Too Shy For Web 2.0?

This may be surprising for those of you that know me, but I can sometimes be a shy person.

For some reason I’ve never been very good at interacting with people online. I have profiles on MySpace, FaceBook, and LinkedIn, but I’ve never used those to meet new people. The only people I’m connected to are people that I already knew, or met some other way.

I read lots of blogs and other web sites, but I wouldn’t think of contacting the author of any of those sites directly. I rarely even leave comments on other blogs. I follow several online forums and mailing lists without ever posting.

The strange thing is, I’m not shy in real life. I have no problem walking into a room full of strangers, introducing myself, and interacting as a member of the group. My brain just doesn’t work the same way when it comes to online interactions.

I’m starting to think that this is holding me back. How can I expect to be successful online if I can’t carry on a conversation with other people? I have the skills to accomplish whatever I want, but no one ever got famous in isolation.

Aaron Swartz wrote an interesting article a while back called How to Get a Job Like Mine. In it, he says you should “gab”. I totally agree with him.

I think I’ll make this my next goal for 2008 – improve my online networking skills.

Now, who wants to be my friend?

2 thoughts on “Too Shy For Web 2.0?”

  1. I’ll be your friend! Oh, wait. I already am. Dang.

    I’m also pretty shy about commenting on other people’s blogs besides you and Dee and Denise, but I’m trying to do better. I’m just always afraid I’m going to get flamed or something, I guess. I figure if I say something stupid to one of my friends, you’ll either ignore me or roll your eyes at me, and I can deal with that just fine!

  2. That’s an important point. I think part of being socially active online is developing a thick skin. There will always be someone out there who doesn’t agree with what you have to say.

    This is a lot like being a student in class. Half of the class is wondering something, but none of them will ask a question because they don’t want to look stupid in front of their peers.

    The successful students are usually the ones who aren’t afraid to ask questions when they don’t understand.

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