Monday, March 8, 2010

Are we Educating, Engaging and Satisfying ... or Overwhelming and Stressing Out Our Members?

Here is what I have to read right now—

A bloglines reader with 371 unread blog posts
Tweetdeck filled with 734 unread tweets
The latest issue of Associations Now which is still in its polybag
The latest issue of Folio which has not even been touched
The last Membership Developments quarterly e-newsletter still unopened in my outlook inbox
Almost all of this is work related as I don’t really use blogs or twitter for a lot of personal stuff.

It is stressful to look at this list let alone think about the amount of content that is hiding behind the list. I have been working incredibly hard to manage the constant deluge of information but I have to admit that there are not enough hours in a day to read everything I want to. That is part of the reason why this list is so long.

I am writing about this because I assume that members of our associations are having the same challenge that I am having. Is providing content through social media, and all of the new media distribution channels in addition to the traditional methods a positive or a negative? Are our members having to decide what content is most important or most pertinent so they can prioritize all of the different content streams they receive from us as associations? Are we stressing out our members because they feel guilty about not being able to read everything associations are putting out there? Are we really providing valuable content or just repeating ourselves over and over again through different media and formats?

I am still trying to figure out the answer to many of those questions. I do have to tell you I am getting slightly burned out on social media. I know this sounds like blasphemy since I do think that social media can be a very valuable and effective tool. I just think there is so much content out there and that most of the social media outlets I participate in do not have much difference in thought or topic. Maybe I am doing something wrong but those days I am not able to get to all of the blog posts, tweets or facebook, LinkedIn or plaxo updates are no less satisfying or educational than the days that I somehow find time to read all of these things. Are you feeling this way, too? Any tips, suggestions or thoughts you have to share would be greatly appreciated.