While writing this 2nd part of my post on optimising your social media use (see part 1 for the beginning), I quickly realised I’d be splitting this up into several parts. As this’ll turn into a monster, I hope you’re really interested as I’d like to make sure I give you all I can though this.
How do I do it?
Second, I’d like to make sure you understand the concept of your home base, input and outposts.
To better put into perspective online tools, networks and resources, it helps to map things a little – where everything is, where it fits in and why they’re there.
Your home base is your website, your blog or your page where you concentrate most of your energies. Can be corporate or personal, can be stand alone or as part of a wider network – no matter. This is where you want to drive the people who follow you as you feel this will best push your career forward, earn more, move ahead… In my case, that’s my blog both in French and this one in English. When I work for Corus (most of my time) or for IAB Canada, or if I’m simply answering questions I believe more people could benefit reading the answer, I take notes, save content and assemble appropriately for my blog.
Your inputs are all the sources of info that feed you in real. Your email (both newsletters and correspondence), your Google Reader, your work, all of your readings, all content you’re subscribed to that feed your passion. In my case, it’s mostly Twitter and Google Reader (120 subscriptions). My Outlook inbox used to stand around 4-500 unread emails at any given time because I didn’t have time to read all the newsletters that came in and that I wanted to at least scan – now that’s all in my Google Reader which I can scan with my Blackberry at any time with the Google Mobile app (my inbox is now freeer – around 50 items). I’m now always up-to-date in my readings. Another source for me are Google Alerts covering myself, most Corus Québec brands and personalities and IAB Canada. I include in my inputs my work at Corus. I often get asked questions (repetitively) about online advertising for at Corus and because of my IAB Canada responsibilities.
Your outposts are where you present, share, and link contents that can be found, or that find their way back, to your home base (i.e. Tweeting a new blog post). These can include Twitter, Facebook, your comments on other people’s blogs, YouTube, Delicious and other social bookmarking services, your newsletter – anywhere you participate or have a presence on and offline. For me, those are principally Twitter, Facebook and linkedin. I also use my MSN Messenger account to push my latest blog posts as well as above or below my email signature in Outlook. I’m also present on Foursquare which I’ll use to shout out if I’m at an event to give it that extra noise – I’m mostly interested in seeing what commercial applications could be derived from it, how it could serve the IAB and Corus. Another outpost of mine (very occasional) is SlideShare.net where I publish various public IAB Canada presentations. Google Reader allows me to share articles and posts I find of sufficient interest and value to my peers. Other outposts of mine include Friendfeed.com and Tumblr which collect all that I do everywhere else (Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare, Google Reader Shares, YouTube, Scribd, iLike, TripIt, etc…). Google Buzz is similar as it picks up activities on several platforms and shares it with my community there.
To learn more on the concept of outposts, I strongly urge you to read Chris Brogan’s on the topic here : How Outposts Improve Your Ecosystem