What exactly does adding value mean? 7 simple examples.

That was  the question asked of me via Twitter and I thought, “Wow,  apparently value is still the jello we’re trying to nail to the wall.”

In it’s most simple of terms, value is not:

“I just ate a salad”.

Value is:

“This salad was so good I’m sharing the recipe..”


Or value isn’t:

“I’m at the Expo all week”.

Value is:

“Anyone who would like to go to the Expo, here are some passes”:


But even more, value isn’t:

“I’m too busy to work with this client”.

Value is:

“Hey @bethharte I have a client that could really benefit from your knowledge, here is their name and number and email.”

Value is not: “I’m reading about 10 superb social media presentations.”

Value is: Here is a link to 10 superb social media presentations

Value isn’t, ‘Thanks Sonny.”

Value is: ” If it wasn’t for @sonnygill, I’m not sure what I would have done”.

Value isn’t reading about an Amber alert.. Value is Retweeting an Amber Alert

Value isn’t about applauding someone for giving money to a good cause. Value is about stepping up and coming together as a community to help someone out because it’s the right thing to do.

The reality is you knew all along how to add value. You didn’t need me to tell you, but just in case, perhaps these 7 examples helped you out.

Are we slaves to the rhythm of social media?

I’ve been thinking alot lately how all of us are starting to meld social media into the daily fabric of our lives. For some of us, our daily routine consists of checking in or logging on to various social nets to see if we have anyone who has posted, commented, uploaded, friended or mailed anything directly to us. 

We check our email, and that’s a given. We use our cell phone to surf the net and check mail and that’s a given too. But then in short succession we could log onto Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendfeed, WordPress, Ning, Bebo, Orkut, Hi5, Twitter, Plurk, Typepad, Google Reader, Feedburner, and dozens of others to check for new friends, uploads, downloads, new pics, new scoop, new mail, new comments and new widgets.  We then could log onto and read more than our share of random or relevant blogs,  and we even might comment on a couple as well.

Not only might we do this once, but we might do this more than a few times a day depending on the nature of our work. And even more when we get home at night. Which leads to a few questions:

  • Are we slaves to social media?
  • Does social media own us?
  • Are our lives more or less complicated by using social media?
  • Do we get more done thanks to social media?
  • Are we more or less social?

What do you think? What is acceptable? Frankly I try to limit my time into blocks built around the work day and even at home. But I can see where one could spend endless amounts of time building and maintaining social media personas from here to BFE and back. The question is. What is your ultimate plan or goal with social media? As a layperson and as a professional, do you have an end game result in mind? Do you have a plan?

The funnel theory with social networks

 Check out my man here. He’s heard a lot about social networks and he wants to check them out. He’s not sure why he should, he just knows that everyone is talking about them, they use them to meet people and they use to talk to friends and relatives and it is THE Thing to do! But where should he start. What social network is right for him? Should he do some research? If he does he’s going to find differing opinions from all over the place.  He’ll hear about the notion that Linkedin is not Facebook for grownups 

Or maybe he saw this video that parodies Facebook? And now he’s all WTF is Facebook about? 


 The bottom line is  that when you decide to Join the online social community, this is what happens:

You are a lone individual that is joining a community of individuals. At that point, it is now up to you to join the conversation. But joining the conversation does not mean that you are, in theory “part” of the conversation. You could move your way up the social media spiral but that would mean that you are doing a majority, or want to do a majority of the below stages of the spiral:

 But you don’t need to. You just want to know what it all means and where you fit in. You just want to know, what exactly is a social network? Let’s segue to our friends from Common Craft shall we?

Ok so now you have an idea but what should you do now? Maybe, just maybe you could jump into a social network, but do you even know which one? Here is a quick primer of two of the more popular social networking sites. Honestly though, if I’m explaining this, you have to be living in a freakin cave. But I digress..

If you’re going to use Facebook  then you need to know that it has more than 60 million active users, an average of 250,000 new registrations per day since Jan. 2007 and over 55,000 regional, work-related, collegiate, and high school networks. More than half of Facebook users are outside of college and the fastest growing demographic is those 25 years old and older. Is that too large for you?

If your cup of tea might be MySpace maybe you should know that it has more than 110 million monthly active users around the globe, however, 85% of MySpace users are of voting age (18 or older) One in four Americans is on MySpace. MySpace is translated in more than 20 international territories: U.S., UK, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, MySpace en Espanol, Latin America, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

But thats just 2 of the big ones that I’m sure you have heard about. Here is a nice breakdown of the top social sites provided by compete

In the end, you should check out each one and see if it fits the criteria you want in your selection of a social network. It will be up to you to decide which one fits you the best. Because in reality, this is how the social networking funnel should look:

 Ultimately, and you will see, if not already, that the best way to thrive in a social networking setting is to be amongst people that are of like mind and spirit. Thats why if you are in your mid 30’s and love reading books and are more concerned about what is in your 401k, maybe MySpace ain’t the ticket.  Eventually we will all have our own sense of where we should be within a social network, it’s merely up to you to find your way and craft, meld and shape your online indentity in the social network that makes sense to YOU.