I’ve been thinking a lot about how I use social media. For a while I was so big on using social media that I totally forgot why I have it in the first place. I mean seriously, a Foursquare page for this blog? WTH? So deleted that sucker because this blog doesn’t “check in” to places it can’t actually go to.
I’m also going to make it a point to not publish my Hey, Mr. Bass! episodes on here anymore because they’re supposed to stand on their own. Of course it sure would be nice to be able to get a digest of what I do every day across all of my social media platforms… My friend Abby does a good job of posting a newsletter every morning around eight o’clock and I get to read it before I start a long day at work, which is really nice. I might do it for #SlidingDown2012 or at least something similar.
Which reminds me…
My projects are gettin’ real because we’ve got a hashtag! :D Okay, so I’m sure I’m going to be the only person using it, but I like the idea of it and it amuses me. There’s a lot to do, and the biggest of these is getting a grip on how I use social media. For the most part, I don’t like shoving my content down people’s throats. It’s even worse when I repost it in a bunch of different places and people see it multiple times. And I’m getting sick of it because I have to post it in different places.
This is the part where I advocate someone build a social network that lets you aggregate everything you are as a person or brand and add comments to the links/embedded content if you feel like it. People “subscribing” to you get to pick which content they want. They might be able to make better choices if they can filter by source, type, etc. And of course, content would be pulled from other sources and not pushed to you in a news feed.
Why am I writing this? Well, I’ve had that idea in my head for the longest time but I don’t have the resources to build it. Maybe #SlidingDown2012 will help me get to that point but I can’t right now. And I figure if someone else randomly reads this and decides they can build it, then go ahead! This reminds me of a story, so sit back because I’m going to tell it to you.
I’ve been writing Cucumber tests at work for a month or so now. You don’t need to know what that is specifically, only that I have to write a lot of these tests to automatically test out our software. After a while it got pretty ridiculous to maintain and figure out which tests I’d already written. It got to be a big nightmare and it sucked.
After spending so much time with that problem, I figured out a solution that could help me out, only… I don’t know how to write software. So I took lots of notes of what I wanted this fictitious software to do even though I didn’t have it. Then just this week I was surfing the Internet looking for more answers and I found YARD-Cucumber, the software I would’ve tried building if I had the know-how.
There’s two lessons here. The first is that I can’t build solutions to problems faster than I can come up with the specifications for the solution. By posting what I’m thinking, I’m inviting others to get involved and that’s really key. A good community will provide the right folks for the job at hand.
The second takeaway is that the community I have right now doesn’t have the answers to what I’m doing. If my work buddies knew the ins and outs of writing Cucumber tests, they would have told me to use YARD-Cucumber or something similar or, if they didn’t have a solution, at least let me know there was a problem. These developers are smart people, no doubt, but they’re not designers so they’re not going to have the same perspective as me. If most of my problems were in their domain (and a few are) then I wouldn’t have this huge desire to be better at what I do.
Luckily for me, most of my personal problems are not solved by other people.
I’m a dreamer, so I have these illusions of grandeur from time to time that drive me to do some pretty wicked things. One of those things would be to build a social network, since all the cool kids are doing it. To get to that point — or to gather the community necessary to find people who could help me out — I need to take some baby steps. I’m making a list of things I need to learn in 2012 so I can be a baller at whatever I decide to do.
If you want to see one of those first steps, head over to Last Semester, my new blog on being a six-month old designer. The style over there will be a bit different than what you might be used to over here, but it’s still me. And hell, if I ever end up publishing a book, that will also be me to some extent and it’ll probably be even more different than what I post over at Last Semester. Anyhoo, I want to keep my designer projects separate from here because a) it’s going to be way more technical, and b) if it blows up I don’t want to burden people with 1200+ life posts I’ve massed over the past six years of my life.
It’s late and I still need to do some blog setup, so I’ll leave you with this much for now. I’m sure there will be plenty more tomorrow and for Monday’s vlog, so be sure to stay posted.