Going back Upstream.

Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

When we post on social media, what do we want to happen?

I found myself considering this half way through the routine of writing my last blog. I enjoy the process of writing. For me, it is a form of journalling – I often need to write things down to help me clarify and sort my thoughts. I’ve been doing it regularly for three years now, and have also enjoyed the gentle discipline of refining what I write, playing with ideas, and finding the best combination of words, phrases and references to capture the essence of what I’m thinking. It’s a long journey, and I have a long way to go, but the act of pressing “publish” becomes a commitment.

All well and good, but what about what happens? I have no specific goals or objectives for what I write, it’s like making paper boats of words and putting them in a stream; I have no idea whether they will float or sink, or where they will end up. The pleasure is in making them.

That said, some make port. They have found their way to a few hundred people I have come to know, some very well, without meeting them. People I have come to value, whose feedback on ideas helps me and whose company makes me smile.

Which takes me to the stream. I post on a limited number of platforms – my own blog, on a member only development site New Artisans and another member only conversation site, Originize. These are gentle streams, but I also link my own blog to LinkedIn, which feels like a gentle stream encountering a fast flowing river. The mood changes, and lots of stuff gets swept back upstream like plastic detritus. Some of it is valuable for recycling, or repurposing but most is seeking to claim my attention to its own ends – to sell, or persuade, or often, just shout. It often seems so noisy that it is hard to hear anything, and the more I go downstream, the noisier it gets.

So maybe it’s time to make a choice. If I leave my messages in the mainstream, maybe somebody I haven’t met will find them useful and become a client. On the other hand, the cost of doing that is the time I am unable to spend paying attention to those who already find them useful, those who are friends, some of who are clients, and some who never will be. It matters not, the value I derive is their company and conversations that matter. Agendas are optional.

So it’s time to focus on the small things and conversations that matter and kick the habit of “more” and “perhaps.” It’s time to go back upstream and spend more time with friends, going back upstream to find what’s heading for the mainstream.

So, I’ll be cutting out the middleman of LinkedIn shortly, and the casual acquaintances, and spending time with people who want to explore. You know who you are. I’ll be in touch direct.

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