On Deepening Relationships In Social Media.
My friend, and former client, photographer Michael Kohn, who is a very bright guy, posted an interesting quote from Malcom Gladwell in which he was referencing Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.
"Connection is the goal. The quality of that connection, the quality of the information that passes through it, the quality of the relationship that connection permits—none of this is important. That a lot of social networking software explicitly encourages people to make weak, superficial connections with each other and that this might not be an entirely positive thing, seem to never have occurred to him."
Everybody figures this out in their own time and in their own way.
The digital marketing community, represented by the big sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.. are like whales swimming around with their mouths open sucking up anything that vaguely looks like food, referred to generally as plankton.
This plankton is the content that people like you and I are happy to provide. But more than that, it is also us as people.
These whales have conditioned us to look at this process of being food for them as something that will benefit us over time. They never actually say how long that is. And we believe them, and why not? We have no frame of reference for any of this because it is new in our experience.
The leaders of these digital entities become gurus because they control their own media flow, reach, direction, intensity and message.
A lot of people don't take it seriously, but they have us all completely profiled and are constantly selling our information to people who, in turn, want to sell us stuff.
But this only works as long as we're here providing food. It's a symbiotic relationship between us (the plankton) and the whales of social media.
We need them for amusement and the promise of connections to other plankton. They need us for content and profile data.
At the end of the day, however it's a hell of a lot more profitable for the whales .
The way you break the pattern is by leaving. But the whales have a secret weapon.
Our addiction and our need for interaction with each other, even if it just the tiny screams of plankton echoing in the blue ocean of bubbly goo.
The Malcolm Gladwell insight is not intended to persuade everyone to up and leave. Instead, I believe it underscores the need to deepen our relationships with each other here inside your whales of choice.
Don't let anyone dictate rules of behavior to you here. Be yourself. Reveal yourself. Solicit information and insight from others. Have conversations. Deepen your relationships to the point where they become beneficial to you instead of just interesting.
We are only using about 20% of our capability here. Up the percentage and see if you can't put your participation here to better use for you and the people you connect with.
I have done this several times. And, glorioski!!! it works.
The bottom line is that these sites will always be collecting data about you and profiling you and lumping you into one demographic and psychographic or another no matter what you do here. It’s just what they do.
It’s really the price you pay for being here. But the real benefit to you only materializes when you start to really get to know the people you are interacting with.
That’s why it’s called social media. It’s a big old cocktail party in the ether.
Jim Murray is an experienced blogger, copywriter and art director and former professional photographer. He has run his own business (Onwords & Upwords), since 1989 after a 20 year career in Toronto as a senior creative person in major Canadian & international advertising agencies. He is specialized in creating communications for businesses working to make a positive difference in the world.
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