Friday, June 19, 2009

Becoming Digitally Fluent


I’m on a journey…to digital fluency.

It’s a long and bumpy road, but I’m glad I’m on it.

Everyday I encounter new obstacles and things I don't know. But I am committed to staying on course.

I've been thinking alot about the lessons I've learned in the relatively short time that I've been climbing this mountain.

I thought it might be interesting, helpful, dare I dream...inspiring ...to share what I've learned so far.

To make it seem a bit less overwhelming I’ve come up with this acronym, which incorporates 5 key steps to digital fluency. I call it SMART.

S- is for Start. Take the first step. Every journey begins with one. Depending on your current level of fluency that could mean joining Facebook, signing up for Twitter, or in my case… starting this blog.

M- is for making connections. The real point of social networking is to connect with people. So it’s not enough just to join a network and ignore it. You’ve got to reach out to other people. Leave comments on their posts or updates, retweet interesting content. Get involved in the conversation.

A- is for Ask. Ask questions when you don’t understand something. I spent most of the day at the Wired conference on Monday wondering if "the cloud" everyone was talking about was the real one looming omninously outside. I finally asked my seatmate and realized it was the computing one.

R- reach out to people that have a higher level of fluency than you do and ask them to teach you. Twitter is actually an amazing way to engage with experts. I reached out to Steve Farnsworth on Twitter and he was incredibly generous with his advice.

T- is for making time to actively explore this new world. It doesn’t mean you have to drop everything to Tweet all day. But it does mean recognizing that technology, like all skills and hobbies, can't be mastered in a day. Set aside 15 minutes every morning to surf interesting blogs or read a magazine on technology (like Wired), or even just the wikipedia definitions of terms you keep hearing but don't understand.

SMART. Maybe a oversimplification, dare I say a dumb, way to look at it.

But as I said, hey at least I'm trying.

That's my point of view. What's your twist?

What are you doing to improve your digital fluency?

2 comments:

  1. Nice post, keep posting and I will recognize it to my friends!

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  2. I, too, am struggling with social networking as a tool to build my biz. I love your suggestions. I have also thought about bringing some minds together to grapple with this same issue: how to integrate social networking into your business model as the market changes so quickly.

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