December 28, 2008

Why Do You Follow? Why Are We Friends?

There is much debate these days about the future of social media. This is not a new phenomenon or a fad. The interface will change, new portals will crop up, but it isn’t going anywhere.

Is Twitter modern day Hieroglyphics?
Five thousand years ago, the Egyptians used hieroglyphics on walls and caves to tell entire life stories.

Over a hundred years ago, Samuel Morse devised a code for his electric telegraph which revolutionized radio communication.

Today we sit impatiently while our 3G phones take almost a second to react to our every whim.

What are the similarities?
It is our need to belong, share, and be a part of something. Social media has given us the ability to connect with people we actually know, people who know the people we actually know, and beyond.

The connections are the starting point not the end game. If you haven't seen Did You Know 3.0 you should! It's an eye opener and it's exciting. In the presentation, it lists the population of MySpace as the fifth largest country in the world.

We are building communities from every area of the planet, every race and religion, financial background and upbringing, personal taste and political leaning. Borders are gone.

Six Degrees
Whenever I receive or send a friend or connection request, one of the first things that catches my attention is how many mutual friends we have – the more Kevin Bacons, the more likely we have stuff in common. At least that’s the theory.

Obviously, with hundreds and possibly thousands of friends, connections and followers no one can keep it all straight. But if you want to experience the true magic of this process, take a few seconds and find out more about them, then perhaps initiate further contact.

Why do we connect?
Be inquisitive and you will be surprised how many will say hello and how many will want to know more about you.

If you expect others to read your stuff, be prepared to read theirs. If you think you can build a network so you can send spam, don't be surprised when your friend count begins to dwindle.

Your engagement could simply be to collect friends like hockey cards, build a profile and join the worldwide fridge magnet party. Or you can take a few seconds and get to know a little bit about those who said “yes”.

What are the benefits of social media to you?

km

 
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