02/14/14 19:00:00

Who Do You Follow?

Been thinking about this lately. How do I want other people, especially my followers, see me? I think about this for the same reason I don’t just post articles about health, Zen, and meditation, on Twitter willy-nilly. Because I’m not just interested in that. I’m also interested in geekery, scripting, marketing, sales, economics, video production, motion design, sex, and love. I’m whole as a human being.

That brings up a problem. Would I want my followers on Twitter to know what I do privately? Do I want to annoy them with my sex life? Of course not. That topic is private, and I’d like to keep it private. Only a few close friends are allowed to know.
Also part of the problem is that I, and probably you too, take part in multiple networks. There’s Twitter, there’s Facebook, there’s App.net… all are considered networks where you can hang out with friends. And there are networks that are more business related, like LinkedIn. There is my blog, where I want to write intelligent and interesting content…

Why I think about this. Well, as you may have realized by now, I changed the tone of this blog a little bit. I’m sharing more personal thoughts and made it less technical. What I also realized is that Facebook has become my number 1 business network. Not LinkedIn. I’ve been asking myself, if I want to let potential clients, coworkers, competitors know what music I’m listening to. I have a general desire to post a “song of the day”. Music is important to me. I’ve been DJ’ing for a long time, I’m a former audio engineer and musician. Music has value to me. I therefore want to express this somehow. Posting the song of the day is like DJ’ing for my friends. This becomes problematic because when I post a song of the day at 11am on Facebook, will my clients get the impression that I’m lazy and do a little dance that early in the morning?

The answer is “maybe”, slightly leaning to “probably”. The question I’m asking myself: Is that just an impression or sis it rooted in reality? Are other people really that considerate when they browse Facebook themselves?

One thing’s for certain, I don’t want to spam people. The least thing that I want is make someone else feel uncomfortable following me. Generally my aim is to recommend articles that a bigger portion of my followers are probably interested in. And that’s the crux: people come in from all kinds of sources. Just as I can’t stop being a musician, I can’t stop being a manager, video producer, and sportsman. Just this weekend, I attended a BarCamp about healthy living. It was great and I met a lot of new and interesting people. Those are not into tech. What if I annoy them with my AppleScript stuff?

Why I also think about this is because I see that other people have the same problem. People make two accounts. One where they tweet German and one where they tweet English. One where they talk about personal stuff and one where they talk about business stuff. It is getting to us. Isn’t it?
We want other people to perceive us in a certain light. “I’m really into chemistry”.

I decided to be human. I’m not just business, I’m not just private. I’m both. It is true that I generally tweet and write in English, but I’m also German. Sometimes I happen to see an accident or something else that only local people will understand, in those instances I tweet German because everybody who doesn’t live in the local area isn’t affected. When I visit a German event, I tweet German too. I believe it’s better for the event. If you follow me, you will notice that every time I happen to go to such an event, I send a message and apologize for the higher amount of German tweets in advance. I feel that this is polite and it shows appreciation to my followers. After all, that’s what I would like to be perceived as. Polite, nice, intelligent, someone who has goals and has a life. But do you know what? I don’t have to play all of this. I am polite, nice, and intelligent. I certainly have goals. And I have a life.

So, do people follow who you want to be or do they follow you as a whole human being? I think they follow you as a whole being. Let’s take Gabe as an example. I think he’s a smart guy and currently I want to follow what he’s up to, so I follow his blog and tweets. I am more interested in the tech stuff, but as you may know, he’s also into beer, which I’m not. But I can appreciate him being into that topic, and in that regard occasionally read an article about beer. Why? Because that stuff is interesting too and the way he writes it, is always from his point of view. That means that I get to know something, which I’m not into, from the viewpoint of someone who shares my viewpoint in other things. And that is what makes these articles interesting.

Here’s a quote to convince you:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Elbert Hubbard

Therefore. This is how I handle curation and social media at the moment. Note that things will change and I won’t write about it anymore. This was supposed to give an insight into how other people perceive you.