I love this post by my friend Judy Helfand! So glad she wrote it for me 🙂 Judy Helfand is co-owner of Webconsuls, LLC, functioning as a Project Manager. She has worked for a number of Fortune 500 companies in both the banking and insurance industry and has successfully owned and operated two small businesses – a country inn in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Webconsuls, LLC. Judy’s personal blog is Judy’s Op-Ed and she also writes and manages Webconsuls’ Blog. Feel free to follow her Twitter @judyhelfand.
Do you have a favorite recipe for grits?
That’s right. I want to know how you prepare grits. The reason I ask is while reading The Help, I came across this passage:
“In the kitchen, I fix some grits without no seasoning, and put them baby marshmallows on top. I toast the whole thing to make it a little crunchy. Then I garnish it with a cut-up strawberry. That’s all a grit is, a vehicle. For whatever it is you rather be eating.”
I was so taken by these few sentences that I stopped reading for a minute, dog-eared the page, and then thought about how most of what we do in the social media world is to use vehicles that might propel us into those prestigious social media communities and from there who knows.
Think about this for a minute. Do you like GRITS or is it the salt, butter, and/or brown sugar that is sitting on top of the GRITS? The same with oatmeal or cream of wheat. Do you like french toast or is it the maple syrup, melted butter, preserves that are dripping down each slice of toast? Would you eat the french toast if you were out of butter, cinnamon, maple syrup or preserves? My guess is you wouldn’t bother. You wouldn’t waste your energy, you would just eat a couple of slices of bread to ease your immediate hunger. (Although my father liked to put salt and pepper on his french toast, but maybe that was a holdover from the depression.)
Remember when you would add excessive cream to your coffee and your friends might have quipped: “Gee, why not have some coffee with your cream?” The truth is you probably really didn’t like coffee, but if you added enough cream to it so you could tolerate the coffee and join in the old-fashioned coffee break – you were magically part of the community.
But back to today’s virtual social communities, what vehicle(s) do you have to use in order to get to be where you want to be? Are you using these vehicles: blogs,Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, disqus, livefrye, chats? That’s just seven, there are hundreds. I don’t have to name them all. And yes, I know I didn’t mention Google+ or Triberr. Maybe the more important question is where do you want to be? Or need to be?
To “eat” what you’d rather be eating are you willing to:
- create a meaningful and useful blog
- grow a powerful engaging Twitter following
- design a captivating Facebook page
- comment via DISQUS or LIVEFRYE to enjoy more exposure and relevance
- connect with the powers via LinkedIn
- join in Twitter chats like #blogchat, #leadershipchat, #bwechat
I can confess that I have taken a test drive with all of these vehicles. I do it for my clients, I do it to meet interesting people, and every once in a while there is that wee bit of a connection that won’t necessarily lead to my early retirement, but it makes the day so much brighter and maybe, just maybe, I have been of service to the “community.”
Let me know what you think? Do you really like grits…or is it all the toppings?