I retooled my Google Profile recently because it felt barren and devoid of any purpose other than being a placeholder. I’ve gotten a bit wary of leaving accounts this way. Outposts are one thing, but building my own ghost town? No, thanks.
The experience was a bit weird, and it’s not really finished. I need to write a better self-bio, but it’s slow going because I don’t write much copy. Also because I’m very unused to writing about myself (hello, meta) as much as I do self-reference here. It’s a totally different feel, doing something from a purely outside view, rather than telling a story like I would on my blog, or just about anywhere else. It feels empty, unemotional and, above all, narcissistic. But then, I thought, isn’t all sharing this way?
We can bash all we want on the idea of people using social media and social networking to get themselves out there, but it’s one of the most common, misunderstood behaviours we have. If you tell me you broke a finger, I’ll tell you I stabbed myself with a screwdriver. It’s not being self-centered (unless it is, which is less common), rather it’s a great way to make sure you understand that I’m not just spouting platitudes. It shows, if not a common experience, at least that I understand what you’re saying and have been through a similar trial.
It really sounds like I’m making it about me. But I’m not. I’m proving to you that I know what you’re getting at. Where it falls down is if I fail to stop at the end of the example, and continue with the whole story, totally derailing yours. That’s narcissism for you. If I’ve been good enough to relate and stop, and let you get on with it – trust me, I’m using relational proof, not turning the tide of conversation.
I’ve decided to be a bit more sharing, despite the obvious “Go Me” undertones. I don’t really do Delicious or Digg, but if you use Google Reader, go ahead and follow my shared items. I made them public during the writing of this post, and they’re going to stay that way. I’m very picky about what I share, so expect scarcity for a while as I build up my list. I promise I’ll try not to annoy you.
I’d also like your advice (because we’re in this together, and I just told you a story – it’s your turn to tell me one of yours). In addition to social bookmarking, are there any tools you use for not just getting yourself out there, but for getting the things you think are worthwhile and interesting out to the people who follow you?
We can’t talk about ourselves all the time. But we can’t talk about other people all the time either. There’s a happy medium. Have you found yours yet?