Category Archives: social networking

It’s the Conversation, Stupid…

Twitter (and blogs and other social media stuff) is about conversations and relationships. It’s not another¬†megaphone to scream your spam direct marketing information about your products and services.

Biggby Bob (@BiggbyBob) gets it. Frank Ellison (@Comcast Cares) gets it.  Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan) gets it. Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) gets it. Zappos CEO Tony (@zappos) gets it. Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) gets it. Many, many others, too many to list here, get it.

To all of you self-proclaimed “SEO Experts” “Social Media Gurus” “Social Networking Ninjas” Be human. Be You. That’s what it’s all about.

It’s the conversation, stupid.

Chock Full O' Zen



I spent last weekend in Butler, PA at the Conley Resort for a guys golf weekend. I was invited by a friend who I worked with twenty years ago (ouch) at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. He and about thirty other guys have been meeting the last seven years or so for this trip.

I had a blast! I got to see my friend, John, and turns out, there were other guys from our summer at the Point had been going every year, too.

John and I lost touch after I joined the Marines in 1993. Easy to do at the time really, specially when you are stationed on Guam and Hawaii and other exotic places in the world, like Pensacola, FL. Email wasn’t widely used at the time, so you lose touch.

John found me right before Christmas last year when a search on Google returned my LinkedIn profile. Long story short, he invites me along and now I have a friend back and made many more due to a social networking site. Cool.

I have reconnected with others from high school and college much in the same way. I do searches one or twice a week hoping a new, old friend shows up. It’s only a matter of time.

Have you found old friends this way? Have you tried?

Photo courtesy of an other John on the trip. It is me (on the left) and my friend, John, waiting to tee off on the first hole on the first day.

Xbox 360

I was watching my son play his new game, Ace Combat 6, from Gamefly. As he played, little messages would pop up in the right hand corner letting him know a friend was online or another friend had just sent him a message. I asked him if they were all friends from school or guys he met while playing Halo online. He said it was a mix.

It dawned on me that this is his social network. Instead of using Twitter or Facebook to hook up with friends, he uses Xbox 360. He has friends from all over and they all “meet up” to play Halo or any other game.

He uses his Xbox as a social object, too. Besides belong to a gaming club at school, he uses it as an ice-breaker of sorts with kids he meets at swim meets or other places. It doesn’t take long for him and other 12- and 13-year-olds to engross themselves in discussions about everything xbox. They then exchange handles before they leave in order to meet later online.

Gary V talked yesterday (he’s on fire right now, by the way) about how we are in the early hip hop stage of the Tech movement. He’s right. As we move along it is going to be less “separated,” accessed only through a computer or handheld device, and more embedded as things like televisions or refridgerators or picture frames get connected to the internet. I can see one day, uploading pictures straight from your camera to a digital frame that has a wireless modem built in that would allow you to share them straight from the frame. No logging on to a laptop or desktop or to Flickr or Photobucket required. Who knows how we’ll all be connected in ten or fifteen years. What we are doing now will look as archaic as talking on rotary dial phones do now.

Just my humble opinion on a Wednesday morning.

(photo courtesy of Louder via Flickr)

More or Less Social?

Interesting post on Fast Company’s front page today. The writer, Jimmy Gardner poses the question, “Does social media make you less social?” Meaning, if you are involved in many “virtual” social conections, are you less likely to actually get out from behind the computer and interact in physical society? He thinks it can and makes his argument by citing the example of friends and contacts he first met on one of the social networking sites that are now friends and contacts in the physical world. He talks of not having to meet new people “cold” because you already have had interaction via whatever social network you met.

This argument can go both ways. Sure, meeting someone of like mind or profession online may lead to a real world business connection and relationship. Some of the “big” bloggers, Scoble, MacLeod, Godin, et. al. appear to be friends in the real world as well in the blogoshpere. This may be difficult, though, if the people are geographically far away from each other. But, there are also those who are so introverted, they are more comfortable (and successful) interacting on MySpace or Facebook behind the protective anonymity of a computer

One personnal story to reinforce Jimmy’s argument. I was recently reconnected with one my groomsman, Jeff, through the site LinkedIn. We had lost touch with each other and had not talked in over ten years. Now, we regularly talk through email and I am going to go to a weekend golf trip he and several of his friends have every year. I think social networking can make one more social. As well it should.

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