The more things change, the more they stay the same.
I gave this presentation at New Media Atlanta on September 25, 2009, almost three years ago. I was at least 35 lbs heavier, so I’d love to edit that, but without a great deal of additional change, I would happily give this presentation again today.
I think it’s still relevant. Not because anyone really questions whether Social Media is here to stay, but because the science that social technologies are built upon continue to drive its development. And many continue to ignore the principles that govern how to most effectively communicate in these platforms.
Here are a few paragraphs from the presentation:
“The tools don’t matter, the tools are going to change. We need to master some new behaviors. We need to think differently. We’ve got to learn how to promote connection, how to promote interaction and how to promote conversations around commerce. We need to relearn how to do that. Those are behaviors. It doesn’t matter what tool you’re using. This is a new mindset, but it’s a mindset based on an understanding that what we’re living inside is like a living breathing organism. It’s going to adapt and change and so are you. And even if you try not to, it’s going to happen anyway. There is nothing you can do about it. So you might as well try to understand it and adapt, and just suck it in and enjoy it. Because the more you understand how to do that and the more your behavior changes to align, the better you’re going to be at making the kinds of decisions that move your businesses forward. That’s a fact.”
“So, the cornerstone beliefs and behaviors that will lead you to mastering the art of social media effectiveness are inclusiveness, adaptability and making the art of listening your predominant communication skill.” I said it then, I beleive it now. “Social media is the love child of new science and internet technologies. It’s the stuff that allows us to look in to what appears to be chaos, what appears to be random conversations, and to extract from that the patterns, the emerging trends that help us make great decisions.”
“We often talk at these conferences about social media using terms like ‘relationships’ and ‘engagement,’ and I know that some business people look at those kinds of words and those kinds of conversations and they think to themselves, ‘that’s nice, but that’s not real business conversation. It doesn’t really impact me.‘ And that’s because the focus in most of social media is so terribly wrong. This focus on it only being for marketing, it only being for growing your personal network, it only being for attracting new people that you can sell things to is so far off. And so the reason why we are not seeing greater, stronger, bigger success stories in social media is that most people are simply using it incorrectly.”
The same could be said today. The full presentation is 32 minutes long. It was shot by Brad Carroll at Dakno Marketing. In it you’ll see me mention a hostile back channel conversation that altered my presentation and ended up being the visual backdrop for Chris Brogan‘s presentation later in the day. It was the first time, in my experience, that a back channel had such a profound influence on a conference. I also mention Chad Etsel, JazzyChad, a guy who, in my opinion, still doesn’t get enough love for his skills. You do good work, Chad. Enjoy!