We’ve written often about how the dynamics at play in Social Media aren’t new. Once you get past the nomenclature many have adopted for Social Media (“crowdsourcing,” “the long tail,” “viral buzz” etc.), what you really have are just people sharing something with others, peer to peer. In Social, what you want to “share,” you pretty much just put it out there for everyone to see, and if someone likes it, they can join you, or pass it on to others through their own networks.
The following video probably tells the story of Social Media simpler and better than any blog post I could hope to write. It is an amateur video (approximately 3 minutes in length) taken at last year’s Sasquatch Music Festival at The Gorge. It starts off with one guy in the crowd doing his own goofy dance. Slowly, a few other join in. After a while, it appears as if the “dancers” outnumber the rest of the crowd.
Check it out.
The first time I viewed this video, I was struck by a couple of things. First, that the original guy was REALLY into his dance. He was doing his own thing, going for it 100%. And he kept at it. He was the only one doing the dancing for quite some time.
Next, there was guy number two. For whatever reason, he thought the dance thing looked fun, so he jumped in. He was key because it provided “permission” for all those that followed to join in. Same for the third guy.
Once this small community got into it, it wasn’t long before people started joining in ever larger numbers. While it took more than half the video to get past the first few guys, the Tipping Point had been reached early in the third minute of the video.
But back to the first guy. Was it his intention to get others to join him, to “start a movement?” Who knows. All we can tell is he was really into it, and he kept at it for quite a spell. I would venture to say his enthusiasm for what he was doing is what attracted others to at first check him out, then join him. The same can be said of creating a Social Media program. If we start out just wanting others to “join” us, we’re doomed to failure. We have to do what we do well—and what we enjoy doing—if we are to get anyone’s attention. And you need to draw attention before you have any hopes of getting anyone to join up.
Note, also, that building a true community takes a while to build. You don’t want to “rent” followers, you want people who really get it. And that’s going to take some time. But if you keep at it, and stay true to your intentions, your community will grow.
Posted by Mickey