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People say Facebook is dumb, but social media is a tool

Its funny how strong of an opinion people have before they even try anything…like my 10 year old.  He makes up his mind about a food before he has even tried it.  Now, I understand how people are nervous about the unknown – but seriously…at least give it a shot before you dismiss it all together.

This article from Search Engine Journal goes into this:  “There are still tons (tonnes for my Canadian friends) of people out there that don’t use social media as a business tool because they don’t like it.”

“There are still tons (tonnes for my Canadian friends) of people out there that don’t use social media as a business tool because they don’t like it.”

I love that quote.  And how true it is…just because I don’t like chocolate ice cream doesn’t mean I should not buy it for my son’s birthday party.  Same thing with social media.

My wife’s work contacted me recently to help them understand how they could use Facebook for their business.  So I explained to them what Facebook is, how it can be used (again, Facebook is only another medium you can use – it is a conversation exactly like you have with your customers every day in person and on the phone) and pointers on how to begin.

Then, after a few days of back and forth email they asked me if I was interested in doing it for them…darn.  I’m not sure they heard the message.   “It is the same conversation you are having now with your customers.”  You don’t have me come in now and talk to customers…should I do that online?

Now – is that to say you couldn’t hire someone to do this?  No – it could be done.  But it could never replicate the information, passion and the customer-specific data your employees have.

Seth Godin post a great thought recently called the $20,000 phone call:

Here are two quotes:

“What is the doctor thinking when she allows her neither pleasant nor interested in new patients receptionist to answer the phone?”

“When a homeowner decides to put his house on sale and calls a broker…” and “What is the doctor thinking when she allows her neither pleasant nor interested in new patients receptionist to answer the phone?”

Great quotes…and oh how true.

So I guess what I’m asking you to consider is – don’t believe there is any magic in the “social medias”, but use them as an avenue to connect with those who choose to use those methods.  Social media is a tool you can use to converse with your customers.

Not content – Context is King!

Web Gaining ConsciousnessImage by motionblur via Flickr

If there is one thing my circle of friends (Jason, Annette, Nick and Abe) would agree that I say way too much is it’s all about the conversation – we need to engage people in a real life convo.

So when I read Steve Raye’s post @ social media today, you can imaging my grin:

We’ve heard a lot of people repeat the Web 2.0 cliché that “Content is King”. But the new thinking is that Content is not King, Context is. The internet has evolved in stages over the last 10 years from “Surf” to “Search” to “Find” and now the challenge is to “Filter”. We can get a massive amount of relevant information in a nanosecond…

So here’s the message marketers in this brave new world need to get…Be Part of the Conversation…With or without you, the conversation is taking place. The choice then is to participate and help shape it, or ignore it and let it shape you.

Heck yea!  I say we need to del.icio.us-up, twiter-up & most importantly…WEDIAUP.

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Effective networking – art or science?

David and Jonathan  The Biblical account of David and Jonathan has been read by some as the story of two lovers.  Image from WikipediaFrom a post today from Jonathan Farrington’s blog called “Are You Really An Effective Networker?

Networking effectiveness starts with a positive personal attitude and an understanding that successful networking is built on a spirit of giving and sharing and not of bargaining and keeping score.

I love the last line in the quote above.   It’s like, dude…if you’re networking simply to see how many connections you can get, please!  But if you look at networking as a conversation and a relationship – it can be more sucessful or at least more fruitful.

I think of it like all these guys (Robert Scoble and  Jason Calacanus) who try and see how many Twitter followers they can aquire or facebook friends.  (And I understand they are looking at more as marketing than networking.)  But they are definitely not engaging people in two-way conversation, they cannot keep up if 10,000 Twiiter-fans and facebook friends are asking for help.

I think of it as more art than science myself, but there are definitely formulas to success.

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Forums 2.0?

Source: WikipediaI love forums – and really they have been around forever. (Pre-internet is forever you know.) But I am really frustrated that there has been very little innovation in the area. Why s that?

Do they (forums) really not matter anymore? It seems like they were one of the first conversations to happen on the web. They pre-date IM and basically allow a “real-time” chat. (Its really close to realtime, you would refresh for new comments.)

I wonder if forums will evolve – or will they become obsolete via other technology. Wiki’s are great, but they don’t offer the conversation forums do. Twitter has the real time feel and conversation, but it is hard to archive and search the good information later.

So what is next? I’m not sure – although I’m not going to make it to the Web 2.0 conference in San Fran this year – I’m hoping to send the challenge along with a friend to pop it into a birds-of-feather session.

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