Tonight I had every intention on writing a post about making support of causes front and center in communications, but something happened, and another topic came across the radar that I feel is worth highlighting.

As I got ready to start writing, my amazing ‘let’s get this done’ tool, Write or Die was offline. It’s been my companion in the past couple of months when I needed it most. It shaved unknown hours out of my schedule by forcing me (or perhaps strongly encouraging me) to write. But tonight – no dice. The site is down. Maybe it’s never coming back up – who knows. The point here is that we should never rely on a specific tool or site to solve all our problems. See the metaphor here?

RoadAhead

The reality is that the web changes at breakneck speed and many tools come and go rapidly. There is a lesson in this for all of us. Attaching ourselves too closely to any specific community, site, tool, etc. is potentially crippling if there is disruption with the service we are accustomed to. Think about it – if you can’t live without your Facebook page or Twitter account, you’re on shaky ground. There are no guarantees that the tools we use by default today will be around or relevant a year or two from now. Can you imagine a permanent #failwhale?

Be prepared, and expect change.

The best thing you can do when approaching the road ahead is to be prepared, and be vigilant in your monitoring of the space overall, but expect change. It’s guaranteed to happen. You’re better off knowing that upfront so there are no surprises when things get interesting. If you’re on the right path, you’ll go back the basics – you may ask yourself questions like ‘what is our goal here’ or ‘how can we provide value to those we want to connect with.’ In cases like this, you’re protected from the loss of any particular site/tool/network. Be prepared for your most important communications channel to be obsolete in a couple of years. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by thinking this way. It doesn’t mean that will necessarily happen, but you never know.

Strategize, Strategize, Strategize.

Make sure you know what you are there for before you get carried away. What is it you are trying to achieve? Do you have specific goals our outcomes in mind? How can you get there with what you have to work with? Make sure you are asking these questions because they are network agnostic. You can easily apply this thinking to whatever network du jour might come along. Make sense?

Write or Die is down tonight, but’s not stopping me from posting. It actually gave me an extra post by being down. 😉 The next post I will definitely pick up on the theme – should Causes be celebrated more? Maybe by then, Dr. Wicked will be back up and kicking my ass once again. In the meantime, think about this – what would you do if your most important communications channel became obsolete? Really think about it.

Let me know what you think in the comments. Thanks for being here!

photo credit: iStock