The Long and Winding Road: Biz fitter thanks to Twitter?

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Without doubt social media is addictive, it is a very potent force in our work day. What is interesting to see is the way that it begins to dominate one’s thoughts as the day progresses and in some instances diverts our thinking , even at the expense of what we ‘should’ be doing. This leads to a question;

‘Is social media an additional sideshow for us or is it THE show?’

For many , I suspect, the sideshow has become the main attraction and there is no shame in that given the unprecedented uptake in usage over the past few years.

So what is driving this?

This week there was a conference in Wales at Celtic Manor called the OiConference (twitter:@oiConf) which was designed to put some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in social media together in one room. The attendees could get ‘up close and personal’ with them and learn from their experiences and ideas, perhaps more importantly it put people together in an atmosphere where creative thinking was ‘cool’ which, when the bulk of one’s day is alone at a screen, surely would be a Godsend!

The volume of ‘tweets’ emanating form the room as people gave presentations was high , I felt like I was there…..the over-riding impression I got from the day was that the participants left highly motivated and encouraged…therefore this was a huge success because, in my opinion, that is what this is all about.

We use Social media as a sounding board and a tool to garner new information while we assimilate the ideas and perspectives of people from all manner of jobs and countries around the globe.

One of the great by-products of social media is the fact that not only can we learn what people are thinking but that we can tap in to the pulse of the social media consciousness and be witness to events as they unfold. When you have access to such powerful information and when you can comment on it as it unfolds , you find yourself in a unique position. Perhaps your comment or idea will shape the course the event is going to take!

Imagine this scenario , you see something on the TV and listen to the commentary whereupon you shout at the TV telling the programme makers what they should have done or said..but you know nothing will happen because you have no voice. 

In the social media environment , you have a voice and what you say can make a difference, that is both exciting and over-whelming all in one. How many times have you thought about responding to something, written a response and then cancelled the comment for fear of being castigated or ridiculed? We all have but the fact remains that what we read and hear on social media sites really do effect how we proceed in our daily life.

When I write this blog each week I generally find an article or see a news piece which gets my grey cells moving, I make some connections and start to formulate something resembling a cohesive narrative. This week I tapped into a great resource , a resource which we all have and I dare to say use far too infrequently. I contacted someone with whom I have developed a healthy and good natured social media based conversation, we both think similarly on matters content/social media and as such have , I hope, helped each other and provided impetus to each others work.

I asked this ” What should I write about in my next blog? What is an issue in your opinion?”

The reply was both simple and complex in one go ; ” How does tweeting effect your content?”

I asked if that was a question or a suggestion …the answer was ” Both!”

So there was the enigma of social media , it is many things at once. No doubt that social media does effect the content we put out, it has to because we are trying to be current and relevant so ignoring it would be folly.There is a fine line between leading and being led, many people are happy to be led and fewer seek to lead…. there is no end of people who are happy vying for the title of ” World Champion Hindsighter” but that serves only one’s ego…unfortunately!

To respond to my friend, Joseph Ivy IV , in Michigan I would say YES, not only does ‘tweeting’ or any other social site participation effect content but it actually becomes the content on some occasions. Being able to write something which might help someone make a connection , either physically or mentally, is a good thing. If we learn only one thing from Social Media it is this:
‘You cannot ever think you give too much because there is an unending supply of insight and experience waiting to replenish your mind asking nothing more than a nod of acknowledgement in return’

Now watch this short video which blurs the lines between content and social media to the point that you could be forgiven for thinking they were the same thing…which of course they are not , or are they? Note the reference to ‘quality content’….really?

With news this week of the Twitter CEO outlining plans to enhance the service by adding curated content and improved syndication , via @engadget , perhaps what we see on social sites will fundamentally change how we do business and how we react to our business environment completely.

Or you might take all this with a pinch of salt and not subscribe to the theory that “if are not ‘social’ you are out of business”…. the next short video is tongue in cheek and ,in the interests of presenting the other viewpoint as all such submissions should do…rather amusing!

see you on the long and winding road……. Patrick

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