Hi, everyone. Today on the blog, we have with us author of The Etiquette of Social Media, Leonard Kim. The author has very kindly answered all our questions in an interview and has generously offered to give away his book to two lucky international readers. Without much ado, let's get on to the post we have for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Leonard Kim lives with his mother in Los Angeles, California. A business professional turned writer, he has shared his life experience to help improve the lives of others. By once having everything one could ever desire to losing it all, he has acquired extensive knowledge about essential life skills and effective communication. Through his musings, he was named a Top Writer on Quora, a website with a focus on sharing knowledge and advice, which is one of the top 300 websites in the world. Oh, and he likes cookies, cupcakes and ice cream. Puppies too.
Hi, Leonard! Welcome to The Readdicts. It’s lovely to have you on our blog today, and we hope you have a nice time answering our questions. Let’s get on to the questions we have for you, followed by a fun “This or That” section where you just pick one of the two choices we give you. Have fun!
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi Sarika! Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. Oh it’s such an honor indeed!
I’m so glad I have the opportunity to share a few of my thoughts with you. Well, let’s see. My name is Leonard Kim. I’m just a regular guy who lives in Los Angeles, California with my mother. I have a wonderful girlfriend and each time she smiles, my heart melts.
Through my life, I have had a lot of ups and downs. In the past, I used to be the Vice President of Marketing for two startups and worked in business development for other companies. I did everything from hire and train staff to create all the marketing material. I once had everything going for me. Then all of a sudden, my life came crashing down. No matter what I tried, I failed.
Business after business, idea after idea, nothing worked. I kept ending up with nothing. Then on one gloomy day in November of 2011, I bought a hotel room with this girl I once knew at Petit Ermitage, a boutique hotel in West Hollywood. The same night, she kicked me out of my own hotel room, ordered a love kit and charged it to my card. After being defeated so far, I wanted to end it all. I calculated out how to do it with the highest probability of success and I announced it publicly on Facebook. After that, I shut off all my social media profiles. I was going to go through with it. Luckily, before I went to jump off the bridge that led to the 5 Freeway on the Broadway exit, I was saved and brought back to my senses.
From there, I knew it was time I had to recalculate my life. I knew that what I was doing was getting me nowhere. I had to make a change. There is a quote out there that says that experience is the mother of wisdom. So I decided to take some time to reflect upon all the decisions I made in my life and put them together so I could learn from them. After I found the lessons, I felt that I needed to share these stories with everyone I could. I did so by writing on the Internet. By sharing the details of my failures online, I somehow attained over eight million views on my content in less than a year and half and was named a Top Writer on a website focused on sharing knowledge and advice, Quora.
2) Tell us about your book, The Etiquette of Social Media: How to Connect and Respond to Others in the World of Social Media.
When I first wrote The Etiquette of Social Media, I had one goal in mind: To solve the epidemic of poor form. Our world is changing. We may all think we are experts in social media, since it has been around for close to the last decade, but are we really?
There are students out there trying to get into college. They are being turned away because admissions officers are finding something on these people’s social media profiles that put them in a negative light.
There are college graduates looking for new jobs. Employers are turning down qualified candidates because they are finding images that put them in a negative light.
There are business owners and startup founders who are looking to connect with others, find mentors and create partnerships. They are stuck because they lack the proper communication skills on how to build rapport online.
In my book, I have fifteen chapters that solve all these problems:
WHY ETIQUETTE IS IMPORTANT
VISIBILITY: CAN EVERYONE POTENTIALLY SEE WHAT I WRITE?
BE. DO. HAVE.
RESEARCH AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT
HOW TO INITIATE A CONVERSATION WITH A POTENTIAL FRIEND
HOW TO INITIATE A CONVERSATION WITH A POTENTIAL BUSINESS ASSOCIATE OR CLIENT
HOW TO SEEK OUT A MENTOR OR ASK FOR ADVICE
NASTY PEOPLE. TOXICITY AND ITS DOWNSIDES
THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF-CONTROL AND ZEN STUFF
HOW TO RESPOND TO NASTY COMMENTS
TIPS TO A HAPPY LIFESTYLE, LIKE DRINKING TEA AND HAPPY RELATIONSHIPS
CONCLUSION: START CONNECTING TODAY
BONUS CHAPTER: DON’T BE AWKWARD
These chapters teach the readers everything from having a positive image, the right philosophy, researching the people whom they contact, how to deal with negativity and how to make meaningful connections with others.
I feel that as we grow more and more disconnected with each other through the advances of our technology, guides on essential online communication become absolutely necessary in bridging the gaps that are slowly widening each day. I put my heart into writing the best content that I could in this book, to help teach everyone how to maintain a proper image in the world of social media.
3) What inspired you to write your book?
For over a year, I declined to acknowledge that I was a writer. I felt that I was just a guy who shared stories online, a marketer per se. Never once did I ever think that I was a writer, but others did. I finally gave in to becoming an author when I reached out to James Altucher and he told me that I should take this path.
This particular idea for a book came when I went to dinner with Terrence Yang and Vivy Chao of Yang Ventures. Vivy has a thorough background in education, ranging from professor to principal, to fellow for Education Pioneers, part of the LAUSD. We were laughing and joking about how ridiculous many of the comments and messages we receive were. She made a comment and mentioned that never before was there a class that taught the etiquette of social media. Then it dawned upon me. I could share the experience I had gathered over the last decade to write a book of everything I had learned on the topic.
4) What kind of research went into writing your book?
I did some fact checking with some statistics that talked about the importance of the topic of social media etiquette. Did you know that 30% of College Admissions Officers found something online about an applicant that negatively impacted their college application? Or that more than two in five (43%) Hiring Managers found information online that caused them to not hire a candidate?
Etiquette is a subjective topic. A lot of the foundation is based on people’s personal tastes and opinion. Most of my research in regards to the matter comes from real world experience. I have over a decade of experience on the Internet, starting back in AOL chatrooms when I was 14 years old. Most of my relationships, I started through online sites like Findapix. Back in 2008, I built a Myspace page with over 10,000 friends. Since May of 2013, I started my journey on becoming a social media personality, ranking within the Top 20 most followed Top Writers on Quora. These are the successes I have had. However, there have been horror stories as well.
It takes a lot for a person to make an extreme decision like I did in November 2011. A lot of small things just kept piling up in my life. I don’t really have many friends. Acquaintances sure, but friends not so much. The problem with not having a lot of friends is the inability to have people to confide in. Since I didn’t have many friends, through the many years I have been on social media, I made every mistake I could. Years ago, I got into arguments with others, I scared away genuine friends, I was blacklisted by important people and made myself look like a fool. I even got to the point where my friends were blocking and unfriending me.
Now, on the other hand of the equation, when I evolved into a more mature creature and decided to take everything I learned and share my story with the world, people reached out to me. When I pieced together how horrible I acted online in the past and how much the messages of the people who messaged could have been improved so I would have a higher probability of responding to them, I realized that there was a need for proper online etiquette to be taught. I just never thought that I would be the one to teach it. However, being on both ends of the spectrum, I had a birds eye view about the topic and knew that my personal experience was best suited to lay out the foundation to such a topic as social media etiquette.
5) Tell us why readers should pick up your book.
In life, the basics are the most important things within our foundation. To have a healthy life, we need to do a handful of things. For me, I do the following ten things each day.
1. Get 8 hours of sleep a day.
2. Eat at least two meals a day.
3. Stop living in the past or the future.
4. Live in the moment. Take time to appreciate what is around you.
5. Have an attitude of abundance.
6. Think of all the people you are grateful for every morning.
7. Let the people of whom you are grateful to have know that you are grateful to have them in your life.
8. Forgive everyone of whom wronged you. You don't have to let them know you forgive them. Just forgive them internally.
9. Volunteer to help others. Expand that abundant mindset.
10. Exercise. Walk like 15 minutes a day.
The days I don’t follow these steps, things become detrimental. I start to have anxiety. I feel scared. I start to become on edge. Sometimes, it reflects in my voice. I start to react poorly to situations and become a bit toxic to be around. Why? Because I start to miss the basic foundation to my overall well being, the ingredients that I absolutely need to be healthy and to have a clear mind. My book is exactly that, the basic foundation necessary to create and maintain successful relationships online.
6) According to you, in today’s day and age, how important a role does social media play in spreading the word about a book?
Now that depends. If I am on social media talking about my own book, it doesn’t do much. However, if other people go out and talk about my book, or even someone else’s book, that creates a much more meaningful impact. When I sit around on social media and talk about my own book, it is considered self promotion. Many people are turned off by that. However, when I go and talk about a friend’s book, I’m making a recommendation. People love recommendations. So if social media is used by engaging an audience, then it is absolutely essential. Otherwise, only die hard fans really care.
7) What’s your take on online book shopping? Does it affect you in any way?
I love online book shopping, but then again I also love sitting in Barnes and Noble for two hours on the carpet, combing through books in the business and self help section. In America, on Amazon, to qualify for free shipping, we have to make a $35 purchase. Due to this high price point to qualify for free shipping, I’m ashamed to say that I have often left books I really wanted in my cart. Sometimes, I have come back to purchase them. But more often than not, they go to my graveyard of dreams.
8) Do you prefer e-books or physical copies? Why?
Personally, I can’t read a book on my computer. I can’t read it on my phone either. I just was introduced to an iPad earlier this year. I can read a book on it and it is quite enjoyable. I used to hate how I would have to hold a physical book open with both hands, or manuever myself in a way so the book won’t shut. Luckily, technology solved that problem. I find that the perfect book is the one read on an iPad.
9) Give us glimpse into any normal day of your life.
Oh, this is such a long question to answer. I could go on days about this. I mean a whole days worth of time, since this is the answer to a normal day in my life. I’ll try to be as brief as possible.
I wake up at 6:40 in the morning. On Monday through Friday, I go to my office. I stay there from 8:30 to 5:00pm. On each of my two breaks, I walk the track and do four pull ups. I tend to grab a soup for lunch, occasionally indulging in fried goods. After, I come home, I take a short nap. When I awaken, I call my girlfriend. We chat a bit. Then I either write, finish up paid writing gigs, do school work or watch TV. Out of all the things I could do, I like watching TV the best. Then after eating dinner and showering, I chat with my girlfriend some more until we both fall asleep at midnight. On weekends, I am blessed with the opportunity to spend time with her. She is just absolutely amazing. No matter how tough life gets, she always knows how to make me smile.
10) If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what book would you pick and why?
On December 21 of 2012, my birthday, my best friend gave me a gift. It was a book. I always respected her and knew that she was an avid reader, so I knew that if she bought me something like a book, then it would have information in it that would illuminate my mind. The next day I opened it up and started reading it. I finished the book in two days. I emailed and texted her and told her how profound the book was. I told her that the four new principles I learned in the book were so basic, yet so profound. I told her that I would immediately put them into practice. She responded and was happy that her gift had brought enlightenment into my life. Little did I know that day we met would be the last time I would ever see her. So if I could read any book for the rest of my life, it would be The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Why? Because of the impact it had on becoming the foundation that helped me change my life and for the significance of who gave it to me.
1. Day or night? Day.
2. Dark or light? Light.
3. Black or white? Black.
4. Tea or coffee? Tea!
5. Coke or Pepsi? Coke!
6. E-book or physical copy? Physical copy.
7. Novel or novella? Novel.
8. Beach or mountain? Beach!
9. Salty or sweet? Sweet. Mmmmmmm…
10. Left or right? Left!
Thank you so much for taking the time out to answer our questions and stop by our blog, Leonard. We really appreciate it and we wish you lots of happiness and success in life.
As you already know, guys, Leonard has generously offered to give away two physical copies of his book to two lucky international readers. The contest is open for all- yay!
Giveaway rules are simple:
*The giveaway is international.
*Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below.
*Once winners are picked, they will be emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or else we'll be compelled to pick new winners.
That's all there is to it. May the odds be ever on your favour!
I'd like to thank Leonard once again for everything. And thank you, readers, for stopping by. Happy reading!