Following the ever-industrious CC Chapman's latest podcast, 10 Social Media Things in 10 Minutes, I began to wonder--if someone wanted to explore social media just for an hour at lunch, what would the best options be? What would I recommend someone do to dip a toe in the waters without overwhelming her? CC's list is fascinating, and he kicked me in the pants to come up with my own. Some crossover, to be sure--what do you think?
- Listen to a podcast. Go to iTunes and search for a podcast on your favorite subject. Pick one that sounds promising and listen to it--you might discover a new addiction.
- Join Twitter. You don't have to Tweet obsessively; just get a free account and listen. Remember listening? Just see what is going on, see what the Twittersphere is commenting on. Don't know who to follow? A few suggestions: @chrisbrogan, @cc_chapman (of course), @jowyang, @skydiver, @astrout, @sgetgood, @mashable
- Complete your profile on LinkedIn. Yes, I'm assuming that at some point in the last few years, you actually created a profile. But is it complete? Did you link to all your websites and past employers? Did you fill out your summary with your power benefit statement of your biggest passions and accomplishments? Did you link to your past and current colleagues? Did you recommend others? Did you update your status? Join a group? Pick one and tackle it at lunch today.
- Ask a question on Seesmic. It's free to open an account, and video conversations have a quality that blog comment conversations just don't have. Open up a free account and ask your burning question. For the Knight News Challenge, I asked, "What are the obstacles to innovation?" and the conversation was still going on, two weeks and 40 responses later!
- Set up a Google alert for your own name. If you haven't already, set up a Google alert for your name, your company's name and for your biggest brand concerns. So search for occurrences of "heidi miller," of course, but also "social media," "podcasting," "twitter," "facebook" and "online communities." Whatever field you serve or service you provide, take five minutes to set up a Google search.
- Set up an event on Facebook. Got a book club? A social group that meets for wine and cheese? A few buddies that meet over coffee? Set up the event on Facebook and indicate that you are attending. Met real-life friends from online. Remember, nothing beats face time.
- Sign up for GoodReads or Shelfari. As much as I read online, I still love the feel of a solid book in my hands, and that's the only way I read anything longer than three pages. And I love getting recommendations from other friends and giving my own about my favorite and most useful reads. Just share your thoughts on the last book you read.
- Record your next customer service call or interview on Skype. Download Skype for free and buy credits to make outgoing calls to phones--I use Call Recorder to automatically record every inbound and outbound Skype call. Use it to improve your own service and phone voice. Or use it to record interviews with reporters to make sure you''re not misquoted--I always record every call and send the recording off to the reporter immediately afterwards.
- Comment on blogs. You don't have to start a blog yourself; just do a blog search for your favorite topic, click any interesting-sounding entries, and click "comment" at the end of the entry to leave your two cents. Participate in the conversation--you don't have to start your own.
- Sign up for Facebook and join a group. Just to a search for your favorite topic--knitting, bowling, kayaking, social media, moms, autism, whatever--and click to join a group that interests you.
What about you? How would you suggest someone dip a toe into the social media waters over a lunch break?