Guest Post by Richard Reeve
Social media intrigues me on many levels, especially as it relates to those platforms which have chosen to publish publicly. The poet Charles Olson predicted a day would come “when the private would be public.” I think that day is dawning.
If you are doing business within social media, what I have to share should be useful. If you think you’re not doing business in social media, I’d like to challenge that notion. I know, I know: “where’s the profit? show me the ROI.” Coming as I do from an arts background, I’m quite comfortable seeing engaged and talented folks not turning a dime from their activity. None the less, to call their work a hobby is both disrespectful and untrue. They are producers. No matter what you might take away from your social media experience, including the dollars that many are already realizing, you are also a producer contributing to the front edge of the largest data bloom in history. It’s a collective business you’re engaged in, and whether you realize it or not, you’re playing your role quite nicely.
Then you might protest: “But isn’t social media just today’s version of the chat room?” Unlike the proto-social media chat room experiences, your activity across platforms like blogs, twitter, and friendfeed allows for public access, and at least in theory, forever. You’re never replying solely to the person you are replying to, nor even to those currently in your network, nor to those currently on-line. Take for example this post I shared about a NASA website. It guides you to locate the space shuttle going overhead from wherever you live. Now I posted this over a month ago and through search it remains both fully functioning and as useful as the day I wrote it.
My experience has been that communities arise around content clusters emerging in the data bloom. While these clusters often have a personality shepherding the interest, it’s the shared interest in the content that aligns everybody. And shared interest eventually creates opportunity for the liquidation of social capital. That being the case, it’s through contributing to the data surrounding your interests that you are building the potential for your business.
The poet Robert Creeley wrote that “form is never more than an extension of content.” Social Media allows content to extend in previously unimagined ways, carrying the details of our commonplace lives, our deepest interest and our wildest aspirations into digitalized perpetuity. And that’s serious business, no?
Image: flickr –International Space Station
Richard, aspiration means breathing toward. I hope that’s where we’re headed.
Thank you for this and everything you contribute.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!