Part 2 of my discussion with Brian of MadPropstoBakedPotatoes follows. Part 1 ended with me asking Brian to explain how social network relationships would result in actual purchases.
Brian: You're approaching it wrong - stop thinking in terms of monetizing your social network
MC: Ok, I'll keep it more to the level I know, then--friendizing it, if you will, ha.
Brian: Stop thinking in terms of real-world vs online-world, because they're becoming the same thing
MC: Hmm...the days of using social networks for escapism are over, then?
Brian: It's the same as walking into a cocktail party as far as I'm concerned
Go in, meet people, learn about them, become friends
Someone needs a freelance writer, and I'm like "Hey, I know so-and-so from this or that network - they'd be perfect"
MC: And so a large database of skills and personalities is assembled, that might not be available locally.
Brian: I mean those are the broad strokes of what this all is.
If you're a business there are certainly tools and techniques you want to use.
MC: But, when we talk about "making friends" in an on-line sense, there still is not the same level of legitimacy, trust, and reliability that there is in real life.
Brian: But in broad strokes, this is "you can now have a cocktail party with the entire world"
MC: And maybe if your vision is true that the two are merging, that will change.
Brian: That's part of what's happening - notice I'm no longer The Cavalier
MC: I see social networks as giving me MANY weak ties--but few strong ones.
Brian: You want to know who I am, you can search me out and find out
It's all what you make of them - you can be as transparent as you want
MC: one thing I appreciate about soc. net. is that credentials don't matter.
Brian: But I'll bet you find you make stronger ties with your real name than you do when you're MCBias
MC: I find the key is to put up real photos/video of myself. If people see a real image, they connect more.
Brian: I'll tell you what the next big thing is
And remember, I called online video a year before YouTube
What's next is Personal Branding
It's why Linkdin is growing so fast
MC: I initially was very high on social networks when I first got involved...I just find over time that I become more cynical on how far they will take you
I can shove my foot in a lot of doors I never could have gotten into before
and having a few friends opens the door to more friends in a nice golden spiral of sorts
But the true pay-offs seem to be beyond social networking--you still can't make a frog into a prince or what not.
MC: I think that looking at social networks as a paradigm instead of a tool may be mistaken, but I am surprised by how many inroads Facebook has made in the older set.
Brian: Well the term social networks is like the fetus of what this will all be eventually
MC: I think that there will be a sharp demarcation in the end
between the daylight, which will be personal branding, somewhat sanitized social networks
like linkedin and facebook
and very obscure, escapist, no one uses their real name communities
But I wonder, what's our capacity to be involved with social networks? Are we all going to be sitting in our houses drinking beer and chatting with each other instead of going out locally?
Brian: Sure, but everyone will have a foot in the former - you'll have to
That's where mobile comes in
MC: I think I may have said this, but I think Twitter's popularity is 90% due to being first mobile social network.
Brian: Sitting at a desk working at a traditional computer will be for people who need that type of hardcore hardware and processing power
(had discussion on American vs. European/Japanese innovation and tools, omitted)
I'm talking like ten years from now - you might be having a party in your house, and you've got essentially a massive screen on your entire wall
Brian: You hop on Twitter2020, and want to find a party in Tokyo to "party-connect" with - their party is on your wall and vice versa
MC: And I've seen some of this already in the blogtv communities
Brian: You can do some Minority Report action, call up the profile on the hot blond in the dress, and see her name, what she does, etc
MC: capabilities are there. But people are holding back.
Brian: and you talk to her. And she'll need for that profile - her personal brand well established
Brian: If I had to sum up the entire thing of what I'm trying to say, it's that social networks are the beginning of "The ability to easily and genuinely connect with real people worldwide".
Brian: How you use that ability is the same as how you use the ability to connect with your immediate world right now.
MC: I agree with easily. I strongly disagree with genuinely and worldwide to this point, given my previous experiences.
But perhaps I should stop being such a cynic--I mean, I just came back from NYC where I did a sports blogger meetup
Brian: That's why it's a paradigm shift - we're only just beginning.
MC: and I've been doing stuff like that easily in 2009, where it never would work well pre-2009.
Brian: Right - I mean the stigma of "meeting someone online" has only begun to wear off in the last 2 years or so!
MC: Hmm...I'll keep paying attention to social networks. They fit my skills well. The last thing I want to do is climb off the bandwagon just as my work is about to pay off
Brian: Soon there will be no difference - the online world will just be a different platform of the real world.
MC: But, I don't have the "this will turn water to wine" look in my eyes I first had
Brian: And there will be dangers, just like in the real world.
MC: when I went through my first two Internet community experiences
Yes, and perhaps personal branding and more transparency is the answer to those dangers...or at least a start.
I guess, count me as a doubtful fan of social networks. Maybe my excitement about them was just premature, and the world will catch up.
I still think that people will be surprised just how hard it is to match real and on-line worlds, though.