Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wassup, People of the World? On Social Media and Blogging

The Love Letter--Pietro Antonio Rotari Unfortunately for him, my son came into my room a few minutes ago, flopped on my bed and said he was bored. He quickly revised that statement when he saw the gleam in my eye. “Wait. No, I’m not bored! Mommmm!”

I gave him my list of things to do. He picked ‘write blog.’

Here’s the post he wrote for my blog. It’s entitled “Wassup, People of the World?” :

Yo! Watz up, Diggy Dogs? Elizabeth Craig is in the house. Who wants to chitty chat with moi? Cmon…somebody HAS to want to chit chat with me?!?!?!?!?!?! :) Cmon, ask me a question about my book….whatever it is called, anyway. Let’s make the roof explode with questions!

Okay, Elizabeth is back now. Yes, the texting culture has definitely affected the next generation, if anyone wondered. And, no, my son isn't a gangsta: he's a 12 year old blond suburbanite.

But still, there are some things that Generation Next knows instinctively that took some learning on my part:

Adapt quickly. Media and applications are changing all the time.

Short and to-the-point updates. I’m thinking that William Faulkner and Henry James would have a hard time editing for the length and attention spans of 2009. But Ernest Hemingway? Maybe not so much. The point is, it’s not a good idea to ramble these days—not with blogs. And you couldn’t ramble with Twitter or Facebook status updates, even if you wanted to.

Have an appealing heading. If you want your post to stand out on Twitter or Networked Blogs, practice writing your headlines. Teasers seem to work best on Twitter.

Encourage a response. Maybe not so much of an appeal for response as my son penned in his blog post for me, but it’s good to encourage dialogue and a sharing of ideas. That’s the best part of social media, after all.

Have fun. That’s one of the hardest things for me to remember. I tend to look at nearly everything in terms of work and minutes used to complete a task. But to Gen Next, this is fun….all they want to do is to network with other people. And they’re very good at it.

For us to compete in their world and stay relevant, we’re going to need to find the fun in social media. Because it’s going to be around, in some form or fashion, from here on out.

This is Elizabeth Diggy Dog, signing out, yo.