Posts Tagged 'Social Networks'

The Attention Economy is Distracting Me

distract

Twitter has the RT button and the favorite button. Linkedin has an endorse button, Facebook has a like button and G+ has the plus.  I know you “get” what they all do, at least you should, but I have a question for you.  Aren’t all of those social buttons just surface level engagement triggers that require little or no engagement by the user and the recipient? Yes? No?

Of course they are, and I’m OK with it  and you should be too. Let me explain. I’ll keep it brief.  :)

When you notice or have been notified that you have been liked or favorited or endorsed, what changes for you? How do you react? Do you feel that you now must reciprocate? Do you like the attention you just received? Was it your goal to get attention? Do you care? Do you feel anything or do you just move on? It all depends on who it is, right? For me, I try to take time to understand the why behind the why. Why did that person do what they just did? What were they trying to elicit from me? Why me? But maybe I’m looking too deeply into the action than the action itself really deserves? I think I am.

You see, because of the volume of content that one is subjected to each and every day, at least from my standpoint, the ability to give that content or source, all of the needed attention it made greatly deserve, is greatly diminished. The best you might get from me as I race past your stuff at 100 mph, is the virtual equivalent of a nod.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to read your stuff, it’s just that the best you can get from me right now is a like or a star or a favorite.

The only slight little problem with that “action,” is that by allowing people to click a like or favorite button, we unknowingly might be reducing true engagement and the possibility of an actual, ok semi-actual, conversation.

The irony though, is that we (marketers) still look at that piece of user/consumer data as being really valuable; and don’t get me wrong, it does have a use and value. It’s just that we’re so desperate for good social data, that we’re willing to create, support and proactively use a somewhat worthy and somewhat hollow metric that is The Like, The RT, The Endorse and The Favorite.

What those buttons really measure is a modicum of attention, a flicker of action and the “hope” of engagement.  So why are we suckers for clicking on them?  For the majority of users, NOT clicking the button means that they might NOT get something for their time and effort. For the rest of us, clicking is the least (or maybe the most) that can we do in this always on, multi-channel, multi-device world.

I do want to read your stuff, I really do. I just don’t have an answer for you yet on how I can add your content to the 32 tabs I have open, Besides, I’m too busy looking at someone’s profile who I don’t know, endorsing me for a skill I don’t have on Linkedin. :).

About these ads

The Way Social Media Used To Be

From the cartoonery of John Atkinson and WrongHands we give you… Vintage social networking.

vintage-social-networking

Relationships In A Socially Connected World

In the New York Times recently there was an article titled, My Dinner With Clay Shirky, and What I Learned About Friendship which I highly recommend. The piece was essentially about an authors  dinner experience with noted writer, speaker, and internet ethnographer Clay Shirky. If you don’t know who Clay Shirky is, go to Amazon and read some excerpts from his two books Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organization and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.

The gist of the NY Times piece was that if we’re not careful we could spend so much time interacting with people on the Web that we could become a little socially deficient. Ironically, this week we held a social media tweetchat hosted by Jamie Sandford on how one cultivates relationships in a social world. The parallels were neat and not lost on me. On the one hand we had Shirky wanting us to take it offline and on the other, we had a group of people in a tweetchat talking about how to make online connections stronger with the eventuality that we do take them offline.

Complete and utter online social immersion can make us feel like we are so busy with our connections that don’t have time for the offline world. Just as quickly however, if we don’t take the time to balance the two or at least make the attempt to deepen our online relationships we can easily feel the false euphoric high of quantity give us the semblance of relationships. Yet the reality is the payoff rests in face to face interactions.  We spend so much time cultivating our numbers on various social platforms that we begin to think we have “a lot” of “friends”.

Our manufactured  social world allows to think we’re popular until we step out from behind the machine. The point? Even in a connected world, we have to make the effort to cultivate a virtual relationship into something greater than the sum total of the networks that we are part of.

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.

Internal Social Networks Versus Social Networks-Where Should You Spend Your Time?

The tug-o-war for your time when you participate on multiple social networks can be difficult. Who get’s it and who doesn’t?  Who get’s the honor of your participation can also affect your impact because THAT will be where you spend the bulk of your time. Where should you spend your time? On the networks that matter to you or on the networks where you HAVE to participate?

Does it matter if you create content or if you lurk?  It might, though either exercise require an investment of your time. The fact is, the more networks you’re in, the more likely that your content is going to suck in some of them. It’s the law of averages. You’re going to devote more time and effort to the networks that matter. For those that are of less importance, the content you create, should you even bother, will be diluted. So does the internal corporate network win then?

It Depends

You see,time, your precious time, is the primary commodity here regardless of where you spend the bulk of it and what you specifically do with it. The less time you have, the more likely you are to mail in your participation in networks that matter less. Your day is already full and now companies want you to participate in and contribute to these new growing internal networks. But what about your Facebook page, Twitter account and your blog?

If you are part of the 70%  who just read and watch stuff, though your time is still sacrificed, it won’t really move the needle on the quality of your limited contact with others in any network. So who get’s it? The benefit of your quality time that is. For those that are part of  internal corporate networks, it can be an issue. There might be the sense of obligation to participate. Even though the reality might be that you’re just going through the motions of participation, because it’s… work stuff. It really depends on what type of social media consumer or influencer you want to be, how you want to move the needle and who wins in the competition for your attention and time.

It almost seems like in the end, it’s a push and no one’s get the benefit of the best of what you might have to offer.

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.

When Familiarity Breeds Familiarity

Everything seems hard the first time we do it doesn’t it? Until it no longer ceases to be difficult and then it becomes innate, routine and sometimes mundane. On the web, we as digital marketers and change agents, worry that the sites, applications and networks that we build, share and promote aren’t intuitive enough. Yet even the toughest of sites to navigate seem to succeed with massive amounts of traffic and uniques. Why is that?

Because people want to go there. People want to use that site. No matter how difficult it is. Sites that are providing some type of payoff to be there, can overcome design inefficiencies on large scales. Be it a utility like email, a social network like Facebook, or a site where we buy stuff like Amazon or sell stuff like Ebay, people who want to, neigh need to use that site, will figure out how to use that site, no matter how difficult is it.

What does this mean?

Besides the fact that those that create web content and applications have a tremendous opportunity to deliver to users who have been inundated with a plethora of bad web stuff, great content and deliverables- What it really means is that when building for a Web 3.0 world… Less is more, more is not better, better doesn’t mean simple, simple doesn’t mean good, good can be bad, bad can be worse, simple can be bad, assuming can be bad, knowing is good, asking is better, change is good, change is bad and change is constant.

So is it a good thing to change? Who’s more comfortable with bad, you or your users?


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.

Feeds

social media conference

Latest tweet

TwitterCounter for @marc_meyer

Give Food
Alltop, all the top stories
Add to Technorati Favorites
View Marc Meyer's profile on LinkedIn
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

The social me

The duke

The manic-kins

Manickins part deux

Queens allstar BP

Queens allstar BP

Queens allstar BP

More Photos
September 2014
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Mad Props

My site was nominated for Best Business Blog!
qrcode

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 99,582 other followers


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 99,582 other followers

%d bloggers like this: