Get into the groove

I wrote my first blog in 2003 as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends spread around the world.  I had just arrived in California after spending three years in Japan, and I felt dislocated and homesick.  The blog helped me work through some of these emotions and allowed me to share photos, stories and news.  Although I kept it going for a few years, eventually my output petered out and months would pass by without an update. 

When I started this site a couple of years ago, I intended to include a blog as a regular feature, but could never find my groove.  What exactly should I blog about? 

Last night, I joined a group of philanthropy professionals to dicuss social media and one of the key topics was blogging.  As I listened to Pilar Diaz speak about her terrific blog, it dawned on me that I should follow the basic maxim of writing about the things I know best.  The problem is that I have too many passions (communication, music, writing, photography, travel, and film), so I've decided to focus on one interest (communication) while digressing into the others from time to time.

For instance, last night's discussion at LA84 Foundation touched on a common anxiety of working professionals:  how should we balance the use of social media for personal and professional reasons?

Key takeaways:

1) Own your "brand."

2) Find a tool you like and spend some time getting to know it.

3) Have some find with it and be authentic.

4) Don't overshare in personal or professional spaces.

5) If you are uncertain about social media, ask your communications team for advice.

6) Your organization should have a social media policy to guide you.

7) The rules of social media are the same as staff policies: use your common sense!

8) If you're at a social event, listen to others and engage in conversation.

9) Be selective about what posts your audiences will see; tailor your distribution.

10) Experiment and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Practice makes perfect.