A Guest Post by The Jack B
“When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun‘.” — Groucho Marx
The biggest mistake that people make in social media is the one where they believe that if they put a few words on a page people will flock to their blog and laud them as the second coming of Chris Brogan or the next Guy Kawasaki.
I don’t know about you but I am not interested in being either of those guys. It is not because I dislike them or have any sort of disdain for what they do but because I like being me. I like being me for a lot of reasons not the least of which is that I don’t have to try to be me because I just am.
And that my friends is what I look for in social media, the “just ams.” I like the “what you see is what you get crowd” best. I like them because they let me focus on the most important part of the social media scene, the people.
People are what keep me in this game. Sure, I like to write and I would do it even if no one read a single post. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t value people or that I think they are unimportant. Far from it.
People and the personalities that come along with them are like the secret sauce of the blogosphere. They help turn a simple comment section into something that can be magical and spectacular.
Sometimes they make that comment section into a classroom where I learn things that I never knew and sometimes they turn it into a very cool nightclub.
But the ones that I like best are those that are similar to the old sitcom, “Cheers.” You know, the show with the bar and the cool theme song that talked about a place “where everyone knows your name.”
Sometimes friends and family from the “real world” question me about my online experience. They want to know how I can make friends with people I have never met and wonder if the friendships are real.
I suspect that many of you who are reading this already know the answer to that question. Many of you have had the privilege to develop relationships with people you met online. Many of you could tell those that question me that “online friends” can be among the best friends you have.
They can tell you that “online friends” are real, dependable and true.
But when they press me on this I like to point out stories like this one about how bloggers helped more to feed more than 300 families Thanksgiving dinner.
That didn’t happen just because people are giving and generous. It happened because these people were part of a community and the community took time to try and take of its members.
The community that exists is there because someone took the time to treat their visitors as people. They didn’t view them as collections of dots on a page or pixels in a picture.
People power social media. People drive the platforms and provide the reason for most of us to show up and hang out in the places we frequent.
Most of us won’t make “real money” from blogging or using any of the various social media platforms we show up on. But if we are lucky we’ll come out with a good friend or friends and if you’ll forgive the tired cliché, “that is worth its weight in gold.”
“When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.” — Groucho Marx