Tag Archives: Online Communities


Does anyone remember nuance?

Emoticon logo Title

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know – the subtle differences that are out there in the non-virtual world.  Maybe it’s why some folks see Azure, Cyan, or Turquoise while others just see Blue.  Nuance is why some people who can read the words really can’t understand the meaning of what they’ve read.  It’s for sure why some managers have issues with their staff and peers – they can’t hear the nuances in tone that are so critical in interpersonal communications.

I worry about nuance from time to time.  Most of the communication we all seem to have these days is via the written word – email, social posts, and texts.  None of those things have nuance.  I think that’s in part where emoticons came from.  They can help add nuance to social posts (and are totally inappropriate for business communications, kids).  I also think that we all have been on these lengthy email chains from time to time because someone is missing the nuance in one of the notes.  Ever wonder why a brief phone call or in person meeting resolves the back and forth issues?  Nuance.

It’s not just written stuff that lacks nuance.  A lot of the evolving social scoring or influence measurement totally misses the nuance of influence.  Two of the most influential people in my life can barely turn on a computer and are invisible on the social web.  They have neither Facebook nor Twitter nor other social accounts.  The people who are influencers in my life that are online don’t have tons of followers or friends.  I checked one of my friend’s Klout score and it’s in the teens but people online and offline come to him for advice and guidance all the time.  Quantity certainly misses nuance and even attempts to measure the quality of his user base fall short.

What matters isn’t how many Twitter followers and Facebook fans you have or your business has.  What matters is how you and your business turn those embryonic links into real relationships – ones that involve nuance in the interpersonal communications.  That leads to buzz but it also leads to more satisfying bonds with your friends, your staff, your clients, and your customers.

You see the nuances?

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Filed under Reality checks

Getting Engaged

I’ve been married a very long time (33 years and counting, thank you) but I still remember getting engaged.  I have no clue what it’s like today, but it used to be a big deal and there was a ritual to be followed (I still thank my lucky stars that her father was way easier on me than he should have been…).  I spend a fair amount of time these days talking about getting engaged except it’s not with my daughters (statement of fact, not a complaint!).  Instead, clients and I talk about “getting engaged” with their consumers.  The thought struck me that it’s not all that dissimilar.

Three stone engagement ring - in yellow gold -...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An engagement is a commitment in either sense of the word (marriage or otherwise).  The only way one partner can figure out if the other is worth spending a lot of time with is to engage one another in dialog.  You know –  appropriate questions, thoughtful, honest answers – a dialog.  Obviously, you can’t spend your time telling your prospective partner how great you are.  Things go a lot more smoothly if you spend a fair amount of time telling them how great THEY are.  While it’s important to keep your own goals in mind, you can’t be a crazed egomaniac if an engagement is your objective.

The hard part is listening.  As marketers and content producers, we tend to put out a lot about ourselves and don’t take in enough about our potential customers.  As an aside, we do the same as managers in a lot of cases – “jobs” are often known as “engagements” after all.

We need to woo our customers, our users, our clients  – whatever you want to call those who pay the bills – as we would a potential spouse.  That’s the only way to get engaged.  Hey – who says romance is dead!

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Filed under Helpful Hints

Back To The Garden

Remember the song “Woodstock“? Joni Mitchell wrote it, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young made it famous. One lyric is

We are stardust, we are golden, we are caught in the devil’s bargain,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.


Image via Wikipedia

I thought of that last night as I listened to an excellent discussion of Google+ and Facebook at the tech meet-up I attend monthly. What does one have to do with the other? Continue reading

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