Working as an interactive producer for an advertising agency requires one to stay current with trends and all things Digital, but do we have a built-in desire to make personal digital content? Essentially we are all content producers in 2011. I’ve been fortunate to be doing this since the days of dial-up when the cost of doing anything on the web was out of reach for most.
Those of us who had Geocities pages or crude HTML homepages back then felt like we were carving out our own piece of the world. But in those times, you had stock animated gif stars and comets for backgrounds of pages and 1 or 2 scanned in photos and called it a day. Some kept a Doogie Howser journal , others felt that the internet was a place for us to be totally anonymous and spent hours and days in chat rooms or on ICQ (big back in the day, then came AIM and now it’s all about Skype). But producing daily content? Not really.
Fast-forward to today’s world where everyone literally has a connected computer (smartphone) in their pockets; the ability to capture your own photos, shoot and edit video, record music, type, and syndicate to dozens of social networks is only a few taps (we don’t like buttons anymore) away. For many of us this seems like second nature; as soon as we walk into a new place we pull out our phones to check in (foursquare, facebook), then we snap a silly photo of ourselves in the lobby (flickr, update facebook profile pic, why do all of these services start with a lower case f???) and tweet about how good/bad the weather is all before we’ve gotten into the elevator.
For the majority of the world, all these actions are alien. I’d go as far as to not even blame it on an age or gender gap. Either you adopt this lifestyle or you don’t. There are many older (45+) who are digital goliaths, and there are many 20 somethings who just rather keep their network small. Why is that? For me personally, it was about becoming habitually digital.
Not that you’ve noticed, but I haven’t updated this blog in over a year. Partly due my focus shifting and the other part was me not making a habit out of it. I started my second Twitter account (Digisoup) at the same time as this blog and since then I’ve tweeted 1,756 times. While not a power user by any stretch, I’ve exceeded my goal when I started which was to tweet at least 3x a day (I’m at a boffo 4.8 spank you very much). How did I get there?
I realized that I hadn’t utilized twitter because it wasn’t in my circle of habitual things that I did daily. My routine was usually to check video game sites, basketball sites, facebook, action figures, any new interesting digital things that crept up and that was about it. Content creation for me was something I was paid to do, if someone was paying me to write, shoot, or edit I would then set aside time for it. Where’s the convenience? If I had to keep up my facebook page then go and say something on twitter I would run out of things to talk about real quick.
Then I had a string of aha moments: “I can use twitter to update my facebook status!” (I can just post what I want to say to twitter and all my facebook friends would see it and be able to respond there), “I can use the official twitter app on my iPhone4 to make tweets away from my desk!”, (At that point we only had Tweetdeck – a very very intimidating app for first time users & Twitterrific which wasn’t 100% functional at that time), and what to write about? “The NBA Finals with my fav team at the time Celtics vs the much hated Lakers!”, gave me a theme to get going with short bursts. (My live blogging of games has gotten rave reviews!)
With that I was on my way. Updating my social sphere had become a habit. Now that I’m in the swing of things I’ve incorporated more of what I’d like to get out there content wise with new links and information. My next goal will be to increase my followers to outside of people that I actually know. (This will come naturally with more content)
But oh “Tweeting is easy” you say! Baby steps to becoming habitually digital I say. The world didn’t fall in love with text messaging right away either. It was all about function that spwn’d a complty nw way 2 spk. Blogging is just the same. If you are accustomed to setting aside the time to write, and an interesting subject matter, the content will just ooze out of you. I had to gain my digital footing in order for me to feel comfortable in creating content on a regular basis. Which is what my goal over the next year will be.
My goal is to average 4 blog posts a week.
I intend to be as successful if not more than my tweet goal because of the nature of sharing. It’s truly invigorating to get a response from someone you’ve clued into something. Feedback is so crucial to motivation. This is a daunting task as most blog posts do not receive many comments. So we’ll see!