I started twittering a few years ago with the simple hope of wanting to keep others updated with me. (I know, stupid. Who really cares what I am up to? Besides my mom and dad, not a who lot of folks.)
This spring when I started blogging, I had the simple goal of having a place to put my thoughts down in written form to make sense of them. (I discovered that sometimes in written form they still don’t make a lot of sense.)
Yet today I find myself completely immersed in this Web 2.0 world. Not because I am naive enough to think people care what I have to say or because I need to bring order to my random thoughts but because of something entirely different. Because of community.
I blog, I facebook, and I twitter as a way to interact with friends, old and new. I want to hear what they have to say, I want to find out what they think, I want to discover what they are doing (and sometimes eating), and I want to encourage them in their walk. Because they encourage me in mine.
If you are navigating this Web 2.0 world and you aren’t in it for the community, you are missing out, big time. If you are after followers or subscribers but not looking for friends, you will never fully embrace the power of social media.
This week, I would encourage you to take time out of your day to cultivate community online. Strive to be about something more than yourself, strive to be about engaging with and encouraging others. You will not regret it.
It is this easy:
- Comment on a blog post. One thing I have learned since blogging is that comments mean everything. Everything. Comments mean that people are out there reading what I have to say. Let someone know you are out there listening and that you care what they have to say.
- Retweet. If you read something you like and you think it will be helpful for someone else, take a minute to RT it. Use your influence to share links, blog posts, and thoughts that you found insightful. It will not go unnoticed.
- Call out some of your favorite tweeps on #FollowFriday. I went through a long hiatus where I didn’t participate in #FollowFriday because I thought it was kind of stupid. But last week I realized that anytime someone included me in their #FollowFriday list it would put a little bounce in my step. Yep, it is that easy to brighten my day. And so from now on I am not going let a Friday pass without spreading some #FollowFriday love.
What are other easy and practical ways that you cultivate community online?