SPOS #154 – Putting The "Social" Back Into Social Media

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Welcome to episode #154 of Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast. Here’s a quick little rant about a subtle but emerging trend that is taking shape. It has to do with the new-found reality that as more and more people join in to Social Media and all of its glory, the content is starting to look much more like a traditional broadcasting channel than anything else. Here’s my rant, but it wouldn’t be the same without your input, so please do. Enjoy the conversation…

Here it is: Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast – Episode #154 – Host: Mitch Joel.

Please join the conversation by sending in questions, feedback and ways to improve Six Pixels Of Separation. Please let me know what you think or leave an audio comment at: +1 206-666-6056.

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast – Episode #154 – Host: Mitch Joel.


  1. Twitter is the people’s AP wire. And it is broadcasting (Although more focused if done right). It’s important to attract followers who care about what you tweet about, but, it is impossible connect with everyone. Plus, I don’t think everyone wants to be connected to. Some just want to listen. The people that want to engage will knock loud enough for you to hear.
    Social media has made me more social. I’ve been networking more in person at Tweet ups and meetups. I’m having a great time.
    Blogging was the main opportunity and platform to express yourself and commenting on blogs was the method of choice to get noticed.
    Today. You don’t need a blog to have a voice.
    Currently, I get most of my traffic from posting on social sites like twitter.
    The game has changed, from just a year ago.
    Great rant as always Mitch.

  2. Great reflexion around the future of the “social” component of “social media”. While I certainly do not have a response to that, but still wish to contribute to the reflexion.
    The conversations are certainly getting more complex. Just listening to your podcast, I was not sure of what to add to this thread, and I live social media everyday (as it is my job too).
    The subjects are more targeted and appeal to deeper niches. The newcomers, who would fall on your post, would not know what to say, as some of us were there before, and we need to show the others.
    The platforms multiply.
    To participate in the social sphere, you have to dedicate time to blog, the time to research and time to Comment. If we blog, we have to blog better now. Since we have sources, we have a bigger mission. I have an audience that ask me if I am bored when I do not blog something really interesting. And there is a world out there, we have to do some sports, see our family and friends, but still we are connected a lot of the time. From my standpoint, I would not be deceived to receive a few comments, most of the time, I get more comments on Facebook because it is easy to do so, people are already logged. The barrier to entry to a “normal” blog is still for non-bloggers or bloggers, the effort to logon, and the willingness to leave a real trace (versus Facebook you can always go back and delete your comment, it is easier and less “engaging” in the sense that your comment will have less repercussions, it will be lost in a huge thread, or millions of threads.)
    About the Celebs:
    I understand that SOME stars are reproducing what they know, the “star System”, thus, not really living the social connection brought up by the social conversations.
    But when we think of Nathalie Portman’s new social platform called MakingOF: http://mashable.com/2009/04/26/natalie-portman/
    I am under the belief that as many celebrities as there are, there will be different “Celebs Social Behaviour”. Not every celeb will behave the same way. As we saw with Oprah, 1. they might not know how it works (The real Shaq who is tech savvy understands what Tech is… and he really follows some sexy vixxens).
    At the same time, Nathalie Portman has a twitter account and follows no one, not even the stars. She might not have time to do it. http://twitter.com/Natalie_Portman Let’s say a Celeb would spend a lot of time replying to a mass of people she does not know instead of practicing for her upcoming movie, would that be better?
    Last Thoughts about Blogging:
    Great article from ChrisBrogan – Tips if he would start now: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/if-i-started-today/
    Enjoyed this article from Reem (Twitter @rabeidoh )
    Challenge #67 with Blogging: Finding Time! http://is.gd/vgI2

  3. Great rant Mitch.
    I would agree with you that the word ‘social’ is getting more and more grey as the general online population join in and participate.
    I have some friends that see great value in Social Media, but then others that don’t. To be quite honest, I have more people in the latter half, and that’s only because their interpretation of ‘social’ media is that it’s like a ‘party’, and quite simply they are not interested in participating.
    What social media drives to the online world, is that there is tremendous value for trading their time to participate on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook (instead of spending time with family or loved ones, being offline). Not everyone is convinced, and it can give the community some negative press over time.
    I would love to see how this plays out.

  4. Attended the OnlineMarketingSummit Boston today where a speaker (Joe Pulizzi) referenced a graphic where the news print biz was highly fractured a hundred + years ago, then consolidated, and now fractured again.
    Having just listened to your rant this a.m., it made me wonder… Perhaps it is just cyclical. Perhaps after chasing down the “bestâ€?, people do decide that they’ve found it and consolidation (re)begins. Being somewhat new to this marketing space, I find it incredibly difficult to keep up my myspace page, my facebook page (virtually untouched since opened), my linedin page (currently the MOST important), my Plaxo page, my Twitter account, my test blog on ning, etc. I have login permissions to sites I frankly don’t even remember setting up; it has been so long ago. On top of that are my favorite podcasts, and then blogs.
    With so much choice, people will naturally reduce and simplify. In a Darwinism-like manner, Losers will be overtaken by the winners, thereby consolidating the arena. Maybe not to the level the newspapers were reduced to… but not something so foreign to it either.
    Thanks for your podcasts. They keep me sharp.

  5. Wow Mitch this episode really resonated with a lot of what I’ve been thinking for a while now.. so glad you didn’t title this something like “is the social in social media dead?”
    I started thinking about it when you posted about the explosive growth of twitter.. So much of it being driven by main stream media.. made me worry that social media needs better immigration laws.. in the sense that if you have a tun of people migrating into a country real quick.. there’s a danger of it altering the national identity.. That out here in social media vill we have all these shared values.. which isn’t necessarily shared by our new immigrant friends.
    I think this presents us with a lot of very interesting questions. For one, just how right are we in social media? I mean.. our years of insular fish bowl life and cool aid.. its almost as if our ideas haven’t really been tested?
    I had an argument with a fellow a couple years ago.. who was a PR person new to social media.. I was arguing that business coming into social media wouldn’t ruin social media.. that social media would reformat the DNA of business.. that it wasn’t just about marketing and communications.. that it was about business management and how you manage change..
    I mean here we are in the various niches we’ve been drawn to.. all collectively trying to work out the same sorta problems.. like its a collective open source R&D system.. and as the rate of change accelerates.. old business models that didn’t need to be so agile would have trouble competing.. and there’d be inherent advantages to the little guy..
    all of which still seems true to me.. but I do wonder about unintentional consequences.. the possibility of a dark side.
    But then when you really stop and think about it.. you look at internet celebrities .. how social can these cats really be? I mean I understand how many folks follow you and all the rest.. so I don’t necessarily expect too much in the way of responses from you on any of you’re channels.. so you know, how does this stuff scale really?
    I generally prefer folks I can interact with more.. but you’re content is just sooo good so consistently that.. how could I not follow you?
    So yeah.. most of my social experiences with social media are the meet up groups.. there was the New England Podcaster group started by CC, Boston Media Makers started by Steve Garfield and the spin off Media Tech Tonic group started by David Tames, There’s a Harvard Berkman blogger group now on hiatus.. there’s the Boston chapter of the Social Media Club.. WBUR, the Boston NPR affiliate has a great group.. Of course Bryan Person started the social media breakfast.. there’s when Mr. Jeff Pulver comes to town.. there’s breakfasts, Pizza, and whatever..
    And you know, its just amazing.. so many amazing people to meet.. so many great conversations.. and as a serious introvert.. to feel so connected.. like wow!
    When my mom died I figured it would be the loneliest moment of my life.. but just the compassion that poured out to me from the people I had been connecting to.. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.
    I don’t think I even really liked people before I got into social media.. and maybe for me that’s sorta the thing.. the connecting with people’s humanity..
    So to me.. all of this is a hell of a lot more then cool aid.. To me its the answer to so much in the world I have trouble with. It’s just F’n awesome.
    I guess what I feel is.. like we are at this tipping point.. at a moment where social media will mature.. and at a kind of cross roads.. which will be very interesting indeed.
    I think if social media, from a PR, Marketing, business point of view.. really is the more powerful thing.. just from a Darwinian point of view.. it will reformat stuff.. but I also think the feeling so many people have about throwing out “old media” is like throwing the baby out with the bath water..
    And anyway.. it’ll be interesting to watch things shake out

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