Three things dawned on me today as a blizzard of amazing links poured through my Twitter stream.
One. My brain was capsizing. And I was starting to get tense.
Two. There are only 24 hours in a day and you only have one pair of hands. You can’t know it all.
Three. The answer became clear. Do one thing at a time. Bit like my Grandad did growing things on an allotment.
The scale and velocity of social media is exciting, inspiring and frightening.
“One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload,” said Marshall McLuhan.
“There’s always more than you can cope with.”
He died in 1980. And all he had to deal with were three TV channels that finished at midnight and Pong. Lucky man.
I quitelike this one, too. “Getting information from the internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” Mitchell Kapor said that.
Information overload? Here’s me. I’m following 500 people on Twitter. I try to keep up. I do. Really.
Oh, and Right now I’d like to know more of geotagging, Foursquare, smartphones, Flip, Google maps, podcasting and Facebook.
I know it can’t all be done.
This is exactly why people who call themselves ‘social media experts’ are not. Because you simply can’t be.
So what? Here’s my answer. Be good at something rather than a dabbler in everything.
It’s okay not know everything. Why? Because you can’t. And besides, nobody likes a know-all.
Do one project at a time. One month at a time. Make it a good one. Understand it. Then maybe move on.
I forget where I heard that, but it’s a brilliant, brilliant piece of advice.
Philip John is good at WordPress because he has spent time on it.
Bristol Editor is good at blogging about journalism for the same reason.
Sarah Lay got good at Google maps because she spent a bit of time on it. And listened to how Stuart Harrison did it.
Specialise. Relax. Have a little corner allotment plot of the digital universe and take time to grow something good there.
As my Grandad once said, do potatoes first. Watch them grow. Get good at them. THEN try something a bit trickier. Like carrots. Then try artichokes. Before you know it you’ve got a thriving corner of produce. You can try to be Sainsbury’s. You’ll fail. It’ll be more fun being an allotment market gardener with this stuff.
One step at a time.
Okay? Feel a bit better now?
Main pic credit: Will Lion