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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Swim, Bike and Run your way through Social Media

It is often said (“who by NIc?”) that navigating the world of Social Media is a lot like the world of professional sports.  Whilst I would have serious issues with whoever these people are who are saying this (e.g. - I don’t get changed into a uniform before I write this blog), I guess for the purposes of this piece - “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”....
So here - in a hastily put together analogy using one of the world’s fastest growing professional sports (and one that I actually really enjoy myself - though far from the professional arena) - is my call as to “Why getting started in Social Media is like doing a triathlon”......
Prep work - getting ready.  You have no real idea of what you are letting yourself in for.  You have all the basics covered (swimming, riding a bike, running, knowledge of Facebook/Twitter/etc) - but it also looks like it will be really painful to master..... 

Event 1 - the swim.  You dive in - head first if you are brave enough, but you could ease your way in and just get used to the water before starting off on your own journey if you so wish.  Once you have started - you better keep on moving forward - but you have no real visibility ahead of you and you can’t look back - whilst all around you are many many others making a huge splash.  You can’t really see where you are headed - though you know the direction you are headed in.   It’s probably best to keep your head down, come up for air every now and again - and follow the crowd.  SO - lot’s of following then.....
Event 2 - the bike.  More following - often on the coat tails of the pace setters (slip streaming / drafting / copying some might call it).  By now - you should have found a pack that you feel comfortable in - smaller than the genpop but still a large group - if it’s a good one  - they will all be looking out for each other.  The better you are in this event - the more likely that you will find other people following you, and you may even warrant a ‘pack’ of your own.
Event 3 - the Run.  Time to set off on your own path.  You don’t need any support to move forward.  You know what you need to do to get to the end of the race - and you know the route/pace/direction you will travel in.  If you really succeed - then every single person will be following you home - though for the mid-level triathlete - you will find solace in doing your own race in the midst of the race population.  You will have your own goals, and hopefully you will achieve them.  And if you don’t - well there is always another race next week / after work.
NOTE - For the purposes of this Triathlon/Social Media/Crammed analogy - the transition stages were omitted.  Happy to take suggestions for how getting out of a wetsuit and into a pair of slinky running briefs equates to the Internet....  Hang on - on 2nd thoughts - let’s just leave it there...
Another NOTE - Nic is a recent (ish) arrival to the USA - having had a stellar career in Sports Club management in the UK.  He is available, VISA’d up, and chomping at the bit to help your organization.  If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him (it should be pretty easy - just use the contact details listed on this site), maybe you can hire..... Nic.  If you want to learn more about Nic - check out his awesome Video Resume site (his words not mine...... )  shown here...... 

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