Well, okay, there are two – yet “There Are Two I’s in Social Media” didn’t sound quite as catchy as a title. Besides, I always wanted to try and work the Team America “There is no I in Team America” joke into a blog post – so there you go.
But apart from my lame attempt at humor, there’s another reason for the title of this post. For anyone that’s ever listened to corporate team-building speak, they’ll have heard a similar phrase before. It may even have been something as simple as, “There is no I in team.” While we all may have rolled our eyes and groaned at the time, it turns out it’s actually a pretty smart phrase – especially in social media.
Look around you on the web – if you’re part of a social media website or network, I’d be fairly confident on laying a bet that it feels like you’re on the world’s best team.
Take a look at Twitter, for example. You have a problem, you send out a Tweet and immediately you have the ears and eyes of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Each and every one of them will look at your problem and if they can help, they will.
Or how about BackType, or Disqus? Two similar methods of tracking blog comments that are helping to pave the way at improving the quality of comments left on blogs. Encouraging ways to make people think and comment respectably, as opposed to leaving the “WaReZ RuLeZ” type of gibberish. Building a better community.
This is where social media is leading the way at changing the way we look at the people and world around us. We’re no longer saying we’re only in it for what we can get out of it – now we’re saying to people we’re here for you. If you have a problem, one of us will have the answer and we’ll help you – because we want to help you be the best you can. And in doing so, making ourselves better people.
It’s strange. I look at Barack Obama and I see him as the true social media guru. Not for the way his team used social media to get the word out about his campaign, and not for the way he embraced the medium when millions of others still see it as immaterial.
No, where I see Obama standing as a focal point for social media is that he wants everyone to believe we can.
We can achieve our dreams.
We can overcome obstacles.
We can become one voice reaching for a better world.
We can do all this and more if we simply listen to each other. And respond. And help.
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