After reading a well thought out post on assessing ROI in a social media world, I responded with a comment. To see the original post go here. I have pasted in my comment below, which I think stands for itself.
Great post Jason, I can’t agree more with the Kool-Aid references. From a young professionals standpoint who grew up with both traditional marketing and new media marketing I can’t help but get frustrated with a majority of the conversation today about social media and how businesses are being told to pick “one or the other.”
Social media in my opinion is a tool, albeit a very powerful tool, but nevertheless a tool within a marketer’s toolbox. Too many times I feel we forget marketing is a 360-degree experience. Customers can be anywhere today – TV, print, online, mobile – and it is a company’s job to effectively target and reach their selected customers through each of these mediums utilizing a variety of distribution methods.
When I explain marketing to potential clients I draw a circle and put their brand in the middle. Each part of the circle represents a different part of the pie, and in order to reach each section the company has to push their message out in that direction. Media once it reaches the edge can then flow in a circular pattern – say someone retweets and blogs about a message they saw in print and suddenly customers are reached across the circle – but it’s a complex web that must be built up over time and with the understanding that there is no one simple one answer.
Many times I find companies look at social media as a powerful tool, but then opt to place an Intern or entry-level employee at the helm. A senior executive might oversee the strategy, but the lack of economic investment means the “saving grace” of the companies marketing program is left up to an employee with potentially little allegiance. This makes me wonder: just what value do you really see in this? When I speak to companies I make it a point to not paint a social media vs. traditional media picture, but rather one that involves everyone in a form considered non-traditional.
The other large piece of the puzzle, and one that I consider equally if not more important, is the rise of content creation and understanding how content can be utilized in multiple mediums for the same purpose, but that I’m afraid is another topic.
Answer this: If you could drop everything, without consequence, and follow one dream, what would it be?
Now think about what is stopping you? The barriers that immediately shut down your idealism. Are they able to be breached? Are they materialistic? Are they family based? Are they rooted in fear?
The Six Degrees of Separation Project
The Mission: America needs to remember its beauty – The idealism that has captivated millions to risk death just for a chance to succeed. To jump borders. Leave family. Drive a taxi by day, go to school at night. America needs to hear the stories of idealism beyond Disneyesque packaged prime time. The need to see the faces of struggling entrepreneurs. Stay-at-home mothers. Hourly wageworkers. Wall Street wonders. The project will link together, using the philosophy of six degrees of separation, the everyday fabric of our lives.
Execution: I would start out with one person, and listen to their story. That one person would then be responsible for introducing me to the next individual. I would then listen, learn, and document their story. The individual would then be responsible for introducing the next person. The catch, however, is the person cannot introduce me to a person the previous person knows. I also will need to spend at least one night with the selected individual, so I can accurately portray a sliver of their life.
Deliverables: By meshing my love for storytelling with technology, I will produce a variety of multimedia components: video, written word, photography, podcasting, GPS oriented content to name just a few. The project would be available via a website, and social networking tools.
The Crux: Before embarking I would compile a bucket list of goals: be a guest on the Tonight Show, run a marathon in a major city, help a kid learn how to throw a baseball, learn how to sail, and have dinner with the President. That I wish to complete during the trip.
Barriers: Capital. That’s it.
My Challenge to You: If you feel as though reaching your goal is out of reach, help me reach mine. I will make a promise to fulfill on this. All I need is a little help. This does not necessarily mean just cash, though that will put some gas in my tank. A simple introduction may be more than enough.
What would this take? Honestly, I’m not sure. Startup costs would be roughly 5K to get the appropriate equipment and website built. Then it’s a matter of gas, food, and enough cash so when I stay with a stranger I can cook them dinner, or take their kids out for ice cream. Ideally I would start in Colorado, and work east.
It is also important to note that I am not just asking for a handout to travel without risk to myself. I am willing to put my own capital behind this journey, as well as my personal name and time. Several people noted that “this seems a little strange,” and “I’m not sure what my first impressions are,” which is more than reasonable. I will work on answering these questions in a more detailed post shortly, but for now I wanted to just put the idea out there.
Think you can help? Let me know. If I can raise 20k I will hit the road and follow a life-long dream, which will hopefully change one persons life for the better.
Note: 20K is also equal to 200 folks taking a $100 chance. Broken up, anything is possible.
Please feel free to circulate this post to whomever you like.
If you don’t know me and would like to talk, please feel free to give me a ring at 303.406.1876 or email me directly at timshisler (at) gmail (.com) – I will be more than willing to answer any of your questions.
A few months ago, I wrote a post about social capital and why college is a perfect place to build your network.
In the post I referenced a very smart blog I had been reading on the subject of social capital and interconnectedness.
Now that blog has spun off into another blog, and even though I truly hope it can survive, I’m still a bit skeptical about the business model of a blog and if it can make money to support its writers.
I agree with Penelope, but only to a point. My blog helped me get my current job as an Intern at a national magazine, but editors still want hard clips that have been printed on someone else’s dime.
Not just digital content that lacks an editor and submission process.
So then why do I continue to write a blog you might ask?
For starters, it allows me to voice my opinion on a wide range of topics in an open forum which can accessed anywhere there is an Internet connection.
Secondly, a potential employer who spends more than five minutes on my blog will see I can discuss several high-level issues regarding journalism, technology, economics, photography and others.
Thirdly, it has allowed me to make connections and build relationships with professionals who were not accessible beforehand.
For The Little Red Suit, that is exactly what building social capital is all about.
So as Tiffany Monhollon breaks away and starts another blog, I can only hope her decision to go digital will pay off .
Which is exactly why I think you should take a second and check it out.
The business card is no longer. At least that’s what several new social networking sties want you to believe. I personally use a few, but am now finding it impossible to keep up. With hundreds of millions of dollars being invested by over-zealous-money-driven VC’s, and just about every superpower taking on Facebook, it’s a wonder any new network can stand out.
Take for instance my situation:
Facebook – Started in college senior year and quickly added a few hundred friends. I used the site to join frivolous groups, stalk perspective dates and post pictures. After college I started to use the site to network with potential bosses, and found myself interacting with journalists. With the explosion of apps a few months ago, I now spend minutes every day rejecting stupid invitations like: Slasher App and Top Friends application.
MySpace – Stared after college and now have almost 300 friends. Every person I can pick up the phone and call (my one criteria on Myspace). The layout is archaic, and an eyesore. I hardly use it.
Linkedin – Joined last year. Use it to network with perspective employers, journalists, co-workers and old bosses. Spend 10 minutes a month on the site, and haven’t checked it for a few weeks.
The list goes on.
What I’m finding here is that I’m spending almost an hour a day, throughout the day building my online presence, and hating it. When I could be outside drinking beer, going on a run, or actually talking to a friend, I find myself making connections, writing emails and looking at pictures of last night’s keg stand.
In other words, the applications which are supposed to “bring us together” are really tearing us apart.
So what is a young professional to do? For starters, pick up the phone. Everyone is busy, some are really busy, but in reality no one should be too important that they can’t talk to you. A CEO may be booked for weeks, or just give you the runaround, but a younger professional may not be.
I’ve found myself calling numerous editors, writers and professionals for advice. They initially clam up, wondering why the hell this kid is asking for an open ended conversation, but when they have the courage to converse it becomes beneficial for both of us.
Everyone has an ego. Online the egos are inflated by number of friends, subscribers, comments and trackbacks. On the phone, the ego is limited to time.
So I challenge the younger generation to step outside the box and connect the old fashioned way. Because as we all know when the Internet goes down it seems the world tends to stop, and God forbid your livelihood depends on such a fragile infrastructure.
Tim Shisler is a freelance interactive journalist specializing in photography, video and gps-supported content. On the Water, a phrase commonly used by river guides to describe their day, is a group of thoughts and images derived from Tim's travels and interviews.
To see more of Tim's work please visit his website www.timshisler.com
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