Maybe we can blame politicians for the mix up, but the juxtapositions seem to have seeped into everything lately. People are continually asking us to pick sides. Are customers people we can relate to or mindless herds that click buttons? Does social media represent a more authentic business or a security breach that needs to be plugged? Is the new Facebook Group feature the answer to all our prayers or an opportunity to create illusionary layers of isolation?
I have a better question. Why is it when people offer us two choices, the two choices inevitability suck? Most questions in our life aren't as simple as choosing a cup or a cone. And even if that is the question, we might appease any indecision by flopping the cone on top of the scoop in the cup, making a nifty little crunchy hat.
But, as I said, that is an easy question. Nowadays, we increasingly ask questions that don't makes sense: do we want the ice cream in our hand or just a cone with no filling? All five posts touch the chronic duality of several experiences. Personally, the better choice is not to be the sucker picking between bad and worse (except on election day, I guess).
Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of October 11
• Facebook Groups Give Rise To Social Nicheworking.
Brian Solis provides his take on the addition of groups on Facebook. The new tool allows Facebook users to group their friends, allowing users to share some items within select groups or everyone as they might want to. This could solve the challenge of keeping personal information personal and professional information professional. Of course, this assumes people will bother (most won't) and doesn't preclude someone from sharing what you said outside a group. Interesting read, even if it skews toward the way public relations pro would like to see it used.
• Us Vs. Them Thinking: You've Been Cookied.
Valeria Maltoni explores the possibilities that exist with having authentic conversations with customers. However, as long as those conversations have a click, like, sale, cookie, or some other agenda, she wonders whether most will simply be manufactured conversations crafted to draw people in. It's certainly possible. As long as the pressure for social media is to prove itself by those likes, clicks, and other symbols of online action, one can only assume someone is crafting what constitutes the best tweet to attract followers.
• Truth in Juxtaposition.
In almost like-minded fashion, Ike Pigott presented two tweets from opposite ends of the bipolar social media debate. On one hand, technology cannot replace human interaction. On the other, people are trying to figure out whether Twitter gets more clicks than Facebook. He offers up the nexus: “You can’t have a relationship with a database, but databases might yield useful information about our relationships.” Besides that, he mentions Rush in his post.
• Getting It.
Ike Pigott tackles the idea of "getting it" when it comes to social media. He's right in that there is a lot of fear in corporate America, with the goal of most companies hoping to carve out their piece of the pie and then protect it at all costs. Such thinking doesn't leave much room for things like blogs and social networks (with the polar extreme being employers who try to order their employees to promote, promote, promote). The irony, Pigott points out, is that the problem has nothing to do with social media. It has to do with employee behavior, and nobody seems to be doing anything about that.
• How To Show Up And Write
I was thinking about an upcoming editing class when this Fresh Pick popped up for consideration. Taylor Lindstrom tackles the question of how people become better writers. The simplicity is also the trip up. If you want be able to write more, write more. Lindstrom then goes on to offer the analogy that running can be approached the same way. If you want to run a marathon, you have to show up and run. So what's the rub? The rub is what I love best. Simplicity doesn't mean easy. It also doesn't guarantee results. Some people will never run marathons because they aren't built to. Some people aren't built to write, either.