The Social Snowball

We hadn’t talked in 20 years but we picked up where we left off thanks to Facebook.

Baby-boomers like me grew up with technology — heck, we invented a lot of it. We started with punch cards that we stuck into massive main frame computers that buzzed and whirred like something out of an old Buck Rodgers movie using programs named Fortran, Cobal and Pascal. We gravitated to MS DOS as the technology changed learning lengthy codes that tested our recall and then we ran to the simplicity of Windows that required neither cards or much personal memory. So why-not Facebook?

“What have you been up to these last 20 years?” Well that answer was best left to a crisp micro-brew and a couple hours of catching up. I’ve now enjoyed a short case and several contacts from long lost friends thanks to the power of social networking.

Today, I posted a shot of a wonderful fish I’d caught on the Deschutes River. It was a fabulous fish and a great shot so I thought it worthy to share. Within minutes “oohs” and “aahs” flooded in from Alaska, New Jersey and California from people I wouldn’t have connected with otherwise. My network isn’t just the 70 or so people I’ve cultivated…it’s all those people and the people they’ve attracted — in several cases hundreds and in some even thousands. All of whom are privy to my message.

I can easily see the value of these networks.

We landed an important new account today. I don’t have the official go-ahead to share the news yet — but we will soon and when we do thousands will know about it in seconds. Hundreds will probably notice it and a couple months later the traditional media will print it and it will be old news — but still news just the same — just not as timely as these social networks we’re building.

If I was a retailer I’d be after this stuff like a fat man to a pie-eating contest. I’d grow my network fast and furious. I’d want thousands, tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands to see my tweets, twitters and blogs. This is powerful stuff that happens immediately.

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Social networking creates buzz. It’s exciting, immediate, engaging, fun and effective.

Social networking has become mainstream marketing. A celebrity sends out a tweet that he’ll be yodeling on some street corner and the next thing you know is 5,000 people are gathered on a street corner tying up traffic listening to the celebrity yodeler. Better yet, media floods to the fracas trying to be as just-in-time as the tweet which stimulates another 2,000 people to join the now mobbed celebrity yodeler.

This stuff is incredible!

I’m finding people and they’re finding me. I’m connecting and re-connecting more easily and seamlessly than I could imagine. Daily my network is growing and by this time next year it should be into the hundreds as more and more of us climb aboard this wonderful runaway train of technology.

Us boomers don’t fear it…we embrace. At times slowly. We’ve been sold a bill of goods before and understand time is precious so we squander it just like we do our precious identities. We get it though — it’s easy to understand, easy to do, easy to accept and easy to use. That’s why we’re building our LinkedIn and Plaxo accounts as well. Some of these may fall by the wayside…no worries the investment was minimal and it’s to be expected.

We finish the first beer and order a second. We’ve re-hashed a failed marriage, several perfect kids we’ve sired, dreams we had, ambitions we followed and now it’s time to talk about our fishing exploits. Nothing like sharing tales of big salmon and the prospect of future trips over a cold one…or two…or…

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