Tagged: story

There are a lot of Cs in social media

What is it with social media and Cs.  Conversation, Collaboration, Community, Content, Context, Collective, Connection, Cooperation, Crowd-sourced.   Also Consultant – lots of them.  The prevailing climate (Climate) of opinion however seems to suggest that there should only ever be four Cs in social media (see this article by Michael Brenner and the links within it).

I, however, always prefer the number three.  Two is never enough and four is always too much.  So I say there are three Cs in social media and this is how I arrive at this conclusion.

There are actually four spaces in social media (broken the rule already):

  1. the space where people are agreeing with you
  2. the space where people are disagreeing with you
  3. the space where people are asking the question to which you are the answer
  4. the space where people are prepared to help you do it (better)

The way you Do social media is to first of all identify these four spaces.  You then have to address them.

Spaces 1 and 2 you address through participation in Conversation.

Space 3 you address by producing Content (the role of content in social media being almost exclusively about answering specific questions, remembering, as I am always fond of saying, that an ad is an answer to a question that no-one ever asked)

Space 4 you address through the creation of a Community where you can get these people together.

That’s it.  There is no-more to social media than these four spaces and these three Cs.

Actually, that is not quite true.  You need a Story.  A story allows you work out what you need to say, in your conversations, in your content and in your community.  Four spaces, three Cs and a story.  I can almost feel a movie coming on.

Why the Liberal Democrat story is over

The Liberal Democrats have just written themselves out of the story of British politics.  Here is why.

  1. They have exchanged principles for power.  This is never a good thing – even if you assert that you will use your power in pursuit of  your principles – because this is a race you will never win (as New Labour demonstrated).
  2. They have surrendered the territory.  Lib Dems cannot now exert authority over the ‘progressive centre left’ of British politics.  This territory is now available exclusively to Labour (if they get their act together).  Remember, this is where most of the votes were actually cast in last week’s election
  3. They won’t get the political reform they need to break the two party system.  The Labour party can now provide what has been missing from politics for a long time:  an effective opposition and therefore real choice to voters.  This will significantly lessen the appetite for electoral reform making it unlikely that the Lib Dems will win a referendum on this issue, if and when the Tories give it to them.

Thus when the wheels drop of the coalition – inevitable  given that this is an alliance driven only by circumstance and short-term expediency – the Lib Dems will have sold their soul, have no place left to go (both in a political and geographical sense) and won’t have got the one thing they really want.  They have shot themselves in the foot, the heart and the head – and very few people recover from that.

All the Labour party has to do is avoid electing themselves an arrogant, smug bully as a leader (I don’t even have to mention the name).

And one other prediction.  Nick Clegg will stay on the Tory bandwagon, even after the wheels have dropped-off the coalition.  And before that happens, many Lib Dem MPs will defect to Labour (provided they don’t elect …).  The first defection will mark the beginning of the end of the coalition.

Lets see if this is how the story pans out.

The change that isn’t happening

Here are some thoughts on the UK election.  I know it is not really about social media, but it is about the The Story of British politics, as I see it anyway.

  1. We are still waiting for the change we voted for in 1997.
  2. People want a change of direction much more than they want a change of Government.
  3. The change people want isn’t a political one in the sense of left or right, Labour versus Conservative – although the individual parties are trying to dramatise it as such.
  4. What people want is for Government to re-discover the art of governing – rather than simply contracting-out its responsibility to manage the essential pieces of social and economic infrastructure that hold a nation together.
  5. The problem isn’t that we are burdened by the State, it is that the State isn’t doing its job properly.  Society isn’t broken, Government is.
  6. Competition, enterprise and markets create winners and losers.  This is fine when it is Sainsbury versus Tesco – but we don’t want an education or healthcare system of winners and losers.
  7. Forcing a market system into an area where a market does not naturally exist (like the public provision of healthcare or education) creates bureaucracy and in-efficiencies as we generate the artificial beans for newly appointed bean-counters to count, rank and organise into league tables (like we see in the National Health Service and in schools).
  8. Running a successful private school  is not the same as running a successful public education system.  The ability to do one does not translate into an ability to do the other.  Private companies can, and should, focus on running individual institutions where there is a genuine market for them.  Government needs to focus on managing the system.

Unfortunately no major party seems to have bought into this story – but I have a suspicion that the majority of voters – of all political persuasions – are waiting for someone to tell this story.  And that’s the problem – especially for the Conservative party – and it is the reason why the Conservatives are not way-ahead in the polls.

I’m voting Green Party!

Social media measurement – are we staring at the stones?

Social media measurement and ROI is a hot subject.  It was one of the issues debated recently at Social Media Influence 09 and listening to that debate and some of the frustrations and difficulties that people were expressing got me thinking.  I developed the suspicion that we might be going about this the wrong way.  Perhaps our approach to measuring social media is conditioned by the approaches and tools we used in the highly measurable web1.0 environment.  Perhaps we are falling for the classic mistake, which is the failure to recognise the fundamental difference between the landscape of social media and the previous on-line, digital or traditional media environment.  Perhaps we are trying to micro measure processes rather than understand the system as a whole. Continue reading