"When you give people easier ways to share information, more good things will happen."
By john.vakoc on Mar 23, 2009
I watched a talk given by Seth Godin over the weekend. Seth described the inadequacies of broadcast marketing, specifically as it relates to television. The volume of information that is available and pushed on people everyday means that people have less time per topic to deal with the incoming flood of information. The average person has become very good at ignoring the average subject.
In the end, whether a business or personal conversation, I don’t want to broadcast to the average person and risk being ignored. I want to have a discussion with people who share the same interests and passions: friends, innovators, early adopters, hyper-influencers; people who want information and want to participate in the conversation. If I can succeed in establishing a rapport with this group, they will in turn influence their friends, co-workers and their social media followers.
Near the end of Seth’s talk, I finally noticed one of the footnotes next to the video: Filmed in 2003. I was shocked – he seems to be describing the role of social media today, yet this was long before Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other players shaped how I get information. The influence of social technologies is not a solution looking for a problem, but they are addressing a real problem with communication today.
Social media has done several things to make it easier to communicate:
• Enabled individuals to participate in the conversation, not just the marketing machines of television, print, website owners
• Enabled individuals to subscribe or follow people, groups and topics they are interested in. Contrast this with email where you are deciding what the audience is interested in. With email you can deliver the message to specific people, but there’s a good chance it will be ignored.
• Simplified the means of conversation. The free form nature of blog posts means we don’t need to conform to a preset communication format. The 140 character limit on twitter or other micro-blogging forums may seem like a constraint, but it makes it focus in the message and not the format.
“When you give people easier ways to share information, more good things will happen. This quote, and the title of this post, is from Evan Williams, CEO and Founder of Twitter. Social media enables a conversation with an engaged audience; this is a good thing for your business.