Received, Daily Mail-style wisdom has it that social networking is destroying our social skills – turning us into grunting savages hunched over our keyboards exchanging tweets with people hundreds of miles away, but unable/unwilling to communicate with our neighbours.
How wrong an assumption that is was demonstrated during yesterday’s Suffolk Twestival. Brilliantly organised by the tireless Emma Jell and team of volunteers, not only was there a great turnout at a series of (real) events across the county but there was an amazing mix of folks at the final evening party. Held at the very excellent Brewery Tap in Ipswich, over one hundred people came along – clearly the only thing they had in common initially was an interest in Twitter in particular and social media in general. But this sparked a whole range of conversations and the physical networking (plus good beer and hog roast) reinforced the friendships that had begun on social media and now became ‘real’.
A demonstration, if anyone needed it, that a healthy mix of social and physical networking is perfect for both enjoying an evening out and making strong friendships. Only thing to work on is a way of making the hangover virtual………
- Harnessing the Power of Twitter – Twestival 2011 (socialmediatoday.com)
I’ve written before about Nudge, Thaler and Sunstein’s riveting textbook on how organisations can make it easier for people (whether citizens or customers) to make the right choices to fit their needs. Essentially, it is a question of the choice architecture – how choices are presented to you – that influences behaviour. People tend to take the easier option (say when it comes to complicated things like picking a mortgage or a pension), so it is important that this default option is as beneficial as possible. Another example is how organising a self-service restaurant affects what food people choose – put the chips up front and more people shovel them onto their plate than if they come to salad first.
When it comes to social media often choice architectures seem stacked against the non-specialist. The issue is that so much personalisation is available within social media that the vast majority simply don’t bother changing things. That’s fine when it comes to background colour, but a real issue with security and privacy. Take Facebook. The default option often involves sharing personal details with a lot more freedom than you think (or necessarily want). Or the numerous apps that use Twitter to spam your friends with news that you scored XX in some lame game. As social media becomes mainstream its time that developers started adopting positive choice architectures to protect us humans from the perils of not choosing – the alternative will be more Daily Mail rants and the looming threat of increased regulation.
- Oh, Mr Cameron, do stop all that annoying nudging | Catherine Bennett (guardian.co.uk)
- Change health behavior with a gentle nudge (kevinmd.com)
- Choice Architecture: Why Search Can’t Be Totally Objective (mediapost.com)
- Nudge nudge wink wink: more criticism (herd.typepad.com)
- Cameron’s hijacking of Nudge theory is a classic example of how big ideas get corrupted | Aditya Chakrabortty (guardian.co.uk)
Why Revolutionary Measures?
Marketing is undergoing a revolution. The advent of social media provides the opportunity for one-to-one communication for the first time since the move to an industrial society. This blog will look at what this means for B2B PR and marketing, incorporating my own thoughts/rants and interests. Do let me know your feedback!
About meI'm Chris Measures and I've spent the last 18 years creating and implementing PR and marketing campaigns for technology companies. I've worked with everyone from large quoted companies to fast growth start-ups, giving me unrivalled experience and ideas. I'm now director of Measures Consulting, an agency that uses this expertise to deliver PR and marketing success for technology businesses.
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