Archive for the 'networks' Category

Chances Are You’ve Met Less Than 5% of the People in Your Social Network

The difference between a friend, an acquaintance and the friends and acquaintances we have met online is blurring…Social media would seem to dictate or would assume that I’m supposed to develop or have developed these deep online, networked, connections, i.e. That I have met them. Jay Baer calls it false intimacy. Does it matter that I have not met them? Absolutely not. Or maybe it does…

But maybe we should quickly look at what the definition of “connected” is. Check this out:

con·nect·ed http://img.tfd.com/m/sound.swf (k-nktd)

adj.

1. Joined or fastened together.
2. Mathematics

a. Not decomposable into two disjoint nonempty open sets.
b. Having a continuous path between any two points. Used of a curve, set, or surface.
3. Related by family.
4. Logically or intelligibly ordered or presented; coherent: a stroke that left him incapable of connected speech.
5. Associated with or related to others, especially to influential or important people: a photographer who was well connected in the fashion world.
In our social world, most of our connections fall under either #3 or #5 with what it would seem, an emphasis on #5. To me though,the above definitions are evolved, twenty-first century, online definitions, even though they may not be. Let me check Webster’s 7th New Collegiate Dictionary real quick. The best definition I derived from that, is simply, “to have a relationship”. That’s pretty general though, but accurate in today’s day and age.
What does a relationship today look like? How is it defined? There’s the online version and the offline version. Social has allowed us to connect with people all over the place. But what does that connection consist of.  It’s being familiar with an avatar, a name, a nickname,  and a location. It’s engaging in some Twitter banter, dropping a blog comment, and maybe having some extended conversations either via Twitter, IM or email. A phone conversation?  Perhaps. In the end, nothing necessitates that we meet though. It’s ambient intimacy.
Here’s my point
I’ve actually done business with people that I’ve never met face to face, but talk to everyday through my various networks.  Even better, I got a job referral from someone that I never met face to face until after I started working at his company. The whole process occurred via Twitter and phone conversations. I got a huge consulting contract from someone who read my blog posts. Throughout the life of the contract, I met them one time. It didn’t matter.
Social allows us to connect. It is the ultimate ice breaker. The new rules? It doesn’t mean that I have to meet you to do business with you. Does it mean that if I truly want to be friends with you, that we should meet? Not really. Is that OK with you? I’m on the fence.
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Indiscriminate Interconnectivity

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main

In today’s “Uber” connected social world,  what makes things work  or why they work, is that we’re all now indiscriminately interconnected to each other. We share, we comment, we download, we upload and we consume the content of strangers in the same ways that we create it. It’s random, it’s purposeful, its meaningful and meaningless  sometimes. At the end of the day, all we are, are just real people with real names with real avatars or… real people with strangely made up names with odd avatars swimming around fish bowls of ambient connectivity.

But it works just like it does in the ocean. Thousands of species living and swimming in the same ocean without any limitations of where they can go or when. We’re curious and we have an innate desire to connect with others in that vast ocean either directly or indirectly.

It doesn’t work if we’re always in”take” mode or “bash” mode or “all about me” mode. That  quote from John Donne, the poet who lived in the 1500’s, sums up what is certainly a reality in today’s society. Whether you’re a brand trying to sell a product, someone trying to sell a book, or someone trying to get a job, or get a project, or build a book of business, you need networks, brand champions, supporters, advocates, friends and even strangers along the way to help you get where you need to go. You need us.

Its funny how in certain sports, like football for example, when success happens, you’ll invariably have certain players who will say out loud that they think that the reason why their “team” was great or why they won was because of them. Meanwhile you had 21 “other”  players who contributed to the cause. If you choose to go it alone in sports, just as in the digital world, and not embrace the networks and communities and people that helped get you there, well then, I guess you’re alone in more ways than you think.


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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