Julien Smith on Facebook, Fads and the Future

The lonelybrand crew had the opportunity to spend last weekend at SocialDevCamp Chicago: Summer Camp for the Social Web. It’s a combination Conference + Unconference + Hackathon that brings people from across the country to talk about the future of the social web. In case you missed out on the action, we put together recaps of a few of our favorite sessions.

Session: Visibility is Power

Julien Smith, Co-author of New York Times Best-Seller “Truth Agents”

It’s 2011. Imagine showing a temporally-challenged denizen of 1911 your iPhone. Mind. Blown.

Blogs, SMS, Status Updates, Tweets, Geolocation – we live in an era with more media channels than ever before and with less time to pay attention to them. In the words of Julien Smith, it’s our duty as content producers to own the right digital channels to produce positive business outcomes.

b2b social media examples, b2b blogging

Remember tamagotchis, fixed gear bikes and moon shoes? These fads burned bright and faded quickly. More recently Friendster and MySpace suffered the same inescapable fate. So how can you insulate your business against burnout? Control your digital channels.

According to Julien Smith, your audience is your biggest asset. We would add to that your people and their networks (including consultants). It all revolves around building tribes, or groups of people that really care about what you do.

Julien also notes that once you find open eyes and ears, the pressure is on. You’re now accountable for creating content that is meaningful to this group – not the whole world – but specifically to these people. If you don’t give them content that no one else can deliver, then they’ll find someone who can.

There are two options here. You can produce content comparable to that guy at the bar who’s opening line is, “So…what do you do?” or you can throw mundane conventions aside and produce something new and different.  Will some people hate you? Probably. Is this ok? Absolutely.

Key questions to ask yourself in this process:

  • Is the content I’m creating actually interesting?
  • Will it capture the attention of a human being? Why?

The moral of Julien’s SocialDevCamp talk? Be interesting to a very specific group of people, and you will be heard.