A Fire Hose and a Teaspoon

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m easily overwhelmed.

I am in awe of people who can manage the vast world of social media and can figure out how to make it all work together without too much trouble. I am not one of those people. In the process of learning how to connect the dots with Twitter, Facebook, web pages, Google + and the myriad of other social media tools, I feel like I am trying to drink from a fire hose with a teaspoon.

The amount of information that is available and the number of ways there are to connect with people is just … well … overwhelming.

That being said, if someone has something to say, social media is the best way to get the word out, to connect with people and to join in with the “Global Conversation”, as it were.

William Shakespeare was probably the first to make use of the social media of the day, in order to gain a following. He wrote his plays for the everyday citizen, the person on the street. He wrote in the common vernacular so that his plays would be accessible to everyone, and not just royalty and a privileged, educated few. In collaboration with his playing company, he built the Globe theatre in such a way that anyone could attend his plays who wished to. He wrote stories of such universal appeal that we still relate to them to this day. I would venture to say the Shakespeare was the greatest social media success of the last 400 years. He succeeded because he took his message to where the people were and he spoke the language that would be understood by all who heard him.

The strategy of social media today is to go where the people are.

It’s quite brilliant, really, and the principal is basically simple. It is the execution of the strategy that I find overwhelming. All these great ideas and tools are readily available. It’s just a matter of trying to figure out where to start, and what to do with the firehose when the water is turned on.

The up side to all of this is that, along with all the information and social media tools, there are also a lot of tutorials and information available that will teach a social media newbie such as myself all the tricks of the trade. So I suppose, for me, it is just a matter of taking it all a step at a time, one teaspoon at a time, and learning as I go, until I can learn how to dial down the firehose to a manageable level. Or get a bigger spoon.

So, if you are feeling overwhelmed, look for those tutorials. Search for information on how to connect all the dots, how to sort out the information, how to make sense of it all, and just take it a step at a time. It will get easier as you go along.

Shakespeare was one of the first to figure out how to make his own version of social media work for him by connecting with people, collaborating with those who had connections, know-how and information and learning what the people wanted, and he did this by talking to people and listening to what they said.

We have the Internet. The technology may be different and the audience may be far larger and much more diverse, but the strategy is the same.

Make connections. Talk to people. Listen to what they are saying. Learn as you go.

It’s as simple as that.

For starters, here are a couple of great links I found useful for learning how to navigate the social media jungle:



Good luck!