The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 09:53:00 AM on Monday, April 13th, 2009
To go swimming in the social media pool you need to know where the deep end is.

Sinker
The Sinker states they do not understand all the excitement of social media.  They state that it has no effect or benefit to them.  They fight every attempt and turn off every news story about anything to do with any social tool.  They never want to get wet and could care less where the pool is located.  We often think they do not even like being near the water.  Soon everyone around them is using some social network site and the sinker complains about all the invites they get.  Heck, they used to hate email.  This person is easily identified by the answering machine at home that still uses cassettes.  Every so often one of them breaks down and becomes a Treader.  This is usually after getting pushed into the pool.

Treader
The Treader takes the first step in signing up for services to appease the requests of all their friends and family.  They never quite understand all the benefits the tool can offer, nor even how to use have the features.  They were likely pushed into signing up by someone close just to make them shut up.  The treader rarely screams for help and will flounder in the corner holding onto the edge until a cannonball takes them under.  If they manage not to drown and become a Sinker again, they head towards the light and become a Swimmer.  Do not get too close to a treader as their constant whining can sometimes take you down with them.

Swimmer
The Swimmer takes pride in knowing how to navigate numerous social tools.  They coast along seamlessly between sites and often use the integration between them.  They share not only how their day is but useful tips and find value in the tools they use.  Social networks become a knowledge source and place of solace.  This is the high point of the bell curve of users and adoption.  The Swimmer will often cause splashes and kick a treader in the face with no regard.  Swimmers often do not understand why a Treader will not let go of the edge and join them in the deeper waters.  They hate the whiners and ignore them quickly. Increasingly as they see postings of misunderstanding about the social tools they offer some advice and correction making them Lifeguards.

Lifeguard
The Lifeguard is the watcher of the social tool or network they care about most.  They save the newcomers (Treaders) from talking bad about the service by making sure they know how to do specific tasks.  They exceed depth of the Swimmer and are not scared to go into uncharted waters.  This means beta versions of the tool they use.  Swimmers often hesitate before trying a  beta for fear of hurting their computer.  The Lifeguard has made accommodations for testing, like test machines, Virtual Machines or the thought they can always reinstall if something goes bad.  They jump at the chance to get on the most recent version to stay ahead of the bell curve.  Some will become Instructors accidentally by producing a quick how-to video.

Instructor
The Instructor has mastered many social media tools and is looked upon as a knowledge master.  Sometimes they might even be referred to as early adopters for their drive to learn every corner of a new network.  They willingly share information to anyone who will listen and often write long blog postings describing how to use a tool.  Or even worse, screencasts on how to install, configure and best utilize the tool.  The Instructor seems to always be online somewhere, sharing information to anyone that will listen.

  • 1) Me? I’m a DeckChair loafer
    Created by Dragon Cotterill at 4/13/2009 10:36:59 AM email |

    I am(was) a Swimmer. But quite frankly the pool is getting really crowded, and with everybody in there it's really hard to listen to the signal with gets lost in the noise.

    To keep up the metaphor, now I lounge on the deckchair at the side of the pool. I can listen to see whats going on, I can even dive in if I need to, but I'll happily read my newspaper and let the lot of you play waterpolo or whatever. Somebody pass me my sunglasses and sun tan lotion please.



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Yes this is a blatant theft of the outline that Jess uses on her page, but I asked permission. Why?? Because I am a hardcore admin and can make ugly tables to make you developers frustrated, but this was too nice to pass up.

Also Known As: Chris Miller (when awake)

Boring Certifications: (only because someone asked twice)

  • Workplace Collaboration Services 2.5 - Team Collab and Messaging
  • Domino 7 Certified Security Administrator
  • PCLP ND7
  • PCLP ND6
  • PCLP R5
  • PCLP R4
  • CLP Collaboration (soon to be retired Aug 2006)
  • random former R4 exams
  • CLI for numerous admin areas including Domino, Sametime and Workplace
  • CLP Insane

Yes, I write some of those dreaded admin cert exams you take. I won't say which ones so you don't come looking for me, but I will say they are the real good recent ones that have been coming out.

Weapons/Equipment:

  • At work an IBM 2 GHz
  • At home a plethera of 6 machines with various Windows versions and Red Hat on a wired/wireless LAN
  • A Toshiba E740 with 802.11b (yes geek toy)
  • An Apple 40GB iPod that is filled to the brim
  • Compaq RioPort MP3 player (now in storage)
  • An EBook (REB1100) also for travel (Love that darn thing)
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Animals:

One dog, a Pug. He has been on this world before and seems to understand slippers and a fine cigar. Mind you that is him in the chair and not me.

Let us now also add a deranged cat that is in the process of being toilet trained. Update: Toilet traning was very very close.

Music:

Non-stop. At my desk, in my car, walking to work and back to my car downtown. In the house there is a crazy zoned set-up for you home automation geeks.

I am a self-proclaimed MP3 fiend, to which I have tried rehab 4 billion times to no avail. Next is the MP3 hard-drive for the car that I found. Now what kind of music you ask? I will never tell.

Languages:

  • Incredibly fast English
  • Very slow Spanish
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  • Learning Korean
  • HTML
  • Advanced Sarcasm

Geek class special abilities:

  • Notes/Domino overdrive
  • Workplace
  • Sametime
  • Active Directory (huh? kidding)
  • Quickplace
  • LMS, LVC and the other L's of elearning
  • Windoze junk
  • MS Exchange versions
  • LAN
  • TCPIP
  • Server Iron
  • Yeah, yeah it goes on some

Skills:

Get back to you here

Spells:

Hershey’s Stomach of Holding: Jess and I are fighting over who eats more chocolate. TWDUFF can help me out and vouch for me.

Character Bio:

This will take far more time than I have today. I will start with I was born and still live in St. Louis, MO. Even though for a couple years I was never, ever here and always on the road, this is smack in the middle of the US. Everything is just a few hour flight. That part is nice. No beach/ocean/coast isn't the best. But with the travel I make up for it.

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