With the move recently, I have ended up talking to a lot of new people. In the course of conversation, social media comes up pretty often and I am blown away by the number of people who seem surprised to meet someone who is on Twitter or blogs personally, or as a component of work.
And I recently met someone interested in social media because she had been told that it could help her with a book she was writing, but quite frankly, she does get social. So I spent some time talking it through, that social media is the new normal…. That it is a first go to for me and millions of others.
A New Book on “The End of Business as Usual” & Social as the New Normal
As I was thinking about my thoughts about how social is my turn to, I read some posts by Brian Solis about his new book The End of Business as Usual. Brian says:
Social media is clearly becoming the new normal. For the last several years, simply adding the word “social” in front of anything and everything from media and gaming to commerce and CRM to business and consumerism, it’s clear that we are finally approaching the end of the hype curve to start making sense of what it all means and just how far it applies to the future of business and media.
But as social media becomes part of our cultural fabric and even as we witness businesses, governments, sports teams, and almost every organization socialize communication efforts today, much of what we see is merely the beginning of something that will one day become something far more important than the medium itself. Indeed, social media is affecting behavior and nothing is more important than the ability to influence decisions and ultimately behavior. The state of social media is not necessarily as much about which network is #winning as much as it is about how people are spending their time, interacting and connecting with one another, and what happens as a result.
So how do I explain to others what that means for me? I give illustrations and examples. One that struck me a couple of times in the last month hit me as wasted paper went from being delivered directly to my recycling bin. I’m talking about the competing versions of the yellow pages.
Why would phone books prompt me to realize that social is the new normal?
I remember looking for things in the phone book frequently (read this as “Janice admits she is old”). If I wanted to buy a certain thing, I’d try to find categories that made sense in the phone book, get the phone number and address and maybe even look at an ad that someone had placed. I can remember the days in the Delta when I enjoyed having a car sized phone book that fit down in my Jeep’s console.
Today, lots of people “Google it” from their computer or mobile phone. That works great when you know what you are looking for or if you are willing to do some legwork to see if that’s the right one, but what if you want help focusing your choices? That’s where social & social media comes in for me & lots of others.
Furniture Shopping or Dinner Out, I Go Social
With the move to St. Louis, I have found myself looking for lots of things. There was a weekend where my friend Kelly Rivard came to town for a Cubs game (they may have won that game but I feel like I must point out the Cards have had the ultimate last laugh). I wanted to find somewhere for us to eat that would be convenient to downtown as well as have good food. I could have search on Google & got it mapped out to find things that may work (iPad integration makes that easy). I could hope that the online reviews were current & would work for me.
Instead of maybes & hope, I turned to social media and a few people I trust. I posted a question explaining the dilema to Todd Jordan and Karen Goodman. And both offered suggestions they would take friends to. That is a major confidence builder since I know how much each of them enjoy great food experiences with friends. Kelly & I met up at Ferraro’s Pizza. It was AWESOME.
Another example recently was needing a few pieces of furniture for the new house and asking friends who know me well to suggest places. That way I not only got stores nearby, but didn’t waste my time going places that sell furniture that wasn’t my style at all. And I was able to go to ones that offer good quality and reasonable prices.
I often use Twitter before Google when I need info. I know someone among my ag tweeps will remember the article or study I need and they will post it just to help me. I do the same for them.