Social Media Top 5: Brian Solis Gives Me a Headache, Twitter Chat Advice, & Outside the Echo

Getting Out of the Echo Chamber:

My good friend Kyle Flaherty blogged recently about getting out of the social media “echo chamber,” and the resultant decrease in his activity blogging and on Twitter. There has been a lot of talk about taking social media out of the “echo chamber” so everyone uses it, but this is more about just shutting it off for a bit and losing nothing (well, blog traffic– if that’s important, and other social media channel momentum).

fail-meterSo, is it good to disconnect to get perspective? To recharge? To prevent burnout? I probably is. Many colleagues know when to shut it off (some do it for work only, other the other way around. I simply see this post as a reminder that all of us have social networks that exist outside of the online networks, and those need just as much tending.

A Frightening Walk Through Past Failures:
Mack collier did something brave recently: he sifted through his early blog posts and found himself cringing at some of his early posts. The lesson? We all find our voices online– or in any medium, including our “meatspace” groups– after time, after starting out tentatively, after making mistakes, after chaning focus or direction.

I took a look through my early blog posts too, and recommend that you don’t (look at mine, I mean– definitely revisit yours).

Twitter Chat Advice:
Kami Huyse has a nice post on how to participate in Twitter chat. The advice is common sense, but still worth reading. More important to me was that she listed a bunch of existing regular chats that take place on Twitter. Here are the ones Kami listed:

More chats? Certainly, feel free to tell me about them in comments

Brian Solis Gives Me a Headache. Again:

His image of the “Twitterverse,” showing (almost) all the applications and services, is a nice visualization of the universe created by one of the dumbest, simplest online conversation tools out there.

Brian Makes my head spin. Click for larger image

Brian Makes my head spin. Click for larger image

PR Students on Learning About Twitter:

One of my favorite PR professors (ok they;re all my favorite), Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu of Clemson, posted these reactions by her students after they were asked to learn about and use Twitter.

I won;t recap here, just go read it– but I was struck by the number of students who say they “get it.” I was hoping for some more “What the *** is this” reactions, though I guess the students wouldn’t say this to their professor- would they? Some students did admit to “semi-getting it” or simply taking a while to cotton to Twitter as an effective communications tool. I will continue to be fascinated by what and how students are learning about social media as it gets introduced into the curricula more and more.


  1. Thank you for linking to the post, Doug. Twitter seems like a very simple technology, but getting the social norms of how to use it well takes months. I’ve worked very closely with students to mentor them, and what really helps a lot is when PR practitioners jump in our class conversations. That’s when students begin to see for themselves that Twitter can help them connect with people outside of classroom.

    It’s been a lot of work, but it has lead to nice internships and jobs for students, so I really think it was worth it!

  2. Today I was out in the garden, or what resembles a garden with my brown thumb, and found that the Cilantro I’m growing was rotting a bit at the stem. After getting online I realized in my haste for more flavorful foods I was growing the Cilantro WAY too much. The easy fix: cutting it back a bit to make it healthy.

    An apt analogy to what we need to do from time to time in our social media world. Sometimes just growing and growing makes us rot a bit at the stem.

    I’m sure I could have also made this analogy with Manny’s dreads, but decided that was too easy.



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