19 March 2012

I love social media


Many people I know are quite naive about social media - and the internet in general. Scared in fact. They think sharing updates and photos about their lives on Facebook is dangerous. They don't understand the perceived mundane tweets of Twitter. "Why do you want the world to know about what you had for breakfast?" people have asked me. And "what's a blog?" is the question I get asked when I speak of my blog. "An online diary" I say.They freak out at the thought of me sharing so much of my life online, and some have commented they think social media is a waste of time. For me social media is the launchpad for my writing career. It has also brought me so many new friends. I've put so much of my life online and nothing bad has happened to me - in fact I get less harassment online than I do 'in real life'.

This week I've had a few social media wins. I don't know whether these wins will influence those that are scared about social media to start using it in any way, but I hope they can see that social media can be for good.

First up - I was a the supermarket last week, looking for washing up gloves. I am allergic to latex and cannot use the regular rubber gloves. There were no latex free gloves in my local Coles. So I took a photo of the wall of gloves, and tweeted Coles.
Coles responded really quickly to my first tweet, and true to their word, on Wednesday, send me a follow up tweet.
I thanked them and included Chux in my reply. Chux make the gloves I can use. Within minutes I received this tweet from Chux.

And on Saturday a huge parcel was waiting for me at the post office - full of Chux goodies. It was the first time I was excited about cleaning products!
I received seven pairs of latex free washing up gloves, two boxes of food preparation gloves,a stack of different cloths and sponges and some other cleaning products! My cleaner will be pleased! The hamper also came with a lovely letter apologising for not being able to send me gloves in size small.

I was SO impressed! Impressed with Coles' tweets, and Chux's prompt service. Wow :) Thanks Chux!

Follow Coles and Chux on Twitter.

Next up is something that has been in the pipeline for a couple of weeks now, but it was confirmed officially last week. You may notice I have a disclaimer on my blog. 

This blog represents my personal opinions and experiences. It does not reflect those of my employers'.
The information I provide about ichthyosis is mostly based on personal experiences. Please seek medical advice or counseling before trying any new treatments I've written about.
After seeing that someone from my organisation's IP address had visited my blog a high number of times, and coming across an updated social media policy, I gave the Australian Public Service Commission's (APSC) ethics helpline a call to discuss whether I should put a disclaimer on my blog. After our conversation, I researched some different disclaimers, and put my own together.

A few weeks after that conversation, I received an email from the APSC asking me to speak on a panel about the responsible use of social media as a public servant. So while many of my fellow bloggers will be at the Digital Parents Conference next week, I'll be in Canberra speaking to a range of government employees and stakeholders about how I keep my blogging and social media activity separate to my day job. I am so pleased to be recognised for my blog in the workplace. I have asked whether I can blog about the event, and they don't see a problem.

Another thing I am pleased about is the spread of my my blog entries and lovely comments, particularly from the medical community after my post about responsible social media use as a patient. 

And there have been two other (quite frivolous) social media wins.

A tweet from Bob Evans at 4 am telling me I was amazing!
 (Patience from The Grates suggested that I must be amazing given he tweeted me at 4 am!

And this - the only time I will be featured alongside model Erin McNaught in a magazing - my tweet in Shop Til You Drop mag.
Finally, I received an email from the Sydney Writer's Centre telling me I've been nominated for the Best Australian Blogs Competition for 2012. Whoever nominated me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means a lot that people come to read my blog, and value my writing enough to nominate it in this national competition.

So from all the criticism that social media cops, it's been pretty good to me, especially this week. For the doubters out there, give social media a go. You may make some really good networks and friendships.

Share your social media good news stories with me and my readers.

24 comments:

  1. I love that you were excited by the cleaning products parcel! Congrats on your nomination for your blog, it's a great read!

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    1. Hahah Sean I am not excited about cleaning though! Thank you for your support - I don't know how you found me, but I am glad you did :)

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  2. Good work, Carly!! I like how today's post covers so many aspects of social media and how it has the power for positive change in our lives.

    SSG xxx

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    1. So true, SSG :) Social media applies across so many facets of our life - there is no 'in real life' any more - social media is real life. I think the opportunity to speak at a work function about my blog is testament to that.

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  3. Congrats Carly, you deserve all the recognition you receive xx

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  4. None of this would have happened if you weren't a very strong writer. I attended a writers' group for three years, and while I got very good feedback, I ran out of inspiration and left the group. You seem to write with such ease, as if you are speaking to your audience instead of typing. And you, so far, have never run out of things to say! I enjoy reading your blog not just for the inspiration of your message, but also because I enjoy the little peek into the life of a young woman thousands of miles away. I love your food and fashion, too. Congratulations on your achievements, and thanks for a good read!

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    1. What a lovely thing to say Cheryl - I am glad you enjoy reading my blog and the insight into my life :)

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  5. That story about the cleaning products really brings a smile to my face! I think social media can certainly be a good thing, especially if you're savvy about using it. I used to get a little bit of harassment from older men (back when I was in my teens), but because my parents had educated me about how to handle it, I didn't have any problems.

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  6. I was just saying to a friend today that I'm so glad I was in my 20's when the whole social media thing took off. I could start using it with lots of knowledge about how an online profile can affect you. And still I've been surprised by the way that various people that I hadn't expected have responded (at least once in a very creepy way). I really worry about kids learning about it and doing things that could have negative impacts on their future career etc. But overall I love social media.

    A couple of months ago I could smell smoke - a lot of smoke. It was night and ever since the Canberra bushfires smoke makes me nervous. I jumped on twitter and there was a tweet from the local ESA letting everyone know about a house fire two suburbs over. I was so relieved, it was fantastic. And then just a couple of weeks ago their tweets enabled me to work out how to get home when the roads were cut with flooding.

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  7. Good things happen to people who do good and to those who work hard at what they want in life.You do both of these things so well.Good luck with your up coming adventures and may the joy of writing and speaking up always excite you x

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    1. Thank you - writing and speaking is really exciting - love it!

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  8. Hooray. Enjoyed this post.

    I am a public servant and a lawyer, and I am always conscious of this when I blog.

    My entire office reads my blog, so really, it pays to be circumspect x

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    1. Yes, it is so important as a public servant to represent ourselves in the best light possible. You do that all the way FF. I love that your office reads your blog xx

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  9. oh blogging and social media, how I love thee <3

    great post Carly! :)

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    1. Blogging and social media has changed my life. Thank you Rah :)

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  10. Carly, you are indeed a blogger and a person of awesomeness. You never cease to amaze and inspire me, especially at those times when I desperately need inspiration.

    Rock on, girl!

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    1. Dorothy - thank you for your lovely kind words - you're so strong yourself. :)

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  11. Excellent news about the Canberra Speaking gig, Carly! Cannot think of a better person who knows her stuff. I loved following the news last week about the power of twitter. As you know, twitter is definitely a companion in lonelier moments, and it's like there's always a friend to chat to, no matter what the time.
    Great work & great education you provide to so many... Well done on SWC nomination too!
    Denyse

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    1. Hi Denyse, Twitter is definitely a good companion - I love the friendships it's brought. And thank you so much for your kind words and support. Can't wait for the Canberra gig :)

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  12. OH my goodness. So much good news. You've inspired me so many times to use Twitter to solve real-world problems. I have been at a new job recently and am so busy...I barely have time for anything! Seriously...Maybe not even my August Vacation to see you...!!! But I haven't given up hope.
    However, I have recently had to take my blog down because someone was using my words and pictures and posting things online out of context and it made me remember, that anyone can post anything on the internet...true or not true...and so you have to be careful, not only about what you post ... but about how people will interpret what you post and use it against you later in a different forum to objectify or embarrass you.

    -the chaser (Terrina:)

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  13. Wow Carly - on all fronts - from the gloves to the addressing the Australian Public Servant Commission. xx

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  14. Carly this is fantastic! So many well deserved wins! God bless social media :)

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  15. Great post! I've been focusing so much on the negative impact of online communities that it's very refreshing to hear about the positives :)

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