I’ve gone round and round about my 11-year-old daughter’s relentless quest for an Instagram account. All of her girlfriends have accounts—so, naturally, I followed some of them just to see what an 11-year-old’s social world looks like before I’d consider one for the “little g”. Let me tell you, it looks nothing like my social world. So, I said no way. When I engage socially, I share the comings and goings of my kids (I know at least my mom is interested); funny mishaps (like the day I went for a bike ride with said daughter, who informed me at mile 2 of our ride that my pants were on inside out); and simple things I learn about life every day, e.g., fifth-grade math is a killer. I’m genuinely interested in content like this that my friends and family share. It keeps me connected and lets me continue to get to know the people who touch my life.
On the other end of the social sharing spectrum are 11-year-old girls, who are looking for their place in the world, i.e., affirmation. They share: picture of self making pursed lips, picture of self making angry face, picture of self making pouty face, picture of self doing a limber gymnastics pose, picture of self looking particularly pretty. You get the picture, literally. And every picture is “liked” dozens of times.
I asked “little g”, “What’s the point? Do you really think anyone is as interested in you as you are?” “Little g’s” response, “Mom, you just don’t understand.” Followed quickly by, “Look how many LIKES she got!”
So, for her fifth-grade graduation gift, the “little g” got an Instagram account with one rule: You can post as often as you like, but only one “selfie” a week. The elation of having an Instagram account was fleeting. “Mom, what’s the point?!” I said, “g, you just don’t understand.” The value for her was gone.
What I get from a social experience is different from my daughter’s, different from my mom’s, different from yours, likely. The tools themselves are a vehicle for sharing. The one thing I learned from this experience is that social is all about me.
I’m a 24/7 socialite—I work for a social software firm. At NewsGator, we live the social experience all day, every day, in our own environment and in our clients’ environments, and what we’re learning is that social is all about me, even at the office. While Social Sites is a tool, it is now a tool that’s delivering what’s valuable to me, what makes me more efficient, what I need to see, what taps my expertise, and what I need to do make my experience richer, faster, better, smarter. With the release of Social Sites 4.0, I’m able to embrace WIIFM even more!
Here’s how I’m making Social Sites 4.0 all about me:
Smart Tips: Sometimes, I just forget about maximizing the potential of Social Sites…but now 4.0 reminds me: “Hey, you haven’t updated your interests in a while!” And, with an easy link in the smart tip, I’m directed to my interests, so I can stay in tune with what is seamlessly delivered to me—the things I find value in.
Q&A: I’m lazy. If I have a question, I will typically just ask someone and hope that they have the answer, and if not, hope that they can point me to the right resource on Hal (our internal version of Social Sites 4.0). It’s way easier than search, which used to pull back about 1,286 results on any given quest, none of which I was willing to wade through. I wouldn’t have known the right answer in that mixed bag anyway. Now, I can type my question and 4.0 prompts me with similar questions that have already been asked! And most of those results have “the right answer” marked by experts, information curators or community MVPs, so I no longer have to guess. Or wade. Or wait. Patience not being a strong trait for me, this makes me want to hug Brian Kellner and put the label “Genius” on his business cards.
Search: I may have mentioned that searching for information used to suck (see Q&A above). Hashtags that would come to mind were #overwhelmed #counterproductive #blackhole #informationoverload. Now, advanced search capabilities on Lookout help me hone in on the right people, documents, and activity stream posts that match my search criteria. I’ve never found searching so simple—and effective.
Just this morning I was searching for a “stakeholder analysis grid”. One search. Top document. Click. Open. Done. And if I wanted an expert on this topic, he was also presented, just in case I couldn’t figure it out. (Thanks, Tobias!)
From customizing the content tiles I use in Lookout 360, to getting push notifications on my Galaxy, the 4.0 social experience is more about me than ever. What’s in 4.0 for you?