A few weeks ago I wrote a post titled “It’s Not Who You Are – It’s Where You Are.”
Several things have happened over the past few weeks that have me thinking about how to extend that concept.
- Had several great exchanges via twitter with Norbert Mayer-Wittmann about communities.
- Read some interesting posts by Stephen Baker about the concept of “friends” and “friendship.” It’s something I’ve been pondering for a while as well. Specifically the definition of a friend on Facebook.
- Unlinked my twitter feed from my Facebook account. This meant people I was friends with were no longer seeing what I was doing and saying on twitter. Since I did that, I’ve received a lot of thank you messages from my Facebook friends. I also haven’t updated my Facebook status since I unliked the two.
- Started experimenting with Tumblr.
- Read this great post from Stephen Baker and Ben Elowitz regarding how to make Business Exchange better.
- Took another trip to MySpace and quickly left.
- Created my Google profile which links all my profiles together.
Basically I’ve been doing a lot of reading, conversing, and learning about communication, communities, and integration.
Conceptually, I’ve always believed that it’s not about twitter vs. Facebook vs. MySpace vs. something else. I’ve generally prescribed to the fact each network has it’s own reason for being.
Earlier today, I felt like I made a breakthrough in my thinking. It’s not about where you are, it’s about who you’re with. The reason I don’t use MySpace (beyond it’s horrible interface) is that none of my “friends” are there. The reason I’m struggling with Tumblr (despite the fact I love its interface) is that none of my “friends” are there. Where your “friends” are leads to the joining and retaining of you in a community.
I remember as a teenager going to a really crappy movie just to hang out with my girlfriend at the time. I tolerated a bad movie, at a less than desirable theater, that was 45 miles from home, and had bad popcorn. Why? Because I enjoyed the company. We make similar decisions every day.
Where our friends are can impact where we work, where we eat lunch, the gym we belong to, and yes the social communities we join. But, here’s the thing – your work friends aren’t the same as your old high school friends. Communicating with all your friends the same way is a recipe for failure. Consider who your friends are and where they are – when you do that you just might rethink how to communicate with them.