Social Media, what does a TV show about Indiahave to do with social media? If you are like me, going into it I didn’t think anything, but was I ever wrong. This morning much like a lot of Sunday mornings in the fall, my wife and I start the day slowly with a cup of coffee, the Sunday paper etc. Old school, no social media involved. This morning we were watching a show about India, a cable show with a gentleman that travels the county looking for the missed paths that many overlook when traveling. You know those interesting sights, and people who are only found when traveling the path least taken.
Many people in India are very “connected” within the social media world, but this is post not about social media sites and Indian interaction. This post is about how in a country of close to 1.3 billion people, it is possible to stand out from the crowd, a lofty challenge to say the least. Something that social media managers, community builders face on a daily basis. Think about it, social media giant Facebook is talking about reaching 1 billion active users, yet that is a drop in the bucket compared to the population of India. How many blogs have you read with social media instructions and tips about how to stand out in the Facebook crowd. How about standing out in the crowd period in a population that is soon to be the largest in the world. Is it possible to understand what it means to be an individual in such circumstances?
This particular episode followed the story of a doctor who worked with people to show
India At Its Best (Photo credit: the opoponax)
them the importance of being good at something, anything, to create a sense of individualism. A common goal in a social media sense. The value was in the knowledge that you were exceptional at something, you were a unique individual. It was on such a primal level, so amazing how he worked with people to hone their Frisbee throwing skills, or jumping rope as one guy showed. What was interesting was how many people were there to share in the joy of a particular accomplishment. They appreciated the effort and more importantly the “reason” for the effort on clearly a whole different level. The doctor spoke about the importance of being an individual in such a crowed playing field (country) such as India. The piece went on to show an artist that did his paintings with the brush in his rolled up tongue. When questioned about why he approached his art so differently, he explained that creating in this way let him stand out from all the other artists. As things progressed it became so obvious that this was something very important in Indian life.
That really got me thinking about what we as social media managers and digital community builders are tasked with. Many times we are faced with the issue of taking a business that is just another business in a large sea of comparable businesses, and make them stand out. How do we make what they do, and how they do it, different? I can say that myself, I will be thinking not only out of the box, but also within the box more often. All too often I think we tend to overlook the fact that the pure nature of doing something, anything, no matter how small, just doing it “well” really matters. How can we utilize that 140 character Tweet to make an impact? It is important to take the time to look past the big ROI numbers, and maybe focus on just one life, one moment that whatever it is that “we” do, made a difference and celebrate that moment, and it’s impact, together….