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My Tiptoes into the Social Web April 7, 2012

Posted by Peter Varhol in Strategy, Technology and Culture.

I am not a social person by nature.  I enjoy interaction with others, but don’t have good social skills.  And my age puts my formative years well before it was common or even possible to reach out to others you didn’t have physical contact with.

But I’m comfortable with technology, and savvy about its uses and knowledgeable about what happens behind the scenes.  As a remote freelance writer and technologist in the 1990s, I made several long-lasting friendships of people who I had never even met face to face, largely through telephone.

LinkedIn was the first commonly used professional network, and I was an early member, not long after the turn of the century.  I joined Twitter circa 2007.  At the end of 2009, abruptly unemployed and just out of the hospital, I started this blog.  I’ve since declined to participate in other social networks, especially the ubiquitous Facebook.

My reason for participating in social media is pretty straightforward.  A significant part of my professional persona requires that others know who I am and what I do.  The more people who have read my writings, or hear me speak, the more will want to do so in the future (that’s the plan, anyway).

So my sharing has all been about my professional persona.  My tweets promote my blog posts and conference appearances, and my posts themselves almost always deal with technology topics.

Perhaps as a result of that focus, social media has never been completely natural for me.  I don’t use it that often, and I only broadcast professional information.  But that may be changing.

Now I’m using HootSuite to manage my Twitter feeds (it will also manage LinkedIn, Twitter, and other networks), and it’s dragging me deeper into that media than I ever thought I’d get.  I now check my feed a number of times a day (it’s pretty bad, and I’m working on improving it by being more careful and consistent in selecting those I follow), and believe I have access to many more interesting things on the Web than I have in the past.

So I’m going to say something I never thought I’d say in my blog.

Follow me at @pvarhol.



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