Tag Archives: social media

Twitter Is What You Make of It

TwitterThe end of Twitter? Nice title, but Twitter isn’t in trouble if it sticks to, and evolves on, what makes it essential.

Joshua Topolsky’s piece on the New Yorker triggered responses from various users pointing out why Twitter isn’t dead, what it could be, what it isn’t and some fact checking.

It really frustrates me that people keep comparing Twitter to Facebook, and that it’s failing because it’s business doesn’t look like Facebook’s. If everyone wants Twitter to be like Facebook, then Twitter has a long way to go and most likely is in trouble. But Twitter isn’t Facebook, and shouldn’t be Facebook.

That’s the fundamental problem with Twitter: it’s trying to be like other social networks.

Twitter is different, and that’s what makes it great. How so?

Reputationville: A World Where The Work Finds You

the reputation economyImagine living in a world where, just like an Uber driver is waiting for you when you need it, the work finds you. To a certain degree, we’re already living in a world where reputation matters. But let’s take it a step further and consider other factors beyond who you know and what you know; what obstacles are standing in the way?

Does the Internet Inspire Or Stifle Creativity?

Here’s an interesting question, does the internet threaten creativity or nurture it?,

It depends on how you look at it. When we think about the internet, we think of many things: websites, blogs, social networks, social media, etc..

All these components of the internet let us express ourselves in one way or another, connect with people we know, meet strangers, learn from others and create with others. But, while all this is great, the other side of what makes us human also makes it onto the internet.

Really, the internet both inspires and stifles creativity, here’s how…

How the Internet threatens creativity

Creativity, by it’s nature, is about bravery. So, to think creatively is to challenge the status-quo. Great!

One of the common benefits of having access to so much information and people is that we can find answers rather quickly. But this benefit has immediate consequences when we stop paying attention to human nature, for people will congregate around the same ideas on social networks which eventually leads to group-think.

What does that mean?

A few years ago I wrote a piece on how social media is group-think on steroids because it puts critical thinking to sleep. Critical thinking and creativity go hand in hand, but the megaphone that is social media turns people into lambs drinking the same kool-aid; making critical thinking irrelevant.

Where all think alike nobody thinks very much, and thus the status-quo stops being challenged.

See, the internet doesn’t make us more stupid because, in general terms, we’re stupid and shallow to begin with. But it may help some of us to become dumber and more shallow faster and more efficiently.

Simply put, the internet (if we let it) doesn’t eliminate human bias; it amplifies it.

How the Internet nurtures creativity

Not all is gray, for many great things happen because of the internet. I, like others, have used the internet to solve problems by collaborating with people from around the world. These connections came about because of serendipitous exchanges on Twitter and other mediums; the type that fuels innovation.

The advantage of the internet is open communication, so the simple act of sharing a thought on Twitter can become a conversation. Same goes with blogging, it brings like minds together. This is a good example of how the internet nurtures creativity. Beyond my immediate family, I’ve met all the most valuable people that I know through the internet.

My take is that just like innovative businesses understand that group-think is an enemy of innovation and thus create mechanisms to counter it, if we understand how this dynamic applies on the internet, we can counter it.

It’s important that we do because the future of work will be much more digital and collaborative than it is today; I guarantee it.

Bottom line: The Internet has the power to both bring out the best and worst in us. I foresee we’ll be debating whether or not technology make us stupid well into the future, but let’s put it to rest right now: Technology doesn’t make us stupid, it makes us smarter.

Does social media marketing still matter?

Does social media marketing still matter?

Social media marketing doesn’t matter. Or so says an article on MIT Sloan Management Review:

I argue that we have reached the same point with social media marketing. In terms of competitive advantage, social media marketing simply doesn’t matter. Having a presence on Facebook and Twitter is no longer sufficient to provide any source of competitive advantage for companies — not when all of their competitors have a presence on Facebook on Twitter, too.

Monitoring social media chatter and sentiment won’t provide any competitive advantage on its own, because all your competitors are monitoring the same content as you and can derive the same insights. Customers today expect to be able to engage companies over Twitter and other social media channels. Companies can certainly deliver better or worse customer service over these channels, just like they can over the phone or in person, but these challenges become questions of backend operations, not marketing. Social media marketing has become table stakes for competitive business in today’s world, not a source of competitive advantage.

The fact that social media marketing doesn’t matter is supported by the data from our 2014 survey of social business. Our data showed that using social media in other aspects of business — innovation, transparency into organizational communication, management and recruiting, and integrated into business operations — were all meaningful differentiators for company’s social business maturity and social business outcomes. Whether or not companies engaged in social media for marketing, however, had little meaningful impact on these outcomes.

He is correct that social media marketing has matured, even though most marketers haven’t figured out how to measure the ROI of their efforts on social media. But, social media marketing does matter.

Here’s why…

People follow people, not frameworks


Leadership (Photo credit: pedrosimoes7)

Social networks and social media have given voice to the voiceless, it’s a beautiful thing. More people can post stuff through the various channels we have at our disposal for the various types of media we can use to communicate. But, counter to what it has enabled us to do it’s also brought less critical thinking.

For example, it isn’t a secret what type of content gets the most traffic and clicks: lists.

You see them everywhere! And it won’t stop. Driving our voracious appetite for lists is our desire for cookie cutter ideas, as well as having more time for ourselves in our hectic lives. The problem with “lists” is that they don’t make the distinction between topics that are more art than “checklist” driven. Most of these lists are dumbed down and create the perception that following a template will yield a predictable outcome.

And most people are not conscious enough to think for themselves, so they mindlessly follow them.

List posts get shared and bookmarked all the time, yet I don’t think people come back to them after that. Mostly they serve the purpose of providing the reader a short-term reward with the feeling that they read something useful during the day.

But did it really move them? I doubt it.

It is this same issue that has powered and given rise to “framework fatigue”.

To foster innovation, what type of network do I need to create?

question to innovate

This the seventeenth of a series of weekly posts where I will answer a few common questions about innovation. Please feel free to add your own response. Also, if you have any questions you think we should discuss, let me know.

One thing every innovator needs is access to people who can help him with specific knowledge and resources. And, social media can enable innovation in a variety of ways. Explicitly, one that is rarely talked about is that you can meet people from different backgrounds and collaborate. It is an opportunity to pick people’s brains in a very interactive and transparent way.

Twitter and LinkedIn are such networks that serve this purpose. Cultivating a network that provides you with insights and ideas is incredibly, and it is something every person and organization needs to do if it wants to come up with breakthrough ideas.

Five discovery skills that drive innovation

A few years ago Christensen, Clayton M.; Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersen published some research where they outlined the five discovery skills that drive innovation in both individuals and organizations. These five skills are illustrated below (via WSJ):