Focus and Consistency
My days are spent talking and writing about how conversations work to build relationships. I look for similaries and differences between conversations online and offline, so that folks I work with can communicate more effectively. When we talk an analogy I often use is the Star Trek Tridimensional chessboard. It’s the multi-level nature of online talk that’s so powerful and easy to overlook.
Online Tridimensional Conversation
In an office in the offline world, the only audience is limited, visible, and apparent — much like only one level on the 3-d chess set. Online, we might direct our words to a small group, but the potential audience crosses to people who who only watch, people who have keyword alerts, and people who check in at other points in time. Our words go much further.
A whole Internet of people over a whole future could eavesdrop. What’s the impact of that? Here are three ways to focus your Online Tridimensional Conversation so that your relationship building is successful.
- Think about the one idea or image you want folks to have of you. What’s the focus of your online brand? Make sure that’s the center of your profiles on social networking sites.
- Review your recent comments and entries at blogs you visit and your Twitter, FriendFeed, Plurk, and other accounts as if you’re looking at someone you don’t know. Do your answers support the brand you’re building? Not every word needs to push your brand, but none should discount it.
- Link to people who value what you do. Does your network reflect both your counterparts and your clients?
To test what I mean, try this. List three people whose work you know. Consider what each person is about. Then visit their Twitter profile page. Look down the conversational stream. Does it show what you thought it would? Is the difference good? Imagine if the profile page was all you knew of each person.
It’s the multi-dimensional nature of online communication that makes apps like Twitter so powerful. Be authentic, interested, and interesting, but also look to be consistent. If everywhere I look, I see the same you. My picture of you will form more quickly and be far more clear. When someone asks if I know anyone who does what you do, you’re likely to get a referral.
Are you making the most of your conversation? Do you know more ways to do so?