Just my two cents

Musings on social media and the world as I see it


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Reignite your passion for your job

city of providenceI love what I do. Now. For many years my job was just that — a job I did for the paycheck. Sure I had a great work ethic, and did as good a job as I possibly could, always. While I did pride myself on being good at what I did,  I really didn’t get a sense of satisfaction or fulfillment from it, nor did I particularly enjoy what I did even though I did it for decades.

Then I discovered the magic of social media. For four years now, I have spent my days, nights and some hours of every weekend focused on learning about, reading up on, interacting with, posting to, and blogging about social networks for marketing. And I’ve said more times than I can count that for the first time in my career I love what I do.

Why I LOVE social media

There’s something about social media that just makes me think that this is what I was meant to do. Unfortunately it wasn’t around when my career all started xx number of years ago (too many to say!). But I am living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Maybe it’s that there’s something new every day to learn and discover. Maybe it’s that you can meet countless smart, talented, incredibly helpful people all over the world at any given time. Or maybe it’s just I feel like I can connect one-on-one with people, and be helpful rather than represent the people who are caring for people, as I did for almost all of my career.

The ho-hums

While I know this, and appreciate this every day, sometimes it can get monotonous. Oh yes, it’s Memorial Day weekend… time to share some healthy barbecue recipes or some safe grilling tips. Or during a winter storm, time to send out some info on avoiding shoveling and snowblower injuries. Every day may bring something different, but your overall strategy really doesn’t change and your editorial calendar is usually pretty definite. That is when you might feel a bit of ennui setting in… that touch of ho-hum, that “here we go again” feeling. That boredom you can easily forget how much you love your social media job.

Reigniting the passion

And when  you get to that point, that is when you need a good kick in the butt to remind you of what it is you love about your job. That’s exactly what I got last week. It was as simple as participating in a panel discussion for a group of folks, most of whom are not using social media to market their business. I found myself sitting in this amazing board room with one of the best views of the city of Providence to share some collective expertise with a great group of people from the Environmental Business Council of New England (@EBCNE on Twitter) and some panelists who were there to preach what they practice.

And that’s when the magic kicked in and the passion was reignited. My passion. My excitement for social media and its many uses and how strong a tool it can be when it’s used correctly. And hearing what other people are doing and how they’re using it. Then hearing people ask questions like “how do you find people to follow on Twitter?” The realization that not everyone is up to speed in this new world of marketing. That makes you understand that some people still don’t believe that social media is for them. And all of those things remind you of how amazing this technology is and how exciting it is to be a part of it.

Then you hear yourself talking about all the ways it can be used. And you hear the excitement in your voice and you realize how fast you’re talking and you see people nodding their heads and just GETTING it. THAT’S when your passion resurfaces and gets reignited and you remember all the things you love about this crazy, constantly changing but always social world of social media. And while public speaking is never something I like to do, when it’s able to serve as such an important reminder for me, it’s SO worth it.

So how do you reignite YOUR passion when your days become humdrum?


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Let passion and emotion drive your blog writing

passion dictionaryThis was supposed to have been my “year of blogging.” That was my new year’s resolution. I wanted to write a minimum of two posts each week AND participate more in the blogosphere as well by reading more, commenting, etc. Well it’s now almost half way through the year (seriously??) and I have to say I wouldn’t give myself very high marks. While I’ve done more blogging than in the past, and I’ve tried to be a better reader, despite my good intentions I haven’t fulfilled my resolution.

What I’ve learned though, is that my muse for blogging is a strong emotion. Let me explain what I mean. When the Boston Bombings happened, I was inspired to write four different posts within a very short period of time. That’s a definite record for me. Why? Because I was passionate about it. I had so many emotions about the whole thing, and it’s clear that it was passion that was driving me to want to write about it. It was a combination of several factors, I think: a need to come to terms with what happened, a chance to explore my own feelings on the horror of it all, a way to connect with others, and a chance to reflect on how things have changed so greatly over time because of social media.

I truly believe that if you don’t have strong feelings about your subject, it’s probably not going to be a very good piece anyway, right? (Kind of like this one, but sometimes we just have to rant.) Ask me for 500 words about how I feel sitting on a beach on a beautiful summer day? No problem. Want to read about what dogs can do for your life? I can give you thousands in a few minutes! Why? Because I love those things. Because those things instill an emotion in me and have some sort of impact my life. If you’re NOT connected to something, your readers will be able to tell. I don’t think you can fake passion, well, at least in writing!

So that brings me to a question about blogging — should we be blogging because we have set goals and deadlines for ourselves? Should we really be putting up a post because we said we would post daily, bi-weekly, etc. I know that more regular blogging will help your readers stay interested, but if your heart isn’t in it, then isn’t it better to wait until you have a topic that really moves you to write? I would like to suggest that you forget the schedule and expectations that you’ve set for yourself and wait until you are inspired. You will end up writing a better piece and your readers will sense your passion and appreciate your post all the more.

And now I want to hear from other bloggers. How do you blog? Do you push yourself to search for subjects to fill a schedule or do you write when something hits you? Do you set time aside to do your blogging? What’s your method? Please share it! I’m sure it will help me, and many others who struggle with this topic.

Thanks bloggers!