February 1, 2011
Social isn't all about innovation or technology! It's simply that the innovation and technology have allowed us to be .. more social.
Think about this one.
Over 27 million people, from some 58 countries, come together to strengthen bonds, bring each other closer, meet on common ground and learn to know each other.
It would have more people than MySpace and StumleUpon, and be pretty close to Flickr. It was even the largest in the world at one time.
However, no computer or smart phone was used ... and the information, let alone super, highway didn't even exist.
It was the British Empire Exhibition, held at Wembley, Middlesex in 1924 and 1925.
Was it social? You bet it was.
My point in telling you this is to emphasize that "being social" and making an impact is not just about using Twitter, Facebook, or the other sites and services. Don't get me wrong, you need both online and offline incorporated into your strategy today, but the line between the two is only getting more blurred now. In fact, many companies are using online communities to set up real-world connections.
There is even a trend starting to emerge around "digital downtime," so events, like meet ups. are a great way to help others facilitate some time to unplug, but still be connected.
The good news is that many of you are an expert at local events, from helping a charity recruit others and being on-site to make a difference in the community, to visiting offices and delivering a free lunch, among many other appearances.
You see the people in your neighborhoods every week ... and hopefully they see you.
Now, the challenge, and the opportunity, is to turn those moments of visibility away from the carrot-on-a-stick model and re-invent them as a chance to get more face time around something that really interests them.
As Guy Zapoleon has always said, "We are friends with connections." How can you use your power, talent and contacts to help them connect and expand their social world to strengthen bonds, bring each other closer, meet on common ground and learn to know each other like never before?
You can be a leader in helping to facilitate these experiences ... starting now.
If you do it right, you will go beyond attracting an audience and start to build your own empire around a real community that will follow you -- whether its online or off.