Posts Tagged ‘social media


Creating a Custom Experience

Today was my first official day training for an Olympic-length triathlon I try to do each summer. Every year, I wonder what possesses me to sign up, particularly during the last few miles of the race. However, once I’m finished, there’s such a sense of accomplishment. I’m nowhere close to winning (the winner usually beats me by at least an hour). In this particular pursuit, all I care about is finishing and beating my personal record (3 hours).

I’m curious, what pursuits do you continue with, in spite of or because of not being the best? What drives you to keep going after whatever goal you’ve set? I’ve been wondering about this question and its connection with social media. I’ll never have as many “friends” on Facebook as Robert Scoble or gain the master status of Chris Brogan on Twitter, but I don’t necessarily want to copy either one’s efforts.

I think that’s the beauty of these social applications and others like them: they’re a custom fit. In order to participate, I don’t have to meet a set standard. I create my own. In a world that can seem driven by standards, I’m excited by the continued growth of opportunities that let you create your own experience. How are you customizing your experience?



Dying to Listen

ListenLast night, I caught the very end of the film To Die For. This movie focuses on the length’s Suzanne Stone, played by Nicole Kidman, will go to to be in the spotlight and on television. I thought the movie a bit silly, but one line at the very end, by a character named Lydia, made it worth the time to watch:

Suzanne used to say that you’re not really anybody in America unless you’re on TV… ’cause what’s the point of doing anything worthwhile if there’s nobody watching? So when people are watching, it makes you a better person. So if everybody was on TV all the time, everybody would be better people. But, if everybody was on TV all the time, there wouldn’t be anybody left to watch, and that’s where I get confused. (link)

Who’s Watching?

We’re at the very beginning of user-generated content reaching beyond one’s family and friends. Over time, the tools to reach a larger audience will become even more readily available to a general user. Now, replace “TV” with “Internet” in Lydia’s quote. If everybody ends up on the Internet, who’s left to watch? If we’re so busy producing content all the time, how do we make time to listen?

Yesterday, watching my Twitter stream, my friend Sean Bohan made the following comment:

new rules – RTFC – read the f’ing comments social means listening as much as talkin (link)

How many of you follow this rule? The word social media has been tossed around A LOT during the last 18 months, but I wonder how much we really understand what it means. I believe those individuals who thought it had a set definition are now finding out that it’s much more fluid than they thought. Some people are content to shove out loads of content, but if they fail to hear what’s being said back, they miss important cues. Consider what’s happening in traditional media channels.

Traditional Media Stumbles

Music buyers have made their contempt for the current marketing and pricing methods clear. Now the music business is crumbling because industry executives made the lethal mistake of listening to their own hype and not listening to their customers. Apple listened, and between the iPod and iTunes, own a significant chunk of the digital music market. Everyone else (Amazon, Microsoft, etc.) is left trying to catch up to Apple.

Then there’s television. People have fallen in love with their DVRs because they don’t want to watch commercials, and they do want to watch their shows on their own schedule. Advertisers and TV executives are moving at a snail’s pace to recognize what this change will mean to their worlds. They were also slow to see how the Internet would affect their medium. Now, the industry is caught up in a writer’s strike that some predict will go into this summer.

Current casualties? The Golden Globes award ceremony will air this Sunday as a READING of the winners. Some wonder if the Oscars can happen either given these circumstances. What about movies scheduled for production this year and for release next year? Then there’s network TV. How long will people watch re-runs before they look elsewhere?

Participation Goes Both Ways

To play in this particular pool of creating, I think you need to develop equal skills in watching and listening. Because individuals can respond, if you fail to pay attention, they’ll take their eyeballs, ears, and minds somewhere else. And once they’re gone, I’m not sure you can get them back because the competition will only get bigger and more varied. If you’re dying to be discovered as the next lonelygirl15, I suggest listening really hard to what’s going on around you first. Otherwise, you’ll fulfill Andy Warhol’s prediction and only “be famous for 15 minutes.” It’s your choice.


(Image courtesy of Simon Crowley. Some rights reserved.)


For What It’s Worth—100 Blog Posts on Social Media

Chris BroganFor my readers who enjoy social media and/or are curious to learn more, I encourage you to visit Chris Brogan’s web site, He’s dedicating his next 100 blog posts to:

helping you grow the value of your social media and social networking efforts. I will post specific strategies, tactics, tips, and resources to help you develop your skills and abilities in these areas, particularly insofar as these might help you develop your personal brand, build business for yourself or your organization, or otherwise perhaps be helpful to what interests you.

If you don’t know Chris, he’s a multi-talented guy (who just happens to by my bff…thanks Gnomedex) doing amazing things connected with social media. If you have a minute, I suggest you check it out. It’s one of the blogs I read regularly because he offers such great insights into what’s happening and how to take advantage of all the new tools.


(Image courtesy of Chris Brogan.)

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July 2019
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