Why #BeOriginal?

Over the weekend, a Twitter friend challenged me to be more original in my tweets.  Another excellent article talked about the importance of authenticity across social media and had me thinking about my own authentic voice. The result was my Sunday night blog post, To Quote or Not to Quote- That is the question. 

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Little did I imagine that my social media musings would garner so much attention. It turns out that for some, the quoting of philosophers, motivational speakers, Presidents and other luminaries is a hot topic across the twitterverse.  That post has become the most widely read and re-tweeted post I have ever written thanks to my friends who passed it on to their friends, and so on and so on.  It even got picked up on WordPress Quote  of the Day and other sites that people go to to find quotable quotes.    Who knew?

To be clear.  

I love a good quote. I use quotes in my speaking, in my writing, and in my day to day conversation. 

Meaningful quotes are part of my personal style of communication.   But as I used social media more and more, it was much easier to quote others than it was to develop and share my own original thoughts.   Even more, I was beginning to question whether what I was putting down in 140c was my own idea or someone else’s and would have to Google a quote first to see if it was original or need attribution.  (And, rumor has it, I am not alone.)

So – I challenged myself to really try to mix it up a bit and share original ideas throughout the day in between sharing interesting articles, blog posts, and other Twitter tidbits.  And like most challenges, I found that it was not that easy. 

“There are no original ideas. There are only original people.”

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison  (14 September 1934 – 24 April 2002) (other quotes)

So on Monday night, I decided to try something new.  I would tag my original quotes with #BeOriginal and invite some friends to do it too. I have some very smart and witty friends that I follow on Twitter and who follow me back across my various Twitter profiles.  I reached out to see who was on line and sent a few messages that went like this: 

JKWinnovation: Quote break – Followers – Do you have a personal quote to share at #BeOriginal. I need to practice.

 JKWinnovation: @______- Want to come out and play at #BeOriginal

JKWleadership: @______ I’m learning to #BeOriginal – Gotta quote to share?

  As I  invited friends to join in, a few notes came back privately asking questions.  Why should I do this?  How can I do this?  You are asking me????  I  even had a few deeper Twitter conversations

Then slowly but surely, a few joined in and we got some great original, quotable ideas.  Soon others were re-tweeting those too.  When they did, I sent them a note inviting them to share their original ideas.  This experiment is very new and there is not much there yet, but hopefully the concept of “What are you thinking? will become as popular as “What are you doing ?” 

You can do a Twitter Search using #BeOriginal to see how this experiment is evolving.

So, why #BeOriginal? 

Perhaps, a better question to ask is “Why not?”  Let’s try tagging our original ideas be they serious, humorous, or simply every day thoughts.  Claim them with your name – just as you would a well known quote and don’t forget to add the #BeOriginal so it will end up on the running search list.    If we do, soon we can look at that list and see a world of new, original ideas – make connections – and maybe even put some of these great ideas into action.

Are  you ready for the challenge?  Send out an original idea of your own including your name and #BeOriginal.  It will be interesting to see what develops over time.

Thanks for stopping by…Stay tuned.

– Joan Koerber-Walker

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