Tag Archives: mass media

Personal, Social, and the Shortcuts

[fr] Je me demande si toutes ces fonctionnalités pour nous "simplifier la vie" dans notre utilisation "sociale" des outils ne vide pas partiellement ceux-ci de leur "socialité".

Yesterday, as I was gathering the links to the posts of the other #back2blog challengers (bloody hard work if you ask me), I remembered that I had left a comment on one of Delphine‘s posts.

I’ve been leaving quite a few comments on blog posts since the challenge started. Often, with “modern” blogging tools, you can check a little box to receive an e-mail alert when somebody responds to your comment. (Not on this blog. I run WordPress, but my server doesn’t send e-mail.)

It’s nice, because it relieves us of having to remember that we left a comment, and if conversation erupts (reward!) we will be informed.

Having to remember I had left a comment at Delphine’s reminded me of the time before RSS readers were popular, before coComment, before Facebook Connect, before WordPress even. Everything was much more “manual”. And with that, I believe, more personal. Part of what goes in to create a relationship is time, and effort. Time to find that blog post. Effort to remember.

Now, JP is arguing (and I’m with him here) that when you try and scale personal, you get social.

I am wondering, though, what it is that you do lose on the way, if you scale far enough.

Mass-everything did not come up from nowhere. As I learned the hard way while promoting Going Solo, shortcuts have a price. Send an e-mail copied to 100 people, or send 100 personal e-mails, and you won’t have the same efficiency. That’s why Americans take the trouble to make house calls or phone up people to convince them to vote.

And while I immensely appreciate all the features of modern social media which make it so much more easy for us to be social, I’m starting to think that some of what I find distasteful with some uses of social media is not just those who are stuck on the other side of what I think of as the “Cluetrain paradigm shift”, but maybe also what happens when we wind up taking too many shortcuts to make it “easier to be social”.

Are we headed for a form of “mass social media”? Are we already there, sadly, for some part?

Even if this is true, that does not mean that we have to give up on the “true” social, or even “personal”.

I remember a few years ago one of my friends (Suw if I’m not mistaken) saying that she didn’t get why so many people were complaining that “Twitter wasn’t what it was”.

On Twitter, one has complete control over who one follows. You don’t have to go and follow all the new-styled social media gurus. Or the annoying self-promoting people. You can stick to those who rock your world, and have a Twitter experience that doesn’t change so much over time. (Of course the people you follow change, but that’s another thing.)

You can use Twitter like mass media, or you can use Twitter like social media, or like personal media. The choice is yours.

#back2blog challenge (9/10)

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Posted in Thinking | Tagged cluetrain, mass media, shortcuts, Social Media and the Web, twitter | Leave a comment