The Value of Social Media (for me)
February 25, 2010 8 Comments
Some folks purport to give us statistics on how much of what happens in social networking platforms is “valuable.”
There’s a problem with that. We all have different measures of value. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Let’s face it, however. There’s an awful lot of noise…how much signal is there? And before you can even define that – what is “signal” to you?
I have something like 4,500 Twitter “followers,” while I follow about 1,300. How many of those truly add value to me on a regular basis? Probably 2-3%. Surprised? It’s not the 80-20 rule – it’s the 97-3 rule!
Those of you who add value know who you are (mostly), because we interact. Here’s what matters to me:
- Professional and personal camaraderie
- Unique and creative perspectives
- Proactive, pay-it-forward connecting
- Information source in domains that interest me
For instance, Guy Kawasaki is noisy, but I really enjoy some of the interesting links he provides. I like seeing fellow New Jerseyan Deirdre Breakenridge show up with her “Good Morning” in my tweetstream. Ben Kunz challenges me and makes me think. Kevin McNulty talks to me. Brandon Cox is always uploading great links to resources. Ann Handley is a dear friend, colleague, and explorer of life. Tom Martin is a lively thinker and loads of fun. Gavin Heaton, even from across the world, makes connections. Christina Stallings and I sometimes have dueling breakfast pictures on the weekend. Dennis VanStaalduinen makes me laugh. Cheryl Smith is a great sounding board and friend in the journey, as is Becky Carroll. Jay Baer is very smart and “gets” business. And then there are those who probably don’t even know that they add value to me, like Mitch Joel and Christopher Penn and Jim Long and Susannah Fox…and I could go on and on….
The bottom line is, you can find the people who are value-adds – AND the people you can help along the way also (be a mentor!) – by figuring out what it is you’re really after and focusing your efforts. So -what and who is valuable to you? Add your thoughts in the comments.
You see all those names up there? Never would have found a single one without blogging, Twitter, and other social platforms. And many are now friends in real life, not just avatars.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the signal/noise ratio. Just find that 2%, your “inner circle.” And build from there.
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