Does It Take a Digital Village?

I now believe in twitter. And the power of social media. Doesn’t mean I like doing it. But I do think there is something to it.

Case in point: a few weeks ago, my editors at Parents sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal on Oversharenting. They asked if I wanted to blog about it. I did. I tweeted it out with a slew of other stuff. From that tweet, I began a “twitter conversation” (is that what you call it?) with a producer at KCBS. Next thing I know, he was asking if they could interview me for a story on Oversharenting. (click here to view.) 

I connected with another woman on twitter by posting about Emmett’s reflux. She happens to be a nurse who works in pediatrics. She gave me some amazing information and now we email advice and updates.

I wrote a post about my angst over the alleged allegations of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. I went to Penn State and grew up in State College, so the story really hit home. (His trial is going on right now.) That landed me a segment on Fox LA. 

I still don’t have that many followers, but it’s growing. I have a woman helping me navigate the waters and she’s great. She isn’t putting pressure on me, but what she does is point out articles I’m interested in. I’m a huge fan of Nicholas Kristof’s columns in the New York Times. He takes on the bravest of topics, often writing about the impoverished women and children of the world. She helps flag some for me to retweet to my small flock. You hope over time, you start to make a difference.

This all sounds like a big, gross blog on self-promotion. But it’s not. It really comes down to my resistance of trying something new.  Then, getting over that resistance, embracing it with baby steps, and seeing first hand results.

Does it mean I get a better spot in the universe? No. Do more followers mean I’m more important? No. But if the point of my career is to write, it’s nice to have readers, conversation and feedback. When Parents posts my blogs on their Facebook page, I get to see real-time responses. Two years ago I didn’t even have a Facebook page.

I am quickly realizing in the digital age, it takes a digital village.  The key is how to manage it. There is definitely an art to this, and it does take time. I’m not ready to let it rule my life, but I have seen it work.

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