Less is More + Smarter Conversations

Two stories that resonated with me:

Unfriending, Unfollowing, Unsubscribing… Less Is More

The world of social media and networking is much too consumed with numbers, and it seems at times, we are making sacrifices of our time and energy wading through piles of noise and indirect relationships in an effort to obtain the rare connections of serendipity that bring us value.

When Facebook launched their new messaging platform two weeks ago, putting an emphasis on the friends in the site having access to your in box, I started to have second thoughts about all these random people I’d blindly said yes to in the last couple years. For every great person who I would meet in the future and learn from, there were others trying to invite me to events and groups that were a waste of time, or whose updates were never catching my eye. So I took the opportunity to get out of the mess I had created.

I don’t want to be everybody’s friend and I don’t work with everyone I could. Life is too short for either. I wish I’d taken this selective approach when I first discovered Facebook and Twitter. And LinkedIn. It’s not a gold rush, it’s a targeted search.

Which may lead to a Smarter Conversation:

5. Deciding to have a smarter conversation isn’t a business decision, it’s a moral decision. Like I said in the last point, the barriers to entry are zero. While your competition treats their customers like idiots, you treat your customers like intelligent human beings. You don’t do that because your accountant told you to, you do thatbecause that’s who you are.

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  2. Paul Erb December 2, 2010 at 07:13

    “mining” is the key social networking metaphor for me, Jim. Mining is risky business. If you wait for serendipity (playing the degrees of separation game), you’re panning, and you have to have a ton of patience, a ton of time and focus, and a knowing eye to tell gold from pyrite. If you choose one spot and dig (exploit friends’ connections for business), you might be way off, spend a lot of time, or wind up getting shot in the back. And if you strip mine, you destroy something (trust, reputation) that you can never get back, and you may look back and wonder if that was all worth it.

    As the data piles up in heaps, Facebook’s email app might (might) help you sift through it all and get back to some pre-inflationary gold standard. But after all the mining and minting and selling and alloys and imitators of the last ten tech years, how do you know who your real friends are?


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