Tag Archives: social media

What Steve says

The always-insightful Steve Wright pretty much nails it in this short post on OWS (emphasis mine):

Social media does a fantastic job of creating noise and through noise you get attention. But noise has no narrative. The decentralized approach has served us brilliantly. Again, I am grateful and in awe of those in the OWS movement who have done what I do not have the courage to do myself.I believe we are rapidly approaching the time when old school Port Huron style organizing is necessary. Reading up on the early days of the last civil rights movement, it took them about 10 years to get to the catalytic moment of 1968. I think we are at our 1968 moment today but don’t have the structure underneath us.

A continuing struggle…

This is very nicely put:

I have a continual internal struggle between two competing thoughts:1) Internet social media is a young, rapidly evolving ecosystem, heading towards better understanding of consumers, better solutions, and longer product lifetimes. 2) Internet social media is basically entertainment, where sites, platforms, and communication strategies rise and fall in popularity like yesterday’s television shows and networks, but on a much, much shorter timeline.

Unplugging from the social networks

After some soul-searching, and a prod from my dear friend and inspiration role model Sam Dorman, I’ve decided to unplug myself from “web 2.0,” “the social nets” or whatever we call the rapidly-expanding tarpit of social networking sites these days.

Long story short: I’m increasingly convinced that the constant stream of tweets, status updates, Facebook wall posts and the like are causing me more cognitive harm than professional or personal benefit.   And I deeply suspect that they’re harming us as a society, too.  (See “Skinner Box?  There’s an App for that!” for more on this.)

I’m not going cold turkey from the internet.  That’s not what this is about.  I’m going to continue reading email, surfing the web, and maybe taking in a few RSS feeds, since that’s a very convenient way to follow the news.  I will continue to blog (and hope to write more in the future since I won’t be as distracted by constant consumption!)  I might even keep my Facebook account after paring it down to people who are actually real-world personal friends.  But I’m ditching Twitter, unsubscribing from most of my “professional” RSS feeds, and am going to basically pull out of the “real-time web.”  Our brains just aren’t meant to work this way, and I can feel it harming my work, my personal life, and my happiness.

“Surely you just need to manage this stuff better, Jon,” you might be thinking.  Well, maybe, but if you know me, you know that I am an extremely disciplined person and am about as far from an “addictive personality” as it gets.  Heck, I didn’t even have an internet connection at home until 2001, and then only because my wife made me!  If I am suddenly finding myself experiencing addictive behaviors with web 2.0 tools, I’m pretty sure it’s because these qualities are deeply wired into the technology, not into my personality.  Also, if you think that “technology is completely neutral, it’s just about how we use it,” then please go stop and go read “In the Absence of the Sacred” before deciding whether you really want to pursue that line of argument.

So, in short, I won’t be seeing you on Twitter or Facebook so much anymore.   But please do drop me a line, give me a call, let’s go get some coffee or a hoist a pint.  Let’s go for a walk, a hike, a bike ride.  Let’s play some music together, or cook some food.

And if you’re feeling a little stressed out by the constant chatter of your online “friends,” then I invite you to join me in easing back out and into the sunlight.  See you in the real world, person-to-person!

Using more tools != better

I think we would all be better off without analyses like this which inventory how many social media tools large advocacy groups are using as if using more tools is somehow indicative of sophistication, effectiveness or having a solid strategy for achieving your organizing goals.

Sigh.  When will consultants stop promoting this kind of shallow, tool-centric thinking?  Probably never, because it’s easy, cheap marketing.

Listening is not enough. Responding matters too.

Stumbled across an interesting, resonant paragraph from Vinnie Mirchandani that worked best for me out of context:

My concern with Social CRM is we will build better antennae and pick up even more… signals. But unless we have passionate (and empowered) employees who can follow up and do something about it, we will gradually turn off our advocates. And go back to traditional CRM – hope our marketing and PR dollars drown out the non-advocates.

Speaking and listening are both essential parts of a conversation.  The trick is the balance.

Dear typical nonprofit: nobody is talking about you online

… or at least that’s my theory.

I think it would be very interesting to take a truly random sample of nonprofits (any ideas on a good methodology?), and do some online research to find out how many of these nonprofits are actually being talked about “organically” online.

My bet: under 10%.

This thought occurred to me because so many social media consultants seem to be saying something to the effect of, “Hey people are talking about you online whether you want them to or not.”  With the implied followup, “So you’d best hire me to help you figure out how to listen and engage.”  I’m not so sure.