So, that happened.

And it was sad. And it blew up my twitter stream to a degree that was sort of unprecedented. And it completely dwarfed Sarah Palin’s news. This says something, I think, about the value people place on quality content, even in an era of overshare and personal branding.

Steve Jobs’ personal brand was, in part, distinctly impersonal–he didn’t talk about his home life much, and only shared news about his illness when his company made him. What the people on my news feed are talking about, instead, are the products he created and the ways that he changed his industry. People respect people who build quality things.

Remember that when you’re building your personal brand or rocking the social media yacht that for most people social media is a tool. It helps you get out news and build relationships around the cool things that you do. But, in order for that to happen, you have to actually do things. You have to give life to whatever ideas you’re interested in pursuing, rather than reblogging what folks have said about them.

You have to do the work.

You will probably not be Steve Jobs. But, you might do something cool. You might even make life a little bit more awesome for someone. At the very least, you can put a dent in the universe.

So, go make some things. Dash out of your midsemester slump, go for a walk. Make stuff and do things. (If nothing else, use that book’s recipe for wine.)

Social media isn’t an end. It’s a tool. Make something cool with it.