Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Social Networks Enable (But Don't Create) Strong Conversations

I was lucky enough to have an opportunity to write an article for the ASAE & the Center Professional Development Forum Online - Ironically I made my PD debut right as I made my switch to marketing.

You have to be a member of ASAE to read the full article. However, I will be giving a presentation at annual on the need for a solid conversation as the basis of any social network. I hope if you're there, you'll join me. I'd be interested in feedback prior to the session on the idea that Social Networks Enable (But Don't Create) Strong Conversations. Maybe I'm way off? If so please let me know as I'm starting to write my formal presentation.

I've seen many facebook groups pop up centered around an idea, but not much of a conversation. Thus the group quickly becomes a shell - it attracts members, but that's about it. Where's the social in that?

Are social networks so easy to implement that we rush into creating them for the sake of creating them - instead of taking the time to fully develop a conversation and purpose - critical steps that would most certainly be taken if social networks and other new media were a laborous and/or a costly task?

A good example - to call out someone (hopefully they won't mind) - the author of the blog, Bob Wolfe, has only posted 2 posts in June (can I get a boo?). Let's be honest - if there was some form of commitment - odds are this blogger wouldn't be quite the slacker they currently are - that or they wouldn't have joined the game in the first place. This is also a reason they won't be contributing anytime in the near future to more professional blogs (sorry Alyssa).

As social media continues to be all the rage, its important not to forget about the due dilgence needed to impliment any sustainable group or conversation:

  • Purpose
  • Value
  • Content
The three bullets above are the pipe that keeps the lines of communication flowing. (get it - PVC - pipe - flowing) Worth a shot

Thanks for reading,
P.S. - Thanks to Lindy for posting my article on the yap group - an excellent example of a group harnessing the power of conversations
P.S.S. - Life's still crazy, but I have some new ideas I'm almost ready to impliment - someday