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The holiday for Giving Thanks November 25, 2009

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Grab Bag.
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Keeping the original spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday alive, there are many things I am thankful for.

The spirit of this holiday for me is a time to reflect and appreciate all that we have. It is not about commerce opportunities,  and not about looking forward to the next big holiday. It seems we rush past what is in front of us and too soon look at the net thing ahead of us. Perhaps a symptom of living in the digital age.

Like many people, this has been a hell of a year for myself and my family. This year has been one of transitions. Transitions in my job status and the health of my members of my family have been part of the journey. Along the way, my family and friends have shown what I mean to them. My wife is my #1 fan and has always been supportive and patient every day. For that, I am very thankful. I hope my friends have seen and understand what I think of them. My relationships are stronger now as a result and we have a tighter bond now than we did before.

Also, from networking online and in the real world, I have met many wonderful and talented people. I am thankful for their support and friendship. I have learned from them and hope I have returned the favor along with some insight and humor. I wish them all success going forward.

I am thankful for living in a country that values our freedom and the extremes we commit to in protecting it. Thanks to all of the men and women in uniform who serve to protect our way of life.

Last, I am thankful for all the ways we can communicate with each other. By whatever means you obtain this message, I hope it finds you in good health.

Have a Happy ThanksGiving!

Social Media What, How, Who? November 19, 2009

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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By now, there is no question Social Media (SM) is here to stay.  Everyday, it is further integrated into the digital mainstream. While many are active online, there are still many who are not. To get started with SM, the basics  are no different from deciding which movie to watch or what car to buy. You learned how to make those choices and you use that framework with social media as well.  There are many SM tools to choose from (!) to engage in the community. In no time, you will be twittering, writing on FaceBook and post on  digg or delicious.

Good news –  there are lots of ways to get started. The web has, like, lots of advice on getting started in blogs and other web site articles.  You may want to use offline sources also – magazines, newspapers and books even.

Start slow. Use the ‘crawl, walk, the run’ approach. You can also check my previous post on why to use twitter .

Think of it this way – you watch TV and see lots of car commercials from many car companies, but you don’t/can’t buy every type of car.  Pick another topic, same scenario. You simply cannot do everything, be everywhere, see everything online. The digital web data stream is huge and keeps growing.  To navigate and be active in SM, learn how to filter and make choices based on your interests and other criteria.

Keep it simple.
It’s like making an entrance at a party. You don’t always know who’s there and where they might be. You look around, search for someone familiar and talk to them. As you interact within the SM community, you will make choices and begin to filter out things that are not of interest to you and find the topics that are.   Same thing here – use what you know initially and you will learn how to navigate the SM landscape – it’s easier than you think.

Next time you hear someone say ‘I don’t know how to get started’, tell them to start with what they know and expand from there. They will  learn what is good, bad;  like, dislike and so on. It’s all part of the journey.

Be safe out there, enjoy the ride and see you on the web! BTW, how did you get started?