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Thanks to Kevin Ryan at Search Engine Strategies, I was able to get a few hours in at the SES Chicago Conference and managed to drop into a panel and listen to Jack Myers, Alan Chapell, and Pauline Ores, on Search, Privacy, and Communication in the digital age. (Something I know a little bit about…)
Anyhow – One of the great things that Jack said was how he was trying to get his 22-year-old son, who’s now looking for a job, plugged into his Facebook network – and yet his son still looks at Facebook as a “friend thing.” But more and more every day, people are taking Facebook and making it their primary business networking tool, something I’ve been recommending for months.
Pauline Ores made a comment I wholeheartedly disagree with – She said that text messaging in the US was primarily used by kids typing “LOL” to each other, and nothing more. I kind of don’t get that – And quite frankly, I have first-hand examples of how much she’s wrong – Every NYU kid I worked with last week for the Witch Hazel Promotion got their info on where to be and how to get there via text – and they all appreciated that I did it that way.
Hell, in my vision of the utopia that is a perfect world, not only would I be 26 pounds lighter, but I wouldn’t have to carry my laptop on the plane in the first place! Think about it: Who’s going to be carrying laptops in five years, anyway? If the computer is in fact the message within it, then how it’s delivered needs to work for us 24 hours a day. We don’t have laptops out all the time. We have what we have, to get the information we need.
Case and point: 5am this morning, I’m being anal-probed at Newark Airport by the TSA. I Twitter about it. A reader of my Twitter stream texts, in real time, to ask where I’m going. I text back that I’m headed to Chicago for meetings. He asks if I’m going to stop by SES. I mention I probably will. He says “Cool, let’s get together for coffee when we’re both at the show.” Never met him before, but have wanted to. Did I know he was there? No. Did he know I was in Chicago? No. Until real-time delivery of information we both needed – even though we didn’t know we needed it until we got it. There’s the key.
All via text, all because of social networking, and all because at 5:30 in the morning, the TSA assumed that my poker chip business cards were in fact a sealed pack of C-4.
This wouldn’t happen on LinkedIn. This wouldn’t happen via email. Why would I email someone I’ve never met to tell him I was getting Randomed at the airport? I wouldn’t. Nor would I email anyone – but Twitter – that’s where it works – That’s the benefit of it – You just never know who’s following, and WHO CAN ACT ON THAT INFORMATION YOU PUT OUT THERE. Knowledge is power? Screw that. TIMING IS POWER.
Therein lies the purpose. If I can act on it, in real time or beyond, then it’s valuable to me. And it always will be. That’s how social networking is going to win. And whoever continues to get that right, is going to continue owning this game.
That said… For my new readers:
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P.S: Thanks also to Kevin Ryan for a shout out about my blog to the conference session this morning regarding our friend, the Fairy Banker.