Friday, January 9, 2009

Keeping the Conversation Alive

One of my StumbleUpon acquaintances, a London based blogger called Marko, authors a useful blog entitled Marko's blog, as might be expected by the name, provides tips for those looking to develop their web presence, with a specific focus upon increasing visibility, traffic and brand awareness. The advice is, more often than not reasonably straight forward, and as such Marko's blog offers a fantastic insight for those that are relatively new to the concepts of blogging and the social media. Earlier this week however, Marko posted an article on page rank which surprisingly drew criticism in the comments section. The comment in question accused Marko of repeating himself throughout his many posts, emphasizing that simple reiteration of advice does not constitute insight. The recurrent theme; the importance of fresh, informative content. I wanted to examine this statement through broad application to the social media.

Whilst application of the social media is likely to draw significantly different views, there is invariably a theme running through the majority of the content produced by social media facilitators (SMF); i.e. those that offer advice for the development social content. Have we reached a stage in which there is a single best practice approach to engaging the social media? Debatable. One thing is for certain though; the ongoing significance of producing fresh relevant, interesting and informative information cannot be underestimated. Whilst many a unique blog post has been written with the intention of facilitating the creation of content, refinement thereof will invariably produce advice which is conducive to the common points raised by SMF's. At the end of the day, it all boils down keeping the conversation relevant.

Does this constitute a lack of insight? Whilst the statement is likely to draw debate, I would suggest otherwise. The critical importance of producing fresh, informative content is what causes the social media to remain relevant. Although there is a degree of irony surrounding the advice provided by SMF's stemming from the use of a recurrent theme as encouragement for the development of new and increasingly innovative ideas, it seems a little off to criticise these advocates for their retained focus thereon. Whether they choose to discuss the theme is irrelevant; the significance thereof remains regardless.

Whether such repetition
is considered positive or negative is essentially a matter of personal opinion. Whatever our stance on the matter, the theme around which much of this content is directed should not be overlooked. Whether we adopt a position as content creator or SMF, the points which we raise do not change the fact the social media is about conversation. It is simply our responsibility to keep it going.

What are your thoughts on repetition
in the social media?

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  1. I think, like anything, there will always be times when it feels you're reading the same information that you have elsewhere. While there are a multitude of topics and themes to discuss in any medium, social media is no different from anything else when it comes to finite amounts of discussion topics.

    Perhaps the other question that could be asked is whether or not the reader is at fault for keeping their reading narrow? The true way to learn and grow is to step outside your bubble and look elsewhere to other genres.

    Of course, you'll find that they profer the same message - but does that make it repetitive?

  2. Absolutely, Danny.
    The greater the diversity of the content being read, the higher the likelihood that contrary views to our own will be found. As you and I have discussed on several occasions, variety of opinion is hugely beneficial to enhancing our own knowledge.

    I actually spent a long time writing this post. I am reluctant to say that the social media boils down to a single best practice, but then arguably the core of social media implementation is precisely to ensure that the content remains fresh, relevant and informative.