On Sunday May 18, 2008, Steve Ruebel posted a post on his blog which bears revisiting.
The title of his post was The Hyperconnected vs. 84% of Everyone Else on Earth. In a white paper published by IDC/Nortel and published on Steve’s blog, it was revealed that only 16% of the information workforce is ‘hyperconnected’. And then there are the Rest of Us.
To be hyperconnected is to be ultra-involved in all things internet and nowadays all things social media. These are the people who are frantically Tweeting, Social Networking, VideoCasting, Blogging. These are forward-thinking people and the internet’s spokespeople. They are the evangelists.
And the Rest of Us? Yes, we know our way around the internet. We tweet and social network and blog. But we are less zealous, less knowledgeable and , like a young foal, less sure of our footing.
The divide between the Hyperconnected and the Rest Of Us is Big. The Grand Canyon is a playground in comparison.
And there are lessons to be learned on both sides of the Great Divide…let’s outline a few:
For the Hyperconnected:
1. Be gentle. The people/companies to whom you give advice are not dumb, sub-human or incompetent Dinosaurs. They just haven’t had the benefit of your learning curve. Go back to basics as you share the glories of social networking. You may not remember it, but you were once at the beginning too.
2. Make sure that you remember the old adage that we all need to walk before we run. Most companies are set up in the exact opposite way of social media. They are hierchical, guard information and like to control. While chipping away at these old habits is possible, Rome wasn’t built in a day. So ask companies to change their habits in bite-sized, manageable pieces.
3.Fall out of love with the technologies and in love with the ‘bigger’business picture. Just evangelizing the latest cool gadget in an unclear, unstrategic fashion is an exercise in futility. Social media will achieve little if the vision isn’t clear and the objectives not well identified.
Vision and clarity first. Tools are ALWAYS secon.
For the Rest Of Us
1. Don’t be intimidated. Social media is a whole new world based on communities and sharing and open communication. While it may feel uncomfortable or unfamiliar, at its core social media is infinitely human. And touching humans is what companies-and doing business- has ALWAYS been all about. And the good news is that social media has made touching humans in a real way a whole lot easier for everyone.
2. Be careful who you work with. Just because someone is hyperconnected, does not mean they are right as a consultant. Social media must be placed in a context. Whoever you work with must understand how social media fits into the greater strategic scheme of things.
3. Don’t give up. In a few years time, social media will be the norm in all things internet. Make it a priority to understand it and integrate it in what you do. If you don’t, you will be left standing behind. The old tools clearly aren’t working anymore. Ensure your future by embracing the new.