Nothing like a presentation to the local folks to hold you accountable and bring you back to your roots. I spoke last week at the inaugural meet up for the Social Media Club of Greenville. As I watched the avalanche of Tweets and Facebook conversation about the upcoming meeting, I got excited and nervous by all the energy for knowledge and sharing coming from all of the online conversation.
My problem was what to focus on that people in attendance could benefit from. I have to be honest the Social Media Club idea scared me at first. The last thing we need in Greenville or anywhere else for that matter is a Social Tool Club. So, I decided to just share the Brains On Fire point-of-view and the lessons we’ve learned working with movements from the Fiskateers, RAGE, and the Park Angels of Charleston.
There has been no shortage on points of view on what will happen in the Social Media space in 09. So, this is the perfect opportunity to ask myself the question ‘what is the killer app for Social Media?’ What is the must have for these very complex times we now live in? The question jolted my memory to The Matrix when; Morpheous asked Neo to choose between the blue pill or the red pill. If Neo chooses the blue pill life will carry on as before. By choosing the red pill Morpheous warns, ‘all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.’ I think we are facing a similar choice today. The blue pill gives tools for talking, the red pill offers nothing but LOVE.
Brains On Fire is pretty much Social Media Neutral; we participate in conversations, develop strategy, and then develop tools with the people that will use them. Some say that Social Media is in beta. That’s true but in my experience when you’re dealing with people, you’re always in beta. People Beta causes the continual evolution of Social Media creating new uses of those tools and opening doors to new tool innovation.
This brings me to the title and point of my presentation. The Killer App. Andy Warhol said ‘everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.’ That used to seem like a long time, but not anymore. Blogs, Facebook and Twitter are bringing new people into our lives everyday. The content and conversation created today will last a long time.
One thing we’ve learned nurturing movements at Brains On Fire is that Community Loves Company (thanks John Moore). It’s not HOW you do it. The Killer App is YOU and what YOU do with it. Thriving communities care for each other; it’s not just about personal status and personal gain. At BOF we believe LOVE is a circular transaction. And at it’s core ‘the cool thing about LOVE is that it always makes it’s way back to those who give it away.’
To me it’s fitting that I post this today, on Inauguration day. I’m a product of ‘forced busing’ (Greenville County was ordered by the Supreme Court to send white students to black schools); I believe it played a key role in making me the person I am today. My parents never seemed concerned about this compared to some of my friends parents. Instead they chose to make this an opportunity of experience and for me to meet new kids. My father emphasized how important it was for me to do the right thing, and that this would mean that I would go against some of my friends. I developed many new friendships, many lasted through high school. More importantly, I learned a lot about communication and the power of words—good and bad. ‘LOVE is a circular transaction’ came back to me as an opportunity to work with that very same community, ‘Southernside,’ early in my marketing career helping build a community coalition of residents, private businesses and the City.
In closing I’ll quote Elizabeth Alexander from the Inaugural Poem, ‘What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.’