I’ll be telling my stories on Sundays

telling my stories

By Mark W. Schaefer

The hottest social media trend is live-streaming video. It seems like everybody is trying to figure out how to give behind-the-scenes peeks and on-the-fly insights. It’s a great new technology — I’m a big fan of Blab and have done a few Facebook live and Periscope events.

But with this opportunity comes a new pressure to “perform” on camera. The most successful live-streaming folks seem to be part news broadcaster, part entertainer, as they find ways to be witty and interesting on a little screen.

I’ve always been a social media enthusiast (obviously!) and love figuring out how all this stuff can be used to benefit a business. I’ve found that to teach and really know social media, you need to DO it, and streaming video is no different.

But I’ve hit a bit of a roadblock. I’m not sure I’m a streaming kind of guy.

Islands in the stream

The other night I was attending a concert with my wife. We have a spectacular venue here in Knoxville, TN, and I was excited about seeing one of my favorite artists, Ben Harper. All the ingredients for a great live-streaming story, right? It would have been cool to show people where I was, what I was doing, and the buzz and beauty of the concert hall.

I turned on Periscope and pointed my smartphone at my spectacular surroundings. But I could not push the “record” button.

What was I doing? I was turning my attention away from a nice night out with my wife … to do what? I was pushing myself out of the moment. Instead of enjoying the experience, I was about to perform. It just did not feel right.

I also was self-conscious. People around me were taking photos and selfies of course… but it seemed strange to walk around through the crowd talking to a smartphone over my head.

It’s just not me.

And that’s OK.

Telling my stories on Sundays

Every Sunday morning I get up about 6 a.m. and put on a pot of coffee. The house is quiet and I’m undisturbed. I crank up the computer and start blogging. This has been my ritual for years. In about three hours I can put out a couple of good posts from the ideas I’ve gathered throughout the week.

Alone in my soft leather chair, I don’t have any pressure to perform. I teach in my own way, on my own time, without worrying about entertaining a live audience or finding a way to be goofy.

This is how I tell my stories. In fact, this how I love to tell my stories.

Writing is not only my love, it’s also my gift. And how many people find those two things in one place? I’m a lucky guy.

The point of this post is that it’s OK to not do everything, to chase every shiny red ball. In fact, chasing every new technology might be the biggest waste of time in the social media space! Recent shiny red balls: Meerkat, Ello, Quora, Path. If you spent time becoming the experts in those areas, you’re probably regretting it today.

I think we all need to know enough about the opportunities and pitfalls of new platforms to assess the relevance for our internal and external customers. I’ll continue to experiment with live video, especially Blab and Facebook. But for now, I’ll still be telling my stories on Sundays.

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Cameron Bathory


SXSW 2016 3Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant. The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

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