Category Archives: social

It’s Not About the Tools, It’s About the People

We are all on Google+ now. It’s great because of who is here.

We were all on Quora at Christmas, because of who was there.

We continue to stay engaged on Twitter because of who is there.

We are bored with FaceBook because of who is there.

We use LinkedIn because of who we can find.

We use SocialCast in the Social Business Council because of who is there.

We use Jive with the Community Backchannel because of who is there.

We use Yammer in our jobs because of who is there.

It’s not about the tools, it’s about the relationship. The great thing about any social network is the socializing that takes place there. Yes, the tools are nice and a bad tool set can certainly squelch the conversation. But it’s not about the tools it’s about the relationships.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many people over the past few months who are not at all engaged in the social web. The line goes something like this….”I don’t have time for all that social media.” What they are really saying is “I don’t value those relationships and what I learn there. I get all I need from other sources.”

That’s fine. When people start to understand what they can get, the relationships they can build, and what an amazingly large diversity of ideas is out there, they decided to connect.

Many stick with email and cocktail hour networking. That’s fine, I do that sometime too, but I find it is not at all efficient as a stand alone activity. It’s good when I want to go deep with someone, but at a typical event, I can only do that with 1 or 2 people. At best, I’ll touch base with 5 or 10. During that same evening, I can touch hundreds or even thousands through online tools.

Through my BlogTwitterGoogle+ and various private communities, I can keep a conversation going with hundreds and my network can jump into overdrive when needed.

If you don’t want to use the social media tools now and think it’s too geeky, that’s fine. We used to say that about CompuServe and then AOL came along to break the ice among the masses. Then came FaceBook and everybody went online.

It is indeed gone widespread. Google+ may not replace FaceBook. Everyone may not get on Twitter, but in the long run, the mega trend is that, more and more, our lives are moving online. What was once called a “virtual” meeting is just a meeting.

Do any of you call your FaceBook friends “virtual” friends? Do you call these virtual conversations? No, it’s a wall post, it’s a message, it’s real interaction.

Social is happening, it is happening in different rates for different people, but there is no going back. As my friend Chris Rollyson says, It’s an “and” world, not an “or” world. We keep getting more ways to connect, as a result we are more connected, and finally we can innovate and move faster.

That is just what’s happening. Don’t deny it.

So go ahead, get social. You can start by connecting with me on TwitterLinkedIn, or Google+ and while you are at it, subscribe to my blog.

See you online!

Leave a comment

Filed under collaboration, community, conversations, Early Adopter, GooglePlus, microblogging, productivity, social, social media, tools, trends, twitter, web2.0

Facebook Today, Reminds Me of AOL in 1998

I find myself more and more leaving the constraints of Facebook and stepping out into the deep end of the social web.

 
 It was an interesting time, 1998. The early Internet starter kits were beginning to make it out. Netscape had introduced a nice browser. Microsoft was playing catch up with Internet Explorer. Mozilla was still around. The Internet was a wild west.

EBay and Amazon were just starting to get traction. There were a few tools for creating websites, and a few email services, but it was a rough time with people stumbling around in an attempt to reach out and publish information on the web. You needed a webmaster, well versed in HTML page markup or PERL scripts, to do anything worthwhile online.

In the late 1990s, the Internet was not a fun place for the masses. It was difficult to get around, set up an email address, or share files. America Online had just begun carpet bombing the US with millions of free AOL CDROM disks delivered through the US Postal Service in an attempt to snag as many subscriptions as possible.

The appeal was clear. Families in record numbers were buying their first desktop computer, loading up AOL, connecting their modem and beginning to share pictures, email, and news stories with each other. AOL started in the mid 1980s as a private network, but was quickly morphing into a gateway and a guide for the Internet by the mid 1990s. The famous “AOL Keyword” had become a universal locator for web content. Families in the millions jumped onto the internet through the safety of AOL. Soon AOL was flying high, valued large enough to buy the traditional media company, Time Warner. Just about then, the bubble burst and we all came back down to earth, ready for a new wave of innovators on the web.

A few years after the crash, Tim O’Reilly coined the phrase Web 2.0, and a few college students started building The FaceBook to allow students an easier way to connect and share with each other. As AOL was descending and the Time Warner merger began to look like the biggest corporate failure of all time, the social web began to take shape. Twitter, YouTube, Digg, Del.icio.us, Myspace, and Facebook began to gain ground with the early adopters. By 2009, Facebook was starting to gain real traction and in 2010, the new platform had a breakout year with Time Magazine granting “Person of the Year” honors to its founder Mark Zuckenberg.

Facebook is nice. It’s teaching us all a new language of “Likes”, comments, status updates, tagging, and general open sharing of our lives. While allowing us to share among close friends, it is also pushing the limits on privacy, and teaching us all to read the fine print as we all become more and more comfortable with expanding the circle of trusted friends that we share our lives with. Messaging on Facebook is so easy, many have abandoned email all together and just “Facebook” each other (that’s sending a note through Facebook). People often don’t know an email address, but find their friends by name and send them a message. Chatting is all the rage as well. Groups connect, share their lives, and expand their friendships online, blurring the lines between virtual and real.

Many people and businesses are using Facebook now as their primary branding website, drawing on the large population online. But at the same time, early adopters and web savvy professionals continue to push the envelope using twitter, flickr, youtube, twitpic, tweetchat, about.me, instagr.am, foursquare and a host of other “wild west” style social media tools. The social web is fully functional and all functions that are now done in the safety of Facebook are also done in the openness of the social web without the restriction of a closed circle of “friends.”

AOL put fences around the Internet in the late 1990s and allowed families and newbies a safe way to navigate, read news, follow “New Kids on the Block.” The public could share with each other online and join along out loud whenever a new message was delivered: “You’ve got mail!”

Just like AOL back then, Facebook today puts fences around the social web allowing an easy way for families and newbies to share photos, status updates, “likes”, and news of Justin Bieber in the safety and security of a protected social web environment. The real social web continues to thrive and innovate. I find myself more and more leaving the constraints of Facebook and stepping out into the deep end of the social web.

I wonder if, in a few years, Facebook will grow to enormous market value, purchase one of the Web 1.0 or traditional media companies and then go through a similar self-destruction as the openness of the full social web takes over. History does have a way of repeating itself. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below or online (on Twitter).

2 Comments

Filed under collaboration, community, conversations, Early Adopter, microblogging, productivity, social, social media, social web, tools, trends, web2.0

Your eNewsletter is Old School


I still get many e-newsletters in my inbox. Many of them have very good content, but I am finding that I get more and more frustrated with the lack of social integration. I receive something interesting, I want share it with my network. If I were “old school”, I would just forward that email to all my friends…yuck.

So I look for the share features that are starting to emerge. I received one recently that had a link to share it on twitter. I clicked it and got a twitter window with a very cryptic preformatted tweet (ugly headline, shortened URL, and a hashtag ad for the newsletter platform)…double yuck.

It got me thinking…as I look at these e-newsletters that were all the rage just 5 years ago, it is painfully obvious to me that it is time for these companies to “get social”. I’d like to share some strategy and tactics just in case you find your e-marketing method “old school” and are longing for a way to break out and get social in 2011.

Here is my short list of recommendations. These were created with an event management company in mind, but probably translate well to anyone using e-mail marketing to promote their organization.

  1. Leverage your e-newsletter into a ongoing twitter campaign
  2. Build a community with your audience using a microblogging tool (maybe from Socialcast) and a community platform (maybe from Jive)
  3. Update your website and communications with various “share” features (see this example blog)
  4. Utilize YouTube and Flickr to share the excitement of your events with your audience
  5. Encourage blogging from and about your events
  6. Add a twitter hashtag to every event and promote it in all literature and communications. Register it on what the hashtag
  7. Utilize a wiki to crowd source and then archive tweets, blogposts, and user generated content about your events

If you would like to expand on these recommendations, share example best practices, or just add you 2 cents, please tweet it or comment below.

Let’s make a resolution to drop the “old school” e-marketing tactics of the 2000s and move full speed into the “new school” social media tactics of the 2010s.

2 Comments

Filed under e-newsletters, how to, social, social media, social web

>DigPharm Tweetlog Digital Pharma Europe, 29-30 March 2010 Berlin

>
DigPharm Tweetlog from printyourtweets.com

Billed as the first ever Pharma “Unconference” in Europe, I stumbled upon Digital Pharma Europe this week through my twitter feeds. It looks interesting, so I thought I would follow it as I could from my outpost in Bucks County, PA (just north of Philadelphia).

I didn’t have the time yesterday to keep up with it in real time, but thanks to the #digpharm hashtag and all you “citizen reporters”, I was able to get caught up this morning. Then I thought, why keep this for myself, so here’s a PDF of the hashtag log so far. I’ll probably capture today’s tweets tomorrow morning so come back for more if you like it.

You can do this too just by going to printyourtweets.com…but you have to do it during the off hours because it can really slow down when all the Americans come to work.

Queue the music to Saturday Night Live…..
Live from Berlin, It’s Digital Pharma Europe !

links:
DigPharm Tweetlog from printyourtweets.com
DigPharm from Hashtags.org
DigPharm from wHasttag.com

Leave a comment

Filed under enterprise20, pharmaceutical, social, web2.0

What is and How to Twitter Video

>Found this “How to” Video on the UK Telegraph: Video

Leave a comment

Filed under Early Adopter, how to, how to tweet, Innovation, microblogging, social, social media, tools, twitter, Uncategorized, web2.0