You Are A Character
June 21, 2011
Last week, Jeff Pulver hosted another of his 140 Characters Conferences in New York. The two-day event is unique and fast-paced with a format that limits individual talks to 10 minutes; featured talks to 15 minutes, and panel discussions are set for 15 and 20 minutes.
It's jam-packed with information as experts from across the country and around the world offer knowledge, perspectives and insights on the next wave of effects Twitter and the real-time Iinternet will have on business.
As I watched each person bring their unique position and perspective to the stage, I was reminded of an article that I saved recently that said, "One of the great discoveries from neuroscience is the discovery of so-called "mirror neurons," neurons that initiate imitation and empathy. It turns out we are wired to connect! Nature has wired into our brains the impulse to connect and join in with another person. Connection works magic. Connection saves lives. Disconnection costs lives."
I was reminded of this piece after reviewing the notes I took during the conference. I wrote down lines that included:
"The future is about making connections and sharing ideas."
"Not the size, but the network you are connected to."
"Align your organization around social engagement."
"Real-time information creates authenticity, community and trust."
"It is critical to gain your network's trust."
It was another example that the social web has a lot more depth than many organizations are even considering (or care about) when engaging with people on these various networks.
The very definition of connect is to become joined or united, to establish a rapport or relationship, and/or to join or fasten together.
However, most are still taking a very surface-level approach and believe that people join for the sole purpose of communication, as in being communicated to, and spend all of the time and energy on winning a popularity contest of building the most likes, followers or "friends" that has nothing to do with connecting like-minded people in a true community.
You may engage them for a moment, but it will fade as fast as the temporary high of your ego boost as people disconnect quickly once they realize your focus has nothing to do with actually doing something meaningful for them.
Take the focus away from the medium or technology and concentrate on the social interaction and behavior.
What is the deeper purpose you can help provide or facilitate to best connect with the audience and create share in their daily life? Not the two, three or four things ... the one thing you do that is so unique to create authenticity, community and trust.
As Doug Hall, author of the "Jump Start Your Brain" books recently said, "If you're not unique, you better be cheap."
Here's hoping that if you get that 10, 15 or 20 minutes in front of someone who you will show a character that really connects with your own unique magic and not the person or company who has cost lives because you're way to cheap and ran out of people to do your tricks.