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January 09, 2009


Synchronicity facebook pic

Today I thought I'd join the Synchronicity group on facebook and various events happened synchronistically that led me to doing it.

As soon as I joined the group, the fact that I had came up as an entry on my facebook feed.

That moment was an act of synchronicity too. 

Synchronicity and facebook

The point is there’s an instantaneousness to how we're getting things done now. It's becoming very powerful, suggesting that the net worth is in the network.

I’m a big fan of Chris Brogan, and Chris is writing about how social media has enabled him to scoop the best journos at CES09 by communicating news and ideas fast, directly, to an online audience, and to get a dialogue going using twitter.

As with the facebook story the ingredients are part human and part technical. It's how we engage today. The really big story both these things illustrate is that affinity is stronger than structure, which has profound consequences for every marketer and managing director.

Crowdsourcing and flash mobs are often thought of as going hand in hand as what happens when an unruly random mob flock to either an idea or a venue. The dynamic is seen as the same, unruly. Now though we can pick our friends, build networks of our own and attract people who are interested, committed, enabled, or who’d like to be.

The thrill from the random meet works for a while but sometimes one needs a little more. People connect rapidly in times of distress. That’s when they need to connect, and connect well, with things that matter to them.

One of the most important predictions about 2009 I've heard is that people are going to get a bit choosier and more selective when it comes to thinking about who they connect with online. It’s going to happen because people haven't got much time, and as Stefan Stern has mentioned recently, they have very little attention.

Networks matter because they tell you where the other people who care about something that matters are going to be.  The strong networks will be the ones that can build that interest, sustain the energy and lead and transform. Put it like that and networks become the 2.0 version of what used to be called organizations.

Brands need attention to thrive, so why are so many not working with the laws of natural attraction? And why are they not working in real-time connected to social media environments that can engage their audiences and support them by allowing them to contribute? It’s the storytelling, in conjunction with others, that engages.

This is a difficult time for many organizations, they’re desperate to raise interest and get their share of attention before the money runs out. It’s easy to ignore what the step change of social networks offer, and what community management provides when what you’re used to is media management, not people management.

Read Seth Godin’s latest blog and you'll read about ‘the kneejerk rejection’. It’s an easy slide to consider getting back to the way things used to be done, fear promotes that kind of visceral reaction, but the real twitch for brands is coming from the synchronicity of interests, from affinity trumping structure because that’s where the attention lies.

That’s where the synchronicity of the network makes everything happen, a little bit more easily and a little bit quicker.



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