Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Many Lenses of Social Media

Thanksgiving is one of my favorites. It’s all things I love -- family, friends, food, football and…yes…social media.

That’s right – you know a topic has gotten big when it successfully competes with Brangelina and the woes of the Washington Redskins for discussion time at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

How many friends do you have on Facebook? Who are they – co-workers, high school classmates, neighbors? What is the fascination with this Twitter thing?

After taking this Web 2.0 banter in for about 15 minutes, it dawned on me how different each person’s experience is with social media.

For the over 50 set, participation in social networks is an unobtrusive daily connection to loved ones. I guess checking out photos of a recent vacation on Facebook or Flickr is a better than phoning your daughter one too many times.

Then there is the still single crowd who taps into online communities as a source of relationship intelligence.

“There is no such thing as a blind date,” one cousin explained.

Of course, there are also a host of unwritten rules that guide interaction on Facebook among prospective romantic interests.

“Friending someone you have just started dating is a major decision,” my cousin said. “You are sending a signal to her. It’s OK for you to be part of my online life and to know my friends.”

And to think my world of social media is primarily viewed through a business lens with a focus on lead generation, sales cultivation, search engine optimization and awareness building.

This year Thanksgiving served is a reminder that social media – like most things in life – is all about objectives and expectations.

1 comment:

John Furgurson said...

That's one thing that's cool about it... we all put our own, unique spin on it. For me it was all about blogging. But now my vision is changing a bit.

Here's a little historic perspective on it: