Social Media is to Connect not Collect
This post has been swirling around in my head for over a year now. And with the introduction of Google+ recently and the current obsession with Klout, I need to put it down on paper. It is from the gut post… No experts or data presented here.
I’ve become weary of this focus on acquiring large number of followers or coveting a high Klout score. Someone may have 50,000 followers on Twitter or 1000 friends on Facebook, bought and sold at a high price on Empire Avenue, and a Klout score of 79, but what does it all really mean? Does it mean they are a super person or a really good professional? I can’t say. I wouldn’t judge someone by how many followers they have or their Klout score. I know I wouldn’t want to be judged that way. I’m proud to say I have over 1000 followers on Twitter and have an average Klout score. To many that doesn’t seem like a lot and that’s OK. It is all meaningless to me. What matters to me is what they have to say and the interactions we have. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited when I got my first follower or my hundredth or thousandth. It is nice to know that people are interested in what I have to say.
In my opinion, this obsession of large numbers is missing the point about social media. Perhaps I’m still an idealist when it comes to social media remembering when it was all about sharing a common bond over a topic or experience. There was actual social interaction. Now there seems to be more broadcasting then conversation. Perhaps this shows that social media is maturing and how it is evolving from early adopters (small group) to mainstream (the masses.)
Social media has introduced and connected me with some wonderful people. People I would have never have met to do to distance unless we ran into each other at a conference or on a train. Folks I’m glad to call friends and peers now. We need to return back to basics where connections and conversations took place. Where the interactions meant something (and where actual influence is held) instead of now where selling and positioning oneself seems to rule.
Social media is about connecting with people not collecting followers. Ready to talk?

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