Back to Basics: Set your own “rules of the road”

Consider all the e-traffic out there these days. Google alone boasts the trafficking of over one trillion – yes, that’s TRILLION – unique URLs roaming out there just ripe for the grabbing.

But let’s face it. We’re driving on – and maybe being driven by – an e-super highway of information that goes far beyond data and information sharing. We find ourselves in the daily e-congestion of “which” – the tools, links, graphics, videos, apps – that gridlock our minds even before getting to the “what”. Alongside this comes the countless parade of “connections”, folks just whizzing by us along the way with a quick wave and a nod if we’re lucky. This can easily get us off course and spinning our wheels to the point of in-operability: Where do I turn to help solve X? What information can I rely on? Which tools will be sustainable over time? Whom can I trust out there, anyway?

Just remember: You’re in the driver’s seat. Web 2.0 is really an enabler to help you do your job well, to share information with meaning and with efficiency, and to live your life to its fullest from whatever map you’re using as a reference point. In fact, think of me as one such reference point in your process – a “human GPS” of sorts – with a really simple communication rule: Set your own “rules of the road”.

This simply means that just because this stuff’s out there and available doesn’t mean you have to use it all. You first need to be clear about who you are, what you’re trying to accomplish, and how these options can individually and collectively help you and your passengers reach your destination safely, productively. Personally and professionally. It means keeping a sharp, raw edge on your mission and values so that you have a clear and current view of your path, but that you’re also thinking ahead and willing to adjust the mirror to keep both your driving skills and your destination both current and realistic.

And, aside from popular thinking, those backseat drivers – your teammates, colleagues, family members – are active, welcomed participants. They’ll provide great feedback from where they’re sitting to help you reach wherever, whomever you’re trying to reach: Your customers, consumers, employees, friends, family, or some specific horizontal or vertical segment therein.

Use technology to help you drive your own success and not the other way around. Web 2.0 is a virtual parking lot containing thousands of vehicles, used and new, from which you can choose. It’s YOU who chooses your vehicle … from the make and model to the color … maybe even throw in a sunroof if you want that feature and functionality.

If you’re truly clear about your mission and goals, are sporting a good pair of shades, and don’t glance too often in the rear-view mirror, you’ll be able map out your own e-super highway, make stronger connections out there on the road, and minimize that nasty congestion, detours, or side-of-the-road breakdowns. 

Good luck and safe travels!

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