Six years ago, I wrote my first blog post, “Blogging as a state of mind“. Forrester was supportive of my research efforts into the nascent subject of social media and saw the logic of my having a blog if I was going to be advising clients on how to have one! I am forever grateful for that leap of faith.

I remember how nervous I was writing that first post. After rewriting it several times, I finally closed my eyes and clicked on the “Publish” button.

I hold on to that memory because it’s a powerful reminder of what many people new to social media go through, that sense of being out of control. While I’d been publishing research at Forrester for five years by then, blogging was just me — unpolished thinking, typos, and all.

What I didn’t realize with that first post was how addictive it would all become. The same thing that drove me then — to share my thoughts and research with people — is what drives me to share today. And today, anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account can quickly and easily share and feel the same sense of power.

In that first post, I wrote, “I believe that blogs as they are today are more a state of mind than a technology or a publishing tool.” As an example, I pointed out that Forrester’s CEO George Colony would occasionally write a column. He’s now a frequent blogger and Twitter user.

This is what many executives fail to grasp – that social media isn’t about blogging or Facebook or Twitter. It’s about sharing as a state of mind.

Executives are shockingly bad a sharing publicly, so I encourage them to take small steps, sharing simple observations with a small team of people. Many start doing this by email.

One recent example: The CEO of General Electric Jeffrey Immelt was asked to give the commencement address at Boston College last spring. In the course of writing his speech, he reached out to 270 Boston College grads at GE via email, asking them to share what advice they would give to new grads. It’s small steps toward greater sharing, but it is steps.

I’d love to hear from you what your first experiences were like, when you ventured into this brave new world of sharing and social media. Were you anxious,¬†exhilarated? What have you learned since you started? Share so that we can relive those early days with you — they are worthy of reflection.

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