Being There

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So many smart people Blogging and Tweeting about so many great ways to set goals for 2010 (and while we’re on the topic, Happy New Year!). It’s one of those things that should make you smile about the power of Blogs, Twitter, etc…

As each year passes, I do like to reflect back on the year that was and contemplate how the next year might be better. The basics are a given (health, family, friends, etc…), but it can get slippery when thinking about the practical and realistic professional goals you have for yourself. On one hand, aiming too low might result in you not accomplishing as much as you could have, while creating insanely huge projections can leave you in a depressed state when November rolls around and you realize how unrealistic (or unattainable) those goals were. All that to say, we do have to "dream big", "just do it" and "shoot for moon" as the clichés go. In all of my years of creating, cultivating and nurturing personal goals, having massive ones diced up into very fine smaller ones always made things more palpable. Plus, if the major goals were not nailed in 365 days, having all of those little goals (or steps) in the process always provided the perfect emotional GPS for when the arrival of that big one would be. Motion creates more motion (that’s another cliché, but they’re clichés because they’re true).

A little thing in Social Media can go a long way.

Although Social Media is about community, conversations and creating real interactions between real human beings, we all tend to do a ton of navel gazing in the process. Who could blame us? These tools enable anyone to publish whatever they’re thinking in text, images, audio and video to the world instantly. Along with that, we have plenty of tools that allow of us to listen to what everybody is saying about us and the company we keep. As much fun as conversations and community can be, nothing can be sweeter than the sound of one’s own name being uttered. It’s also a trip to log into your web analytics packages to see how many visitors you have, where they came from, how they found you, what they did and how long they stayed for. All of this combined combined will naturally keep us fairly inward focused.

It’s true… you know it’s true.

As soon as you have some semblance of a growing community (be in on a Blog, Twitter or Facebook), you tend to focus more on that area. It’s not only an ego trip, but maintaining and nurturing that space takes a lot of time, patience and focus. With all of that, you probably find yourself in a similar position to the one I am in. I spend a lot of time focusing on being "here" (this Blog, my Twitter feed, etc…)… and not on being "there" (on your Blogs, your Twitter feed and on your Facebook spaces).

2010 will be about being there.

That’s my one professional resolution for 2010 (it’s also a pretty good goal or resolution for any brands, companies or individuals really looking to understand engagement in the Digital Marketing space). It won’t be about doing less here (there will still be the same steady flow of Blog posts, Tweets, Podcasts, etc…), but I would like to dedicate more time and effort to being there in your spaces. More comments on your Blogs, more responses and back-and-forth on Twitter, and more inside jokes posted to your Walls and Pages on Facebook. In an effort to do so, I’ve re-organized my Google Reader (new folders, must-read Blogs, etc… and marked everything as "mark as read" to start over clean and fresh). I’ve also installed Instapaper so that content of interest can accessed, read and followed anywhere and everywhere (more on that here: Instapaper Is A Must). Beyond that, it’s just a personal promise that I’m making to myself (and publishing here so that I am personally held accountable for it).

What about you? Do you plan on being in your own space solely in 2010 or are you open to "being there" as well?


  1. Last night my wife and I went to “Up in the Air”, the movie started at 7:05pm and we had to endure 30 minutes of commercials and ads ahead of time. Many social media experts play the “look at me, go to my blog, follow my tweets” game, and their tweets and blogs lose value and morph gently into commercials.
    Word of mouth and a good reputation only comes from making others (not yourself) look good. eg I will send associates to a URL only if I get back a “thanks for recommending Steve’s site!” from them. The simple truth is that the more we focus on adding value for others, the greater their response is back to us.

  2. This is one of my goals for this year. I’m trying to get a few sites up and going and it does take a lot of time to stay engaged and I have seen in the past few weeks that I haven’t been getting to all I want in reading and commenting elsewhere. Thanks for the tip, too, about Instapaper as I have added that today! I am about 75% through your book and it’s on my list to finish today. I have truly enjoyed it.

  3. Hey Mitch,
    I think you’re selling yourself short – you are always ‘being there’. You are an explorer and there will be times when you are leading the charge – keep leading.
    And Happy New Year!

  4. Hey Mitch,
    That is a great resolution as we all need a little attention and that little attention will go very far in terms of building a relationship.
    Feel free to stop by my blog anytime 🙂
    Happy New Year!
    Alex “There” Ikonn

  5. I’m also an advocate of “being there” but my focus will be making sure I stay connected with people in real-life meetings and conversations. As much as social media is a great way to build community and start relationships, meeting face to face is a completely different – and powerful – dynamic. Thanks for the tip about Instapaper.
    cheers, Mark

  6. Hi Mitch: Good idea.
    Going to make a point of:
    – Tweeting out 8 shout outs before I get to my stuff.
    – Featuring people on my blog.
    – Adding a blog to my reader and alltop page once a month (at least).
    Thanks for the suggestion to “be there.”

  7. I think you give your time generously as I know that for a fact and thought you were always ‘there’ and here, I really could not tell the difference!
    I have to say that being unemployed has been a blessing in disguise because never would I dream of an author sending me a signed book for free because of my circumstances, thanks a bunch for your generosity mitch, its been an amazing journey reading your book and discovering new ‘cultures’ online.
    It sounds like an expedition and will be interesting to here your new point of view. Perhaps a diary might be in order or in your case a blog no doubt!
    P.S. If you need some pirates to come along, I’m there 🙂

  8. Hi David,
    I agree with your comments, the more I dig deeper into blogs the more I become disillusioned, they end up being fronts for commercial purposes.

  9. I second that! I think eventually you get to a point of social media fatigue and need to connect the way we were always meant to be connected.

  10. Great predictive resolution there Mitch,I would have to say its all about interactions everywhere blogs,social networks or firms and it would be a good step on your part.
    For me as I have just started everything it would be to develop content consistently and then think of sharing that with people in newer ways.

  11. Mitch,
    What’s that they say about great minds? Yes, I too have been thinking the very same thing about how to manage time on social network activities, and also, same as you, being more active on other people’s blogs on a regular basis. I intend to target certain ones especially (yours, of course, being on that list) and may even put this task on the calendar, so it becomes part of a regular routine.
    Also, I’ll now be more organized in bookmarking/reading articles thanks to your tip about Instapaper.

  12. I third that! — although I also think it’s important to visualize social media as a complement to real-world interaction (and vice versa) — one is never meant to replace the other — each adds depth and enrichment to the other.

  13. I enjoyed reading this and found myself resonating with it. As a writer it’s way too easy for me to focus solely on producing the content — on ‘writing’. It’s only in the last year that I’ve truly begun to realize that the content is the conversation and the conversation is the content, and you have to follow wherever it takes you (or wherever you want it to take you). Otherwise you really are just a commercial.

  14. Great book Mitch. I’m about 60% into it and already have new directions flying through my head on where to take my company. I was wondering if you (or anyone else out there) know of any weekly crash course and/or weekly update sites to help a CEO like me push into the Social Media space and more importantly how to apply it to my company? Any direction would be great. Thanks all.

  15. Hey Neil, thank you for the Twitter follow. Good to meet you, I do like your slogan : “I’m kind of a big deal.”
    i do like your post and thank you for all the information you share.
    I must say that social media is teaching me a lot of things, I’m meeting more and more interesting and good people. And I’m finding a lot of motivation here that will propel me in the new year.

  16. Mitch,
    I agree with you that focusing solely on one’s own work comes easily. As a new blogger, at times I become entranced with watching my stats and seeing that what I wrote is being read by more than myself.
    Thank you for the reminder to stay connected. Hopefully I can keep this in mind and make commenting and reading other’s work a habit early on.
    Keep up the great work!

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