The Internet is for Sharing

Heart to HeartImage by mSkeet via Flickr

Recently, a colleague, Robert Burgess, published a book: A Guide to Body Sense.

It contains 50 Awareness Through Movement lessons with excellent, clear drawings to accompany the instructions. The book is designed so that you could photocopy lessons and instructions f or clients after an ATM class orFunctional Integration lesson. I read about the book when he announced it on FeldyForum.

In the past, this information might have stopped with me, and with whoever happened to be reading the forum the day he announced it. However, social media allows me to share information, easily, about Robert’s book with all my friends and clients, and potentially with all their friends as well.

This is the magic of sharing. Sharing is what makes a video or website or any other cool thing “go viral,” that is, to spread across the Internet and be viewed millions of times. Social media sites make it easy to spread the word about t hings you love — and the things you hate!

Take this blog post, for example. At the end, you’ll see the word, “Share” in a button with a little “+” sign. If you click on that, you’ll see a number of different sites to choose from: Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Digg, and more! If you have an account on any of those sites, you can spread this blog post so that it publishes on that site as well, as in another location. That is, instead of reading this article here on my blog, and that’s the only way people can read it, when you share something, others could read it on Facebook, or wherever you choose. Facebook and MySpace allow you to share articles, blogs, photos, videos– almost anything you can think of!

Your Facebook page also has a feature up by your status statement (answer the question, “What are you doing right now?”) that says, “Share a link.” You can copy and paste the URL of a video, article, or blog post — anything that has a web adress — into that box. That’s another way to share.

To get started sharing, you’ll need an account with a social media site to be your virtual home-away-from home. Think of it as a place where you and your friends hang out online. I like Facebook the best. Many of my local friends as well as colleagues around the world are also there. Some people like MySpace. I also have a page on MySpace, just to have one, but I don’t use it much. In my opinion, it’s less useful for business, unless you are in a rock band, or would like to meet other 13-year-olds. I think Facebook is the best place to start, and you can branch out from there.

Accounts on social media sites are free. The site will ask you if you want to invite friends — it’s more fun if you do. Allow the site to tip-toe through your address book and show you which people you already know are already participating. Invite the people you like, the people you find interesting, and leave the rest. When you log in to the site, you’ll be able to see what all your friends are doing, reading, thinking about, and you can select what you share with them.

Another way to share is through blogging. You’ll notice that there are links in blue throughout this article. You can click on any link, and go to a website that will give you more information. You can do this manually, which takes a bit of time. I use a new tool called Zemanta, which helps me to link to images, articles, and blog posts that will enhance your learning, if you are curious to know more. Sharing things of value adds value to your presence and your reputation in social media.

The current “hot thing” in social media is Twitter. In 140-keystroke updates, or “tweets,” you can update the world about what you are doing, and find out what is going on in the world! Share links that are helpful and positive and watch your followers list grow.

While it’s great to use social media sites as a tool for business, to inform people about what you do, and to make contacts with potential clients, don’t be tacky. If all you talk about is yourself, you’ll be that creepy guy at the party that nobody wants to talk to. Share items that are interesting, that are funny, that are helpful and useful to others. You’ll establish a reputation for being someone worth checking in on. So, next time you see a photo or video you like, or read an article that makes you say, “Oh, YEAH!” just click “Share.” You’ll be amazed at the conversations you start having — conversations that build your business.

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