Madrid: Being Human
Sitting on the plane to Spain, listening to Frightened Rabbit, a colleague sleeping to my left and, what can only be described as some kind of Spanish martial arts ninja of the old world, (and yet barely 17) to my right…
See this is another work trip… I’ve been all over the place this year, and now I’m in Madrid to meet with Journalists and Bloggers to discuss the future; Where is blogging going and what Web 2.0 learnings am I able to share with the local geeks etc.
There’s been a massive explosion in Europe within the blogging scene of late with over 2million Spaniards creating blogs, getting online and consuming content etc..
Reading the ‘Briefing Document’ …(all of this is still so new and alien to me y’know, I mean – ‘Briefing Documents’ – What?! Really?! It’s like an actual episode of Mission Impossible)… Anyway, reading the ‘Briefing Document’ just now there was a great quote from a well known Spanish Blogger called ‘Enrique Dans’ that goes as follows:
Companies are basically divided into two types, those that have had a problem with their image as a result of blogs and those that will encounter this problem in the future…
I chuckled when I read this.
It’s pretty much spot on.. for 95% of all companies.
The remaining 5% (and some may argue this number may be larger or smaller with equal vigor) have a presence in this space because they genuinely want to engage with their users and customers in a meaningful way. This doesn’t have to be some kind of ‘preemptive strike’ to head off any untoward conversation/posts that may happen online, it can really manifest itself from a deep yearning to truly understand your consumer.
Zappos are a fantastic a fantastic example of this. Yes, we’re a brand. Yes, we’re a company but also, and ultimately, we’re Human too.
Their strapline being “Powered by Service”… and their Wikipedia entry pointing out their use of ‘Relationship Marketing‘.
I’m a passionate believer in Social Media and all of that which comes along with it (I’ve wrtten about it before) but something that I will always ALWAYS come back to is:
This stuff ain’t rocket science. It’s merely about doing things right.
Recently, when I spoke at Nokia Open Lab, I talked around how the internet (and with that, Social Media), is the great amplifier. So the kind of person that you are, once expressed digitally in the online space, is magnified tenfold, depending on the platform you use and the strength of voice you have/pertain to use..
I think the exact wordage was:
To me, that’s what Social Media does, it amplifies the good things. There are alot of good people in the room and if you’re a nice person and it amplifies, amplifies out onto the internet, you’ll meet other people like yourself, other nice people…
So following that thought through further – but tying it back to the lack of rocket scientists required for this ideology – You could feasibly propose that those who would/will do best in this space are… Good People.
Humans are, by nature, social creatures…
What is Social Media then, if not an extension of this primitive need to connect?
Offline and/or online you’ll always find those who are more social than others; the party people, the polite people the rude people and the rankling people…
S’funny, at this point I’m reminded of an old school friend who, without fail, every Christmas and Birthday would send a thank you note to all that sent her a gift or a card. I’ve never had the patience, time or inclination to place such a high priority on this level of communication, (but I’ll always try and call or something, I’m not that bad).
But that’s not the point.
The point is, this friend, I think she’d be great at implementing Social Media into her place of work. I always thought she was a good person for doing this whole thank you note thing and well…
Social Media isn’t about Technology, it isn’t about being online or offline…
It’s simply about being Human.
Published at 17:22 Friday afternoon in Madrid.
Originially written at 10:15 Thursday morning, somewhere over Spain.