Archive for June, 2009

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Webinar deluge

9 June 2009

I spent much of today online in live conversations about social media. I’ll be doing two more webinars tomorrow. They’re important discussions to have, and I’m glad to be loading them all into a couple of days…then take some time to digest.

The hardest part has been the presentations themselves. Most of the folks leading these discussions have been involved in social media for six months or so. Maybe a year. Listening to that kind of a talk can kind of feel like watching your dad dance to rock and roll music.

Were you on Friendster? Orkut? Do you know what FriendFeed is? Have you squatted your username on Brightkite? Forget about Twitter and Facebook — I mean, don’t forget about them, they’re hugely important…but if you’ve not studied up on the past, and not looked in the niches (hey, tried TopHarbor?), this probably all looks bright and shiny to you. The original online social network was probably Usenet.

So, I just wanted to share a few things that I’m thinking about in this social networking space.

* The notion of monetizing social networks, or measuring their ROI, is like the notion of measuring ROI on telephones.

* Different social networks serve different functions, and have different audiences. LinkedIn is data driven. Who are you, where do you work, what do you do, how many TPS reports did you push out? Facebook is a publication — you and your life. Pictures of the kids alongside your latest contract win at work. A picture of you as a person, and a place to keep in touch with other people. Twitter is a conversation. It’s a way of establishing relationships with other people, doing customer service, enhancing customer relations, while allowing companies to show a human side, and humans to establish relationships.

* Protecting your Twitter updates is silly. Of course you protect your Facebook stuff — you don’t want strangers downloading pictures of your kids. But Twitter? The rule is, never say anything on the internet that you wouldn’t say to your mother, your kids, or your boss.

* Social media is a public utility without a monetary framework. It’s not the tools, it’s the people. It’s what you say and do in this public town square that enhances (or doesn’t) your brand, your name, your reputation.

With two more webinars tomorrow, I probably will have more to say about this tomorrow. Also, after sleep. 🙂

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