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Monthly Archives: May 2008

ReadWriteWeb had an interesting post yesterday exploring one’s social graph and how many friends are too many. It is a very good post and has some very good data around what the maximum size of a social circle should be and there are great examples of different ways society forms around that size.

This is all fine and good for how social circles form off line, but what about online? Take a quick look at any social network site and you quickly see that there are plenty examples of people who have social circles 10x the size of what is considered to be the maximum manageable size. So it begs the question, are your off line social circles defined differently than your online social circles and do the two overlap?

I am a firm believer that there are three classifications of online social circles, and they consist of different types of people. For arguments sake, I will call them all friends (however to me, calling someone a friend is something that I do not take lightly, I hold that title for those that are close to me). So with that, the three types of online “friends” are as follows:

  • friends
  • Friends &
  • FRIENDS

I know, I know, what the hell does all this mean? Trust me, there is some method to my madness. To me, friends are those people that you know online, but have never actually ever had any off line interaction with. Think of this as people you follow on Twitter because they are someone of interest in the industry, but you do not actually know them, have never met them, but because we (the people of the industry) like to label people as friends, they are by default a friend of yours but you do not actually know them. The second classification (according to me) are Friends. These are the people you know online, have had some personal interaction with, but not on a regular basis (like you don’t meet up with them on Fridays for Happy Hour). Finally, there are FRIENDS. This is the group that most likely consists of your off line friends that are online. This group could also consist of those Friends that over time you have gotten close to, but do not interact with them off line on a regular basis due to geography.

Now this is just one mans view on how social circles are comprised, so due take it with a grain of salt (or you take take it as the law, that would be fine by me too ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

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OK, OK, sorry for the gratuitous MC Hammer reference, but I just could not help it. I have been using the Lijit search widget on my blog for some time now, and they just recently added several new content providers, most importantly they added Mixx (well, most important to me anyways).

For those of you that are not familiar with Lijit, they “enhance the way your readers search for and discover information on the internet by using the power of people, their content, and their connections. You serve as a filter for all of the results your readers could possibly receive, ensuring they only receive the most relevant results from the source they trustโ€ฆYOU”.

If you are a blog publisher and do not already have the Lijit widget on your blog, head on over to Lijit and get it set up and installed. Once you do that, anything that you have submitted to Mixx will show up in the search results on your blog. Pretty cool, huh? Say you have submitted a story to Mixx about the recent earthquake in China. When a reader of your blog does a search for China, one of the search results that will be displayed is the story that you submitted to Mixx with a link directly to that story. So now not only do your readers get the benefit of all the goodness you write on a regular basis, they also get the added benefit of all the cool stuff you submit on Mixx, right there on your blog.

Anyways, I wanted to take a minute and shamefully ๐Ÿ˜‰ promote Lijit and Mixx, seeing how they are two really cool companies (one more so than the other since I work there, but others may disagree) doing some really cool stuff. That’s it, shameful promotions are over.

</end shameful promotions ๐Ÿ™‚ >

I was perusing the speaker list of a conference recently, and I noticed a distinct pattern with a lot of the speakers. Someone was an expert in this, and evangelist of that, creator of something exclusive, the list went on and on. It made me wonder, how did these people obtain these proclaimed titles? Their bios (some of them, not all of them) read like they were the end all be all of whatever field they were the proclaimed expert in. But upon further examination, it seems as if some of them perhaps had anointed themselves with said title.

I recall many years ago, Howard Stern proclaimed that he was the “King of All Media”. The title seemed somewhat fitting, he was breaking out of radio and into TV, print, the big screen. BUT, he gave himself this title. I believe he caught a bit of flack for it at first, but over time, he proved himself worthy of the title and the industry began to refer to him indeed as the “King of All Media”. The ascension into that title for him did not come over night and without years of hard work and paying his dues.

So when it comes time for you to write that bio for a conference you have been asked to speak at, or whatever the reason for a bio is, let your merits and hard work speak for themselves and have someone else proclaim you as the “expert” in whatever it is that you do. This will go along way in cementing your title as “expert” and you will garner a lot of respect as a result of it.

I was in a local deli recently and the owner took my order. His shirt read “Head Cook and Bottle Washer”, that is what I call modesty. For me, I am the self proclaimed expert in nothing, but I am pretty good at being a father, husband, friend and a decent product manager.

I know that I have written about this subject matter before, but I thought that it was time to revisit the subject just as a refresher on the importance of the issue. In an organization, regardless of the size, it is of the utmost importance that everyone is on the same page, that everyone is marching to the same beat. From executive management to middle management (sorry had to throw that in there seeing how “larger” organizations thrive on this level of management ๐Ÿ™‚ ) to the peeps in the trenches making the magic happen, everyone should know what is going on, what the game plan is.

To keep the organization moving forward seamlessly and smooth as silk, everyone should know what the goal of the organization is, and everything that they are doing should attribute to said overall goal. Far too often, it seems that what one side of the equation is doing does not match up to what the other side is doing or thinking or promising. When this happens, the wheels come off the bus and all hell breaks loose. Management is out preaching one thing while the rest of the organization is steady delivering on something entirely different. This is a disaster waiting to happen, however it can happen quicker than you can say lickety split.

So what do you do? To solve the problem before it gets completely out of control and ruins everything that you have worked so hard for, you need to speak up, bring it to the attention of all parties involved and set forth a plan of action to get everyone humming the same tune. Sometimes it takes the magic makers to band together as a single voice and make it known that there is a problem. There is an advantage to voices in numbers, so if you find yourself in the situation, bring it to the attention of the organization and make a change. If you do not, you very well may loose all that you have poured your heart and soul into, all because the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing.