Today, I think of social media as a conversation I have; I begin by scanning, sorting through, listening to the buzz, and reflecting -before joining in - at least that’s current etiquette.
For example, I discovered that Beth Kanter just did a great post
on the future of social media. (She’s prepping for a keynote presentation) Her post inspired me to pull together some of the elements that have been bubbling up for me as “core mission critical” in our consulting practice.
Creating the Future (both content and value by acting with Intention)
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about acting intentionality (individually and institutionally). How much of what we do is intentional vs. reacting to what’s right in front of us. We have to do both, but I find I’m leaning a bit more toward intentionality.
When I’m simply reacting to what’s in front, is there room for deeper thinking? If I focus only on what’s in front of me, because I am hesitant and caught up in a loop of reacting, not thinking through, I am forced to react to a poorly thought through decision.
There is a tension here – It reminds me of the BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) that Jim Collins speaks of in Good to Great: Don’t walk timidly into the future, go forth with big passion. Think really big, think it through - and go for it.
- So, why don’t we do that (both as individuals and institutions)?
- What are the obstacles?
- Are we unable to connect to our passion?
- Is it that we don’t know what to do next?
- Are we too bogged down looking at the gravel at our feet, rather than raising our eyes and looking at the mountain we are climbing?
- What are we afraid of?
Dealing With Fear (How we Decide)
I was listening to How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer - fantastic stuff! When we are afraid, there is actually a powerful chemical reaction in our brain that warns us – that takes over, that is 10 times as strong as a positive feeling, When we buy-into fear, we may be using the wrong part of our brain to do good problem solving. Who is in charge here? Good question – is it my emotional self or my rational self. If I’m in charge, I can choose what’s appropriate. When fear is the driver, creating our individual and institutional future is a bit like jumping into the abyss. So, we need to take on the future in clear focused bite sized pieces. What is the one small thing I can do today where I can confront my fear and just sit with it a bit? And take the next step – eyes up!
Question: What other ways do you get beyond?
Getting lost in the Waves (who controls the ocean?)
“There is already too much content on the web now, I can’t handle it or navigate it.” And it’s only going to grow worse, exponentially. How do I find stuff?
(Apparently there isn’t enough content out there for the ego’s that need to be heard - that are driving it. like me)
- So how much content does each of us need? (Who are us?)
- How much content does each us of need to create both individually and institutionally? How do we find the stuff we need, and discard the rest?
- How do we ensure that folks find that content that I/we create, that they need?
- How do we continue to have these ever expanding global multi-media high bandwidth conversations and transactions?
- Where do we put it all?
- Who owns it?
Do we assume that the internet, like the planet Earth will continue to have unlimited food to feed all of all of us on dwindling farms, expanding populations and mega cities. How about everybody else – the millions here in the US and the billions and billions who don’t have electricity, water, health, education, jobs, nutrition – let alone technology? How do we bridge the digital divide – the great technology abyss - and more importantly the digital informational content abyss across the globe?
Who controls and manages all this content that is washing over us like huge waves in the ocean? Is that Google? Big money? Government(s)? How do we deal with hundreds of countries, cultures, native languages, translations, storage, high speed open, throttled or censored access - or no access at all – for me and for our institutions? These are going to be the driving questions - that will determine our relevancy.
Here’s two little baby thoughts about the sorting part...
Tags and Keywords
The Steve project describes how tags can be used to describe objects in museums. (See my post here and here) Arts groups would invite tagging of all content elements and with two different kinds of tags. One uses physical descriptors such as tiger, blue, Japanese, neo-classical, etc. The other involves emotional or feeling tags, - how does this make me feel, or what does it feel like, i.e. something that helps us to bring a deeper level of meaning to it, at the feeling level. Then, couple that with ratings, comments, ratings of raters, etc. This becomes a really interesting cognitive mapping conversation.
Reichhold talks about this in his thoughtful studies of Net Promoters. The person most passionate about something referring others is super powerful. Alan Brown was probably the first person to explore this deeply in his seminal Initiators and Responders research done in 2004. The point in all this research is that to be relevant and successful in the social media web porous silo-free new age, we have to connect with and support these net promoters/initiators through dialogue and relationships.
Cultivating this social media referral network helps to bring visibility to those gems that might otherwise remain hidden under the tides.
We Start Where We End (a circle has no beginning)
Who is in charge, individually, institutionally, nationally, globally? How do we have individual, institutional, regional, national, and global collaborative conversations about these issues – where the currency won't be money but information? How likely are these conversations to be more successful than global diplomacy? We have to be really thoughtful.
What are our respective stakeholders intentions? What parts of the
brain are each of us going to listen to and act on individually, institutionally
….and across the globe?
Hmmm... lots of questions.
Question: What are your thoughts?
photo attribution: Clark Little