I love participating in social media – it’s fun, and I get opportunities to easily interact with people that would otherwise be far more difficult for me to reach out to. But, it’s also one of those things that is really easy to ignore if I don’t make a conscientious effort to show up and do it. Shawn Blanc wrote about this back in July in his post, “50 things I’ve learned about publishing a weblog“; he claims his list of 50 things to be unordered, but it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the first thing in his list is “show up every day.”
I suck at showing up every day.
I’m good at showing up every day for maybe two weeks. I’ve toyed with the idea of creating a daily checklist of things I want to make sure I do on social media every day, across all of my primary presences (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.). I just hadn’t taken the time to come up with a good system for tracking things. I’ve been using 37Signals Action Method for my work to-do list (the ability to add the notes off to the side is fantastic, even though it could use some functionality tweaks), but it doesn’t have a function to have a standing to-do list that resets each day. There are plenty of apps on the App Store that will manage daily to-do lists, but it took me until today to try and find one.
The one I’m trying is Daily Deeds. Each item on your daily to-do list also is tied to a calendar that will show the days of a particular month you crossed that item off so you can look for trends – see if one item is getting done consistently, or if there is one that’s consistently not getting done, etc.
I brainstormed a short list of the networks I wanted to be sure I hit up every day, then pulled some numbers for daily participation out of the sky and tweaked them a bit. So here’s the list I came up with:
• photo on Instagram
• three status updates on Facebook
• 10 tweets
• reply to five tweets
• find five things to pin/repin on Pinterest
• write a post for andybartlett.com (done!)
• write at least three paragraphs in an offline journal
• read and remove at least three things I have added to Pocket
It’s aggressive, particularly the writing part, but I didn’t want to start with something that would be trivially achievable like, hey, just tweet three times and update Facebook and call it good. If this works, I’ll try and adapt something similar for work — which will probably be more aggressive, since there will be the added complexity layer of having student workers to handle some/most of the load.
At first glance the only thing I may end up not liking about Daily Deeds is that you either check off an item from your list or you don’t. For something like the three Facebook status updates, I think it would be nice to have an ability to give myself partial credit for getting 2 of 3 or whatever, but then I also think that might eventually make me OK with not getting to three. So we’ll have to see whether I dislike that feature or not, I guess…
Anyway, that’s what I’m trying. This blog post gives me six of the eight things checked off for today, so that’s a good start. But, the key will be sustaining this. And, as I said – historically, I suck at showing up every day. One day at a time, etc.