Using Asocial Media Effectively

I found a hack recently that allows me to provide value to people following me on social media without actually interacting with them. I call it “Asocial Media.”

The tip

I may sound like Buffer’s number one fan after this post, as today’s tip basically boils down into: buffer your social media posts in times of great productivity, so that you don’t get sucked in and waste a lot of time looking at cat pictures.

This tip is for when you don’t want to get out of the flow of what you are doing but feel a burning need to share something. Basically, if you find a cool link, instead of tweeting it out right away, I put this in my Buffer queue and then it automatically gets tweeted out. If I’m churning through email or blog post reading and I find something noteworthy, same deal. Basically it allows me to continue with what I am doing and not accidentally lose twenty minutes by looking through status updates.

Same for facebook, but I don’t really share as much there. Mostly using photos and collaborating with a few Ultimate groups that I belong to.

Some of the value comes in not remembering what it was that you tweeted about when someone responds. It could be the next day, after all. So there’s less incentive to have a conversation about it.

I find this strategy a good filter for determining the value of a resource I find. There’s a saying: if you’re not sure if something is good, tweet it out, and if it gets retweeted back to you, you know it was true love. Well, something like that. Basically the number of favorites or retweets is indicative of quality. It’s like my own personal crowdsourcing. Plus, then often I will re-read the post and catch something I didn’t see the first time. It’s kind of like a bookmarking service that I actually use.

So what does it all mean?

I agree with many of the points in Matt Swanson’s post about evaluating technical arguments. I talked about some of these ideas in an older, dense post on meta-information. A good quote:

For example, if I am following various entrepreneurial types and remember a technique for increasing sales, it is crucial to be able to remember who gave the advice because of the differences between bootstrapped and VC-backed startups. Trying to apply advice from one category to the other will likely have deleterious, if not disastrous, effects.

I should probably go a little further in that most of the “news” or things that seem important on a given day are probably not that important to me personally or professionally. I mean, really, how many of the articles that I have read in the last month:

  • did I actually read most of the way through?
  • could I cite the major points of?
  • would I actually use at any point in the near foreseeable future?
  • would be useful or noteworthy to me in five years?

You can see that many of things to read fail to pass these tests in this bucket. Not to say that they aren’t worth reading, as there might be some useful points. I think the biggest thing once you’ve gained an overview of a field is to see when things are actually changing.

I’m not really sure if this means that social media is less useful to me than other people, just that I use it as a way to get more broad research. I have no interest in the “flaps” of the day unless they reveal a greater trend.

Really, if anything, I want a dampening filter. I want the biggest, best, and most important things to stand out, and perhaps a summary of the lesser things to stay in touch. If it captivates the blogosphere for three days, it is not something that I’m interested in. I’d rather read ten pages of useful political summary once a year than try to follow the political process every day for a year. Anyway, turning into a bit of a rant, so going to wrap this post up.

I really like high signal-to-noise ratios of information sources, due to less time needed to find useful information. With asocial media at least, I’m contributing a high signal source. If you’ve read this far and are interested in said high-signal posts, you can follow me at @panozzaj. Because I coined the term, you can consider me an “Asocial Media Guru ®.”

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