What will you start/stop/keep doing in 2020 to best utilize your time in sharing and learning digital practices? I’ve sorted through my reflections and plans.
This year has been a bit of an anomaly in terms of self-promotion since my book The Power of Digital Policy landed in the spring. To promote the project, I was heavily focused on presenting at conferences, being more present on social media, guest speaking on podcasts, writing articles, and securing several TV interviews. As we enter the new calendar year, I’ve been considering what I accomplished in 2019 and what I want to focus on in 2020. Here is where I’ve landed.
- Conferences: Not surprising, there is no digital policy conference out there. But there are marketing-focused conferences (MarTech, DX Summit), digital-of-all-kinds conferences (Gilbane now called Digital Experience), law and compliance conferences (ITechLaw, Comply), agile conferences (AgileAlliance), web development conferences (Smashing), privacy summits (IAPP), and a slew of other events. In 2019 I realized that digital policy has a home at all of them, the tribe was represented at most of them, and only some of them were truly great for authentic idea exchanges and development of meaningful relationships. The tempo of most events is just too fast, and the crowd too diverse in their individual specialty to accomplish a significant outcome (i.e., share challenges in organizations, lessons learned, etc.). I’ve enjoyed attending all of the conferences, but I will be more selective in 2020 to justify the cost of travel and time invested.
- Articles: From both a reading and writing perspective, articles are an excellent investment of time and effort. I've managed to build a stronger platform this year by contributing to a variety of publications (MarTech, CMSWire, TDWI, IoT For All) and will continue to author in 2020. My objective is to collaboratively write more as a give back to the digital community, and also validate my methodology against others' thinking. Even if you don't want to contribute to publications regularly, I strongly urge you to write an article or two. Everyone has a story to tell, and your insights and work (around policy or anything else digital) can help all of us. If you need an introduction to great editors you can work with, let me know and I will gladly make them. If you feel like you have something important to say but don't know how to execute, I can introduce you to a remarkable writer who can give you a hand.
- TV appearances: The truth about my experiences on this front is that they were a ton of fun, but I didn’t get to take in digital policy knowledge from others. However, I did get to comment and share (BNN Bloomberg, Alhurra). All were great learning experiences, lined up by my book publicist, and I don't plan to continue TV appearances in 2020. I think everyone should do it at least once in their lifetime, kind of like java or SQL development. You get to appreciate the individuals who do it every day!
- Community of practice: These communities of practice (CoP) are also not digital policy-specific (ConnectMinds, World Federation of Advertisers), but they are an excellent investment for the peer-to-peer exchange you get. The groups tend to be small (40 people max), and the topics narrowly focused, which means going supper deep with specific takeaways and meaningful relationships. I will keep this aspect going into 2020 and attend more CoPs.
- Social media: A great way to keep in touch regularly; this is a tried and tested channel. I found LinkedIn to be better for discussing digital policy topics, while Twitter was a better source for news. I will keep this channel steady in 2020, without any changes.
- Newsletter: I’ve enjoyed recapping for you my weekly reads, but was really happy to have so many of you engage with me and share reactions to those pieces. In 2020 I’ll continue delivering the Top 10 Things I’ve Read each week, as well as my monthly newsletter with insights from the digital policy world. If you want advice and guidance on what is impacting digital policies in organizations, make sure you are subscribed for both newsletters.
To recap, more COPs, more collaborative writing, and if I can muster up the courage – a podcast. Those are my priorities for 2020. Given my consulting goals for next year, not to mention the new privacy regulations on the horizon and other digital laws, I think that fills up my objectives bucket for the next 12 months. I’d love to hear how you will use your non-work time. Catch me up on Twitter or LinkedIn, or drop me a line. If you prefer a face-to-face exchange, let’s discuss where I can buy you coffee/tea/beverage of your choice.
As we enter this new decade go off and make good digital things happen, regardless of the channel or venue.
Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash