slideshow sites like Animoto, YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, email service providers
  • grasp a new perspective on yourself as a content creator, realize the energy you generate around your interests IS content
  • publish, record, remix, repackage, reformat your content
  • design and implement a do-able plan with small steps to get your creations into global circulation in alignment with your larger goals

 

Want more?

If you want more guidance, get the free multimedia curriculum which expands on the handbook with video coaching and other materials. You'll have lifetime access to the self-paced course, 24/7, on all your devices. I'm making that entire program perfectly free for you, so join with a friend and do it together! 4,700 people already cashed in this free coupon to get connected & effective. Did you? Let me know how you're liking it!

1,000 People Just Joined The GlobalNiche Program. Did You?

Image That's right, 1,000 people around the world said yes to free access to my self-paced training to achieve your potential online.

Were you one of them? No? Got a few minutes and care to get connected and effective in 2014? Do these 2 things NOW.

1) Claim your complimentary seat. That'll give you 24/7 access to our on-demand multimedia curriculum. The training will help you navigate the social web to get closer to who and what matters to you.

Invite anyone you want to bring along with you. Our treat. Just share this link.

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2) Then give me a shout on Twitter so I can be sure to add you to our list of your peers. That makes it easy for you to connect and work together! Plus, we're already talking there using the #globalniche hashtag.

...and welcome to all the lovely people I glimpsed in the new roster, including Leslie, Linda, Nicolas, Lindsey, Bonnie, Rachel, Katja, Eleanor, Julia, Chris, Simone, Shirley, Wendy, Christine, Harma, Stephanie, Oshikan, Myrthe, Jonelle, Aisha, Nicole, Kathy, Nilgun, Teike, Milo, Michaela, Monique, Sher, Craig, Jennifer, Karlijn, Roberta, Lynn, Michelle, Suraya, Andrea, Jeane, Bia, Neil, Zlatana, Linda, Laurie, Ebru...

I'm looking forward to getting connected and effective with you this year.

 

January 26 update: make that 2,600 new people. Welcome!

Being Hip Offline Doesn't Make You Hip Online

I have bad news for you.

Being a hip person offline doesn't mean you're suddenly hip online.

 

Same goes for being funny, deep, interesting or another quality you're known for and proudly own offline.

To be so in online spaces actually takes effort and awareness to build up your faculties on the web and with online tools for expression.

To be hip (etc, whatever!) online you'll have to interact in places appropriate for your qualities with a freshness and understanding that telegraphs your au courant nature, for instance. You'll have to display how on-trend you are from concept to execution. You have to prove it.

You can't just declare your qualities in your digital bio and assume because you've logged on you've automatically brought online everything you are offline. No, your work has just begun.

Becoming Media Literate

Saw someone on Facebook bemoaning how "the entire internet" fell for the claim that the Turkish government was using "agent orange" against its citizens in the Gezi Park uprising.

The spread of mistruths is not a reason to distrust everything you see reported on social media (nor to decry it as a "menace to society"). It's a reason to do better about parsing the information and its sources.

Just like threatening chain letters and Bigfoot hoaxes, we're supposed to grow out of this kind of dupedom.

I see the growth taking place before my eyes in the Turkish use of social media. It helps to have skillful journalistic people covering the news. (Here's a new Twitter list of English language tweeters on Turkish current events by cultural journalist Robyn Eckhardt for a one-click follow of 20+ accounts. Here's my Turkey protests Twitter list with more than 80.)

The first mention of agent orange I saw was associated with the debunking of that claim, on the twitter feed of NPR's Andy Carvin.

Becoming (social) media literate is a process, and especially messy in a crisis.

But many people have already been through major crises while using social media (for instance, Carvin pioneered the crowdsourcing of citizen journalism during the Arab Spring as I, Jillian York of Global Voices and TIME pointed out in April 2011), so to portray us all as rubes -- and social media as "untrustworthy" -- is inaccurate.

Social media is a tool. It's up to us to use it wisely. As web anthropologist Stowe Boyd says, "The single most important decision we make in a connected world is who to follow."

 

Social Media Consumption, Filters, and Overcoming The Reluctance To Share

From a discussion at the GlobalNiche LinkedIn group about creatives being reluctant to promote themselves that morphed into a discussion about the opposite issue of dealing with sources who share more than we can handle: This is another reason to use Google+: you can put useful-but-prolific sharers into their very own circle if need be, then dip in when you want. You can also do that with Facebook lists but apparently very few people have exploited their existence. I use mine all the time.

It's why I directly visit NPR reporter @AndyCarvin's Twitter account but don't have him in my main feed. I also have him in a list but cannot see native RTs from him that way.

As Clay Shirky has famously said years ago -- the problem is filter failure, not info overload. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10142298-16.html

Would I want @AndyCarvin to cut down on what he shares and how he works because I can't figure out how to best access his stuff? No.

Maybe we're not in his position yet, but what would happen if we reframed our challenge to be "how do I become someone whose content and contact-style people will want to find a way to use that works for them"? The tools are there.

On the other hand, the tools are there for us content sharers too. I use SocialOomph to schedule tweets in advance, and an autoresponder series on AWeber. I think I could contact people more than I already do. I know I am leaving tools on the table. We can offer our audience options at various stages of the game: "Do you want more like this? A weekly digest?" via our newsletter provider, etc.

We can take the guessing out of it -- I bet we pull back long before we reach our audience's limit because we don't like to promote ourselves. We can do split-tests and get the stats on our side like Tim Ferriss.

Masterminding How To Deal With Social Media Anxiety

Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it’s a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). These are my thoughts on a session dealing with social media anxiety.

Successful social media use is ALL ABOUT THE FILTERS. Definitely a good topic for a mastermind because the solutions presented this week have the potential to revolutionize your experience with social media and that is major.

My first thought is *use automating tools* so you can stock your feeds at your convenience, decide when the info goes out and where to, and you don't have to visit the sites to post. Much less overwhelm. I use SOCIAL OOMPH for my twitterfeed. It's free, and dead simple. (I also post extemporaneously, but for purposes of this response on automation, that doesn't matter.) Social Oomph allows me to enter as many posts as I want, choose the time and date. Hashtags. Only thing I can't do is post the same tweet twice or "@" replies. You use Networked Blogs at Facebook, I see, great. Email mailing providers also let you post a link to FB and Twitter. You can hook up LinkedIn to Twitter to post at LI your Tweets. For Twitter if you try a third party app like HootSuite or Seesmic or Tweetdeck you can break your subscriptions into categories and only peruse one category at a time. "Friends", "Photographers". "China." That might help you dip a toe in.

Also, you can create a category based on a search term so you can easily respond to tweets on your favorite topics without having to wade through lots of material. So, my first advice is USE SOME FORM OF AUTOMATION on each platform and alternate it with spontaneous contributions, reactions to others, replies. (There is such a thing as overdoing it, and obviously not being present which makes people feel they are being pushed at by a machine.) On the Twitter site itself you can use "Lists" to group your subscriptions and only peruse what one list is tweeting. Personally I have used lists to expand who I follow without making my main stream 10,000 people strong! Here is a good list of "power twitter tips" from Chris Brogan "in five categories: intent, technical, business, integrated usage, and off-twitter. Here's a post about "How to overcome the concern that social media is a time suck" with tips on strategic following and here's a personal branding checklist for Twitter usage. Someone here mentioned to weed out tweeters who 'don't say thanks'. To me, I'd rather not read tweets solely thanking people -- empty tweets that say "thanks for the RT!" are a last case scenario. Sometimes I do it when I'm falling behind, but it's of little value.

A way to better thank someone is to look thru their stream and RT or react to something of theirs. To engage with them, then it's not about keeping score, but the fact that it becomes natural to be involved with them.

You might like this latest post from TRIBAL WRITER's Justine Musk about building an author platform with social media (whether you're an 'author' or not). She writes that the path comes partly from 'strategy' and partly from following your instinct.  Figuring out why you're driven to write (or whatever else creative thing you're doing) and sharing that "inkling, which will lead to other inklings, which lead the way. You'll promote your own work while you're at it."  Musk also she talks about how your blog is your hub, and all these other sites are spokes where you meet your network. "And those different platforms require different forms of content. But you can take your big content – long blog entries, or ebooks or whitepapers — and break it into smaller chunks and bites and tweets. You can take your small content and explode it into something more in-depth. You can transcribe your podcasts and post on your blog; you can tweet cool quotes from your video interviews; you get the idea. Your content feeds your content feeds your content." In a recent Third Tribe seminar Sonia Simone interviewed Naomi Dunsford who said "scare off the people who aren't interested". That could be by your topic alone, your attention to detail, your tone, your seriousness or flippancy, whatever. But basically, you need your people to gather, and how will they know if they're you're people if you're holding back and trying to please everyone? You mentioned not wanting to break down your blog posts. Here's a list of 40 things you can tweet that aren't derived from your blog postings. Good ideas, show the depth of experience and expertise you can demonstrate.

Istanbul As Epicenter Of Pro Expat Women & Social Media Tribe?

I just spent an hour on the phone with a member of Professional American Women of Istanbul (PAWI) asking for guidance on using the internet to grow her business. She’s 51, hearing all about social media networking and willing to try whatever it takes. I was sorry to learn she’s spent a lot of time joining professional “e-marketing associations”, as if she’s shifting her business to marketing when in fact what she wants to do is add an online component to her existing business.

“Which automation tools should I use?” she asked, “they’re all talking about automation tools like Seismic and Tweetdeck.”

To automate what, I asked. Content you haven’t created, to put into distribution channels you haven’t forged, leading to niche customer bases you haven’t identified beyond their age and where they live in Istanbul? Cart, horse.

 

“I went to the Twitter site and couldn’t figure out what to do.”

I agree Twitter has a high barrier to entry, but once she’s got it she’ll be accessing all the information she needs to grow her business, and she’ll be learning it from the very individuals who are pioneering this field. That’s the beauty of Twitter.

I'll be leading a panel this fall on social media for professional use for International Professional Women of Istanbul Network. After today's call, now I'll be inviting members of PAWI.

Perhaps this can be the start of a connected, digitally-savvy tribe of international professional women in Istanbul and expat women everywhere.

 

I’m envisioning people in the community self-identifying themselves as “Social Media enthusiasts” or “SM-interested” parties after this panel, and then we can create an actual Istanbul Social Media subgroup for mutual support, skill training and sharing, and more.

I'll suggest the entire panel be proponents and active users able to demonstrate their individual professional development through Social Media.

1. What is social media? Definition, main platforms/tools, overview of its rise to prominence and communication paradigm shift it represents 2. Personal/professional uses of social media including expertise and platform building, professional development, job hunting, collaboration 3. Best and worst practices

BTW TRUST AGENTS by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith is the hot book coming out of Social Media at moment and encapsulates the most progressive thinking on the issues.