One of the first people I met at my first tweetup in August 2008 was Alexa Scordato (@alexa). She was just moving to the Boston area to work for Barry Libert at Mzinga. Alexa and I spoke for less than a minute, but I made sure to follow her on Twitter. Since then, I’ve had more opportunities to talk with Alexa at events in the Boston area and even joined her a few weeks ago at an “Apple Pickin” tweetup in Stow, MA she helped organize. Alexa has a passion for social media and technology. She’s active in the blog community, working with some of the industry’s A-list bloggers, and has been working on “bridging the gap between Microsoft gurus and MySpace addicts.”
Alexa uses a relatively basic set tools for managing her online conversations.
- Twitter (following 414 with 1063 following her)
- Facebook (490 friends)
- LinkedIn (39 connections)
- Twitterific for following Twitter conversations on the go.
When it comes to blogs, Alexa remains very active in the blogosphere, but doesn’t rely on any feed/rss readers or Google alerts.
Alexa follows conversations on Twitter primarily using the Twitter site and Twitter Search . Her approach is a bit different from others I’ve talked to. She is very comfortable joining existing conversations and starting new ones, but views the Twitter stream as an ongoing conversation.
For the blogs she follows, she doesn’t read every single blog post. She picks up on the current conversation when she can. Alexa knows many bloggers and will often call a blogger to discuss what’s being discussed on their blog. She’d rather have an hour conversation by phone to better understand the timeline. She keeps a strong focus on the personal relationships, with the understanding that you can’t keep up with everything.
Alexa grew up with technology (as with most millenials). She has a more native use of technology, not working to follow any specific “best practices.” As an early beta tester for Facebook and early Twitter adopter, the technology is just a new platform for the same type of conversations.
On Twitter, Alexa will typically check someone’s profile to see if they are in the Boston area. As someone new to the area, she is using the platform to help her meet more people. With Facebook, she typically connects to people she knows well or meets in non-social media contexts. For Alexa, the quality of the connections is more important than the number. She goes for higher quality connections.
When I asked her about how much time she spends a day on social media, Alexa asked a great question. “Was I including interactive sites like the NY Times?” I wasn’t — though I’ll need to give that more thought for future interviews. If she just focuses on the “social media/social network” sites she uses, she is currently at around 2-3 hours per day. Before taking on her new job, she used to spend 12-14 hours per day.
The way you conduct yourself in real life should apply online.
As I mentioned already, for Alexa it’s about higher quality connections and natural conversations. To help maintain this, she keeps her use organic and doesn’t try to force connections with tools. She uses a great metaphor, “If you were at a party would you want to know what everyone in the party is saying?”
Alexa feels you lose the “connectedness” the more people you follow. It’s about understanding what people need and “give so you can get.” She brought up the example of the teenage girls who are creating wildly successful MySpace fan pages. It’s clear they understand what people need and they are willing to let it grow organically.
Alexa believes that social media as it stands isn’t scalable if you are going for quality connections and natural conversations. In real life, who has 1,000+ good friends? She defines good meaning the type of person who would drop everything if you were in need.
personal is the new professional
Alexa sees the need for more “personal” with the “professional.” She’s found there is “no shortcut” when building your relationships. It needs to be organic and we need to catch ourselves so we don’t end up being socially inept in our attempts to communicate on the web.
For those getting started, Alexa recommends Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn . Facebook because it is a more living breathing social space. Twitter because it’s hot. It’s where the cool kids are. And LinkedIn because it is your digital resume. She’s even heard that some companies are only allowing their employees to have LinkedIn profiles.