community

Is more, better?  Think about that for a second.  Just because we now have the ability to reach everyone, does that mean that we can reach everyone?

The truth is that in a lot of ways, social media hasn’t made things easier for someone to climb the ranks of authority but harder.  Social Websites has opened the pool of available people in your market but then again, the pool has become a lot larger, and the audiences more fragmented.

Once upon a time, forums helped you cut your teeth with the community of your market.

Basically, you hung out in them and responded to questions, commented on other people’s thoughts and joked around with folks.  And over time, the community would start to respect your opinions and actively seek you out.  Throw a website into a signature and you would get traffic.  Throw an optin form for those who came to your website and they would sign up.  Much easier because the social proof were all the exchanges on the forum between yourself and the community.

If someone came in and “spammed” the forum, the community took care of itself.  If someone wasn’t on the up and up, the community ‘outed’ them.

But as social communities became more and more detached and things became more and more automated, the spammers and ne’er do wells were able to move in and fake authority.  Nowadays, you don’t even have to be on social media to “participate”.

I’m not complaining here.  It’s just the truth.  There is a difference.  And if you understand the difference between then (when social media meant actively participating) and now (the majority of twitter power users automate the affair…this includes me to an extent), then you would agree that the older way of doing things was better, long term.

Sure, it took more time and energy.  And it actually required an expertise to demonstrate.  But the sense of community that it brought made it easier to climb the ranks of your market…or at least a part of your market.

Image Attribution- http://www.flickr.com/photos/choconancy/5613817067/