So Now What?

My problem with all these new social media networks springing up all over the place like so many mushrooms, boils down to the whole “Field of Dreams” thing.

You know the movie. It’s the one Kevin Costner (he of the steely-squint and overcompensating dimples) played that guy who was troubled by visions that encouraged him to construct a baseball field in the middle of his corn fields. “If you build it, they will come”, he was told.

So he did.

And then they did – the ghosts of the Chicago White Sox that is – and lo, they played baseball on the field…as one does.

What’s the point of this? I’m getting there.

You see, the field was built with a purpose and the people that arrived, came with a purpose. The problem with all these new (often niched) social networks is that they’re built with intentions, not purpose.

And that’s great but once the people you’ve invited pitch up, then what? You need to give them stuff to do. You can’t just sit back and expect the network to spontaneously erupt into conversation and confetti.

My suggestion: Identify leaders from among your invitees.  Give them the heads-up on what you want to achieve and get their buy-in. Let them onto the platform ahead of time to set up groups, forum discussions etc. That way when the rest arrive there’s something to do…other than the digital equivalent of standing around the punchbowl, shuffling your feet…

[Thanks to Chris Garrett whose post on “5 Social Media Gripes That Get Under My Skin” inspired this post.]


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