Life by social media rules.

# Rather than the lazysphere "me too" type posts that clog up our feed readers, sometimes different people hit a similar theme completely independently even if – on the face of it – they are not related.

A couple of weeks ago I was struck by a post by Mark Dykeman in which he stated that:

"The value of social media is in its ability to quickly convey messages that are:

  • important
  • useful
  • interesting
  • entertaining

to people, in groups or individually, with the added bonus of correction, elaboration, clarification, and other feedback from those who received the message so that the overall communication brings benefit to the largest number of people."

My initial reaction was that we should be using these ideas away from our computers and in our normal lives.

Chris Brogan posted a few days later saying that we should employ the same tactics we use in social media situations when interacting with anyone offline; just transpose the way in which you communicate to an offline alternative. Gary Vaynerchuk then recorded a video advising us to look at the potential in secondary markets for our brands.

The connection between these three independent thoughts made me realise that we can devote a great amount of time to developing an online social media strategy but forget about the real bricks and mortar world around us. All of our interactions should be as constructive as those we perform online.

Hiding behind technology

Mobile phones and computers can sometimes be detrimental to the way we interact; we've all avoided physically speaking to someone in a difficult situation by pinging them an email or text message and the more we do it the harder it becomes to then deal with such situations as we have been hiding behing the technology at our disposal. Instead we should be realising that proper communication is key and Mark's bullet points are a good place to begin.

I'm not suggesting that every conversation we have will be akin to a PowerPoint presentation as normal discussions only tend to include a subset of the points above but we should ensure that our interactions have some quality to them instead of being unhelpful or dismissive.

To echo Gary's ideas in this context we need to get ourselves out there, push ourselves in to new situations, take advantage of what is available and let others benefit from what we ourselves have to offer. It is all too easy to get stuck in a groove and not branch out in to areas that, maybe we had not considered we could.


So, reader I challenge you (and myself) - build a life strategy and not just a social media strategy. What do you think?

  1. I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road. Robert Michel
  2. Mark Dykeman says: #
    Food for thought, Colin. It's interesting how online behaviour could be a model for offline behaviour. I think your challenge, although it could be tricky for many (including me), seems pretty worthy. I'm tempted to say "I'll think about it" but if I do then I likely won't do anything about it. Instead, I'll say: "I'll write a post about it."
  3. Ben says: #
    How about (as a great duo once said): "Be excellent to each other" The start of a great life strategy to live by if ever I heard one ;)
  4. Colin says: #
    Look forward to reading it Mark. It's not so much a case of onlin behaviour being a model for offline, more that we should put in the same effort that we devote to our online actions and think about what we are doing and how we are doing it so that we can provide some value on a day to day basis.
  5. Colin says: #
    Robert, thanks for stopping by. I hope you do like it and stick around. For some reason akismet caught your comment as spam - had to recover it.
  6. I just looked over at your MyBlogLog widget and laughed that Mark, Gary, and I all came rushing over to see what you said about us. : ) The social web is certainly ego driven, for better and worse. I agree with your premise. It's not about the mic.
  7. Colin says: #
    Chris, I hadn't noticed the widget - thanks for pointing it out. Ego driven or just connectivity at work?