Sunday, March 04, 2012

The Sunday Salon - On Information Hoarding

Everyone has some specific ways they respond to stress, and for many of the readers and librarians I know, it involves information hoarding. 

I am an information hoarder. This is a little of what that looks like.

1. When I feel unseated I tend to read EVERYTHING I can get my hands on about a topic.
2. I tend to start writing copious notes I'll have to go back through later and decipher for myself and anyone else who cares.
3. I tend to observe others who are doing the same thing I'm hoarding about or a community at large that can help me feel more grounded.

Check, check, check! 

I am REALLY not trying to drive you all crazy with new-job-talk, but it is sending out such drastic, resonating shockwaves through my life, it's really hard to avoid! And I need to vent. So there! It's really a trifecta of crazy. Let's analyze...

1. Old Job Crazy - This past week I've been finishing up my duties at the college and getting the t's crossed and the i's dotted to pass my materials along to our Dean since she'll be absorbing a lot of my current duties. My last day at the college is Friday, March 9th, which coincides with the last day of the academic term, so I've also been grading papers and getting those grades ready to post. Busy, stupid, crazy.

2. Online Job Crazy - Five online classes are kicking my tail. Given, I inherited three new classes several weeks into the semester. I am so so so glad to have the extra  income, but the grading is a nightmare. I've been trying to catch up this weekend with mild success. It just always takes SO MUCH LONGER to grade papers online. 

3. New Job Crazy - I am just astounded by the amount of work there is to be done. Like so many companies, social media has been something of an afterthought with a bunch of other irons on the fire. The process of cleaning up, doing lots of "listening" and research, and ultimately building the social media strategy into something doable for a bunch of different brands is going to be a huge challenge. Right now I'm getting a handle on what each brand needs, what's being said (or not said) on the web about those brands, and laying down an infrastructure for the department. I'll be diving into this gig head on with travel plans to Phoenix next Sunday and Monday.

See why all the info hoarding??? 

One of the better hoarding decisions I've made this past week was to download a copy of Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks) by Dave Kerpen. This came as a recommendation from a good buddy at work and was confirmed by some good buddies online. 

Kerpen owns a successful social media consulting firm and has a lot of great advice. Is it all brand new advice? No. If you've been in social media in some capacity--blogger, Twitter, Facebook user, marketer--you'll already know a lot of the tactics in this book. However, it does provide some pretty interesting and heartening statistics about building a following on Facebook and Twitter to increase sales, brand recognition, and overall presence in the market. It also synthesizes some of the more innovative and successful efforts undertaken by other brands that have given me some ideas. Take what works and do it better!!! That's my goal. 

The number one goal of this book? BE LIKEABLE and helpful. More companies should live by that rule.

This book has really confirmed what I want to do in my new job and given me a few new ideas to throw into my bag of tricks. That's probably the most valuable thing I could have right now -- a sense of calm and knowing. Confirmation that I do know what to do with the challenge even though my head is spinning. 

Another side effect of gaining a job in social media?!...

A desire to keep this blog TOTALLY SEPARATE from my work. Obviously I'm not doing a very good job of it at the moment, but I think when some of the twirliness passes, I'll be able to settle back into my happy place here. You won't see me doing a lot of things differently here. I don't want to use this blog as a petri dish for my work. Just good reading, a lot of honest reality, and snark.

So that's my Sunday! Posts will still be slow here in the next couple of weeks until I get settled but I am thinking of my bloggy peeps, wishing for more reading time, more posting time, and more commenting around the blogosphere. Twitter has been an especially helpful connection to my bloggy peeps the last couple of weeks since it doesn't require more than 140 characters of thought at a time. And Pinterest! Lots of pinning going on.

29 comments:

  1. Whew, you sound busy!

    I think keeping your blog separate from work in the future sounds like a good idea, even though it's interesting for us to read about your work. I am a teacher and am not allowed to post anything about work and actually the separation makes my blog a more relaxing, happy place :)

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  2. And I WOULD NEVER publish the company's name or anything like that. I've never published my college's name either. But even beyond that I don't want readers to get the creepy feeling that because I'm in social media professionally my blog is some sort of orchestrated crossover (I don't think they would, it's pretty obvious I'm not calculated here). I need a place to be all me all the time. lol

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  3. Since I'm retired from Old Career and doing New Career/Freelance, it's not an issue for me. The separation, I mean.

    My social work career stuff has crept into the books I've written...but once I got that out of my system, my two new WIPs are different.

    Thanks for sharing...

    Here's MY SUNDAY SALON POST

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  4. Creating a new position from the ground up is a lot of work, but I have a feeling it'll be very rewarding for you. I know you'll be wonderful at it!

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    1. Thank you, Kathy! I think it'll be rewarding too, I'm just having a hard time holding in my excitement until this current job is officially over! Three more days! I will miss my colleagues (and my office), though.

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  5. You sound like you are incredibly busy, Andi! But it also sounds like you are having fun with your new job :)

    I don't have a problem keeping my work separate from my blog because it is so different from my blogging life (and because I work in the medical field, the idea of privacy is huge and I really can't share stuff publicly about what I'm doing).

    I hope you are enjoying your Sunday. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks, Wendy! And, yes, having a LOT of fun. :D

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  6. Wow! What a crazy two weeks! I hope you get everything done early so you can relax a little.

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    1. Thank you! I hope so, too!

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  7. Congrats on the new position! It does sound like an incredibly busy time, but it's so wonderful to be doing the job you want and love.

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    1. MJ, it's gonna be a very new, very different experience. I've been in education for 8 years now, so the idea of moving to a creative environment with far fewer "rules" is exciting.

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  8. You will be amazing at your new job, and this will be over soon!

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    1. Thank you, Michelle! Having fun with it. Lots of brainstorming between my colleagues and myself. And I'm threatening to return every Thursday with Chinese food.

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  9. Poor busy you! Sounds like so many things for your brain to be thinking about! I hope you can find some space to get some brain rest and read something frivolous.

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! I accepted the attitude of "I do what I can" today. My brain can only hold so much more!

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  10. I just finished up Old Job and started New Job last week. Mine's in the same department, though, so nothing like what going through. Still, that crossover period was exhausting...I don't know how you're doing it!!!!

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    1. It is exhausting, isn't it??! Glad you're getting settled in your New Job and hope things are fantastic!

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  11. I do the same thing..the hoarding of information. I've always got notebooks or scraps of paper around my laptop at home and computer at work. I'm loving your social media board on Pinterest =)

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    1. Thank youuu! I need to get back to it. I was updating it sort of as a trial run. Many people think Pinterest is not suitable to anything but recipes and crafts, so I'm attempting to prove them wrong!

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  12. I do not envy your current busy-ness at all. Sounds really stressful!

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    1. It is, Trish. But you know what??? 50% less papers to grade when it's all over! WOOOO!

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  13. I have a number of doctors in the family, including my dad. When something medically serious happens, they switch into doctor talk -- incredibly detailed technical language. (My dad really does this when stressed about my mom.) I nod and pretend I understand then turn to one of my brothers who does the same thing but will add a summary like: bottom line: it's a big deal. Translating stress into info does seem to help -- aside from the usefulness of the info itself.

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    1. It's funny how that happens, eh?? It's just a kneejerk reaction I think. I remember the first time one of my grad school friends and I really took our new lingo out for a spin. We were both surprised at ourselves. lol

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  14. Totally understandable for you to be hoarding information. That's a LOT going on in your world, but it's also so so exciting. And Phoenix! Wave to grandma and grandpa for me. (mine).

    It's funny--I had a dinner conversation with my dad the other night and he wanted to know why I'm not monetizing my blog. 1. I'm not really sure how but 2. then would it be work? Sometimes a little separation between work and fun is important (besides privacy issues for both sides...).

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    1. Trish, I would be happy to wave at your grandma and grandpa! LOL

      And I know what you mean. I think blogs can easily become like work, and that's NOT OK for me. I can only stress about a few things at a time.

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  15. Deep breath in, exhale, repeat. ;)

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  16. Sounds like you are swamped as you ramp up for your new job but I can hear the excitement and passion for what you are going to be doing and I am really excited for you!

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  17. Hey, I'm late but catching up on my google reader. Congrats on the new job, it sounds awesome. good luck!

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