Sunday, May 2, 2010

Social Media Adoption: A Red Hat expose

Does anybody hate social media ? My wife could be one. But wait, not quite. She hates the time off from her that I devote to Social mediums not the medium itself. She needs my time at the mutually decided moment.

Anyone else hates social media ? Managers could. But do they hate the media or do they hate the fact that using the media, is an option to reveal more than necessary and grow more outside the organization ? I may be the boss in the system, but the people actually know my reportee. How does that make you feel ? Me proud. Some jittery. We are working on a project putting in crazy hours. You publish it in social media. What happens to my reputation. Me hard work, some not to be treated as a sweat shop. They then fear and hate the occasional rogueness in using the system. But dear managers - can you ever prevent it ?

Anybody wants to be away from social buzz at all ? May be the non-IT staff and factory floor working personnal. Hey wait! Don't they have unions, formation day, cultural weeks to socialize among themselves.

Anyone thinks social media is for crazy ? Yes, many. This stems from the lack of immediate value and gratification. This is the fact that we have been coached for generations. Do things that are meaningful (read "money making"). In schools, we take exams 4 times a year for the gratification of teachers. In offices, we take appraisals every year and listen to gossips for seeking the missing value in ourselves. We at these times, act dumb to not know ourselves and listen in and act according to bosses wishes.

So what "crazy labellers" stay away from social media is the ignorance that there is Maslow level above physiological/security needs (where money plays the biggest part to get them). When you move higher you realize
  1. appreciations,
  2. follows,
  4. leads,
  5. references,
  6. linkages (to people) 
is what makes you a better professional. Again, when you reach higher, it is
  1. not the projects execution,
  2. the bottomline generation,
  3. the topline creation,
  4. the number of reportees you have
that would give you the kick. They help you climb and drop off after you reach a certain level. What matters at highest level is the quality of people who you are associated with.  Ever wondered why we call people having club memberships "elite". Wouldn't you feel ecstatic when you get one? Well, you have a chance. The chance is to be in internet social medium, create the elite club you desire with your league. The beauty is you can be present in multiple leagues at same time.

Hmm, have I covered all. May be that leaves with traditional media. The command and control structure that characterizes the traditional media, will find social media a disruption. The consumers suddenly question everything that is written. They start seeking resources and sources that counter the main stream articles.  And the result - Chaos in determining loyalty. This hits the foundation on which traditional media is built. Most of us subscribe to one newspaper and that gives the power to media to shape opinions in a way that their bosses and writers want. No doubt that traditional media has/is glorious in whipping revolutions in past.

But giving that mantle to social media and letting go part of the authority is a painful act. This to my mind is the only group that fears the medium itself as the opponent to its existence. What would happen if a news paper brings out the content from various RSS feeds on variety of topics as its business model?

Social being is a fundamental urge of humans. Getting a like minded group is a constant search for every living animal on the planet. Social media allows you to choose, select, approve and then be inside the medium. Let us not forget that mixers, conferences, associations, clubs are all part of social media eco system. Add to these are internet shops of Facebook, Orkut, Wave, Wiki, Blogs,Twitter, Ryze and other similar associations that allow you to group for your various thinking points.

The profit from above sequences is that social medium is where everyone wants to be in in their own right. It is the contexts that raises questions, creates differences and demotes the preference for social media. If you notice there is no indifference to social media. There are strong opinions on either sides.

In fact, a "red hat, touch the heart" statement for social media can never be negative.

Enough to make you love Social media ? Leave in your comments.

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