Posts Tagged ‘tribes’

Social Media and Tribes #30: Virtual Valentine

by Deepika Bajaj on February 23, 2011

Yes, the fact that Valentine’s Day was a week ago is not lost on me! In retrospect, its actually a good thing I waited to write this post till now as I had the time to notice very interesting shifts in behavior, thanks to the Social Media & Valentine Tribes! Alright, lets get going…

Some of us probably remember the days when you had to write a letter while you were dating or wooing someone special. This was not a long ago, although it might seem so.  At that time, if you were in a long-distance relationship, you had no choice other than to write a letter or spend a ton of money making a long distance phone. In both cases, you were not sure if the person concerned will receive your message. Your best intentions to connect might be futile.

It is almost hard to believe but I have personally gone through that era. When I got my Valentine Card in the mail from my then boyfriend, now my husband; I did not receive it till the next day in my college hostel room. And when I did, I was already upset with him for being late (for apparently no fault of his since it was the nature of the postal system that caused the delay in the delivery).

Well! if you are late in today’s time only Heavens can save you. Since with emails, instant messengers, cell phones, text message, twitter, FB and smart phones you better have a good excuse. There is no way you can be late even if you were in a different time zone in a different country!

This year, I observed how people not only sent personal messages but wished their friends, shared their gifts, surprises, roses and even their  dinners on FB. Some of them were extremely creative and some of them were extremely bold. The bottom line is that you had a Virtual Valentine’s Day! All in all, you could broadcast your love for your friends and special ones. I am sure Hallmark did not expect that facebook will steal its thunder ever. They really don’t have a competing business model. But suddenly, no one is looking for Valentine’s Card in greeting cards section in a store. They are more interested in creating their own special Valentine and share it in one to many medium rather than a greeting card which is one to one.

Moreover, there are Valentine Apps on the iPhone store, Groupon Deals, Valentine Events marketed on FB. I was recently a DJ at one such event. I got to share pictures of the event, connect with everybody at the party on FB and got a lot of love since they enjoyed my music.

The pointVirtual Valentine enables you… make that “Super enables you” to connect with loved ones!

Of course! there are people who still did get a greeting card and mailed it OR had it accompany their gift. And that is really COOL. But there is a shift that we cannot ignore. Yes, you still need REAL people to celebrate this day. But the Virtual Valentine enables it and is here to stay!

Social Media and Tribes #28: Social Media on the GO!

by Deepika Bajaj on February 2, 2011

In today’s world, we are no more rooted to our computer for staying connected. This is largely because of the advent of smart phone and mobile apps. If you have an iPhone and a friend of yours complains about your delay in responding to his/her email…you better NOT say, “I was away from my computer”. Since you are on your iPhone, the other person is 100% positive that you have received the email and read it too…whether you replied to it OR not is a different story. Similarly, if you are a smart phone user and you say to someone “I don’t have time to Tweet or FB”; most likely they are wondering if you are using any smarts of the smart phone!

The point is that a cell phone is now more than an instrument to make or receive calls. It is now your desktop on the GO and has enabled social media on the GO.

My Favorite Mobile Apps

  • Facebook for iPhone: Talking about FB, the coolest mobile app for iPhone is Facebook for iPhone. It is convenient to use, read live feeds of your friends, upload pictures taken from your iPhone to FB, review notifications, chat with online friends, update status et al.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn mobile app is like a rolodex online. If your connections change jobs and businesses and update their profiles – you are still in touch without having to be in touch. I like the fact that I can see updates, invite people to connect, Accept invitations simply on my iPhone
  • Echofon: I love tweeting and so any app that allows me to see tweets real time, see mentions, retweet and send direct response to people is valuable for me on the go. This app is great as I get to tweet from anywhere and share thoughts from the touch on the iPhone.
  • Foursquare: I love the fact that I can checkin real time into places. And choose if I wish to share my location with my Facebook and Twitter friends. Also, the badges that I have unlocked (Jetsetter, Adventurer  etc) are a great motivator. Primarily I use it to locate places near by, get tips about a restaurant from people who have shared their views and see where my friends are at.
  • WhatsApp: If you have blackberry friends, then you have heard about the pleasure of BB messenger BUT now with WhatsApp you are able of message friends on Blackberry (if you are an iPhone user). I like to send pics as attachments, see who is available and also chat with friends all over the world on my iPhone….
  • Dropbox: I simply love this application. It is virtual file sharing and syncing – in a secure environment, right at your fingertips… and your fingertips don’t have to be around a keyboard or a laptop! It enables me to receive a contract from a client half way across the world, while I am riding in a train, I can read it on my smart phone and send my approval! Productivity Galore! On top of that, the first 2GB (yes, I said, GB!) of space is FREE, and you get an additional 250MB when you sign up referrals (each referral gets you an additional 250MB of space – up until 8GB! Surely, not a place to add your high-def videos but definitely good for coordinating and sharing work related stuff!

So, if you are on an airport and find yourself in the middle of nowhere, try to connect to wireless network of the airport. Voila! the world will be at your disposal…to chat, communicate and collaborate. So, next time you get a response to your email when your friend is traveling or you chat with your friends in different continents or you post a pic on FB…remember it has nothing to do with being on the computer…and everything to do with your smart phone – so think twice when you say – “I’ve been out of touch since I am not a person who likes to sit on my computer”. As long as you sit, walk or stand and have a smart phone, you have powerful tools to stay connected, thanks to Social Media, on the GO…. !

There has been a lot of speculation about the what will be the impact of social media when Gen Y grows up into more mature digital natives. This generation already proved those wrong who thought they will grow up to be TV watching couch potatoes. This generation has the unparalleled skill to use their fingers on their smartphones and use social media to stay connected and consume entertainment. While generations older than them still watch TV on a flat HD screen in a living room, there is a revolution happening where your TV, computer and smartphone connected through internet are all equipped to provide entertainment on the GO – taking living room to the airport lounges, malls, libraries and even schools and other cool cafes.

Sure, Gen Y watches over 3 hours of TV a day, but it’s not a couch potato experience. I would argue that they’ve turned TV viewing itself into social media.

If you see them watching TV, do not assume that that is ALL they are doing. Check how they are texting, commenting and tweeting. They don’t just watch a movie, they are sharing, collaborating, distributing and connecting. This thumb-savvy generation has no issues with the overload of new technologies –  they are excited about to learn about the launch of innovative technologies – eg. Google TV, ustream.tv.

The traditional TV watching is going to need a face lift when this Generation grows up. Brands have rested for 50 years reaching their consumers through mass media. They are not up for a challenge to make contact with their future consumers. Advertising on TV to a Yelp reading, Foursquare Tip taking and Quora questioning and answering community is not as simple as placing a 30 sec ad on the prime time network during Superbowl.

Another cool example is the President’s State of the Union address that happened today. Sitting from my office, I was able to watch the address simply by logging on to yahoo through an ABC.com feed. The fact that there were real time tweets and a real time blog with a commentary ongoing made the whole experience so much more richer! Admittedly, I (during some parts) enjoyed watching the blog more than I enjoyed watching the speech!

TV watching is still there and psychology behind watching the TV is the same. BUT I get excited about the world where sharing screens will be on a touch of a button, finding movies on my smart phone that my friends are watching, avoid sitting in living rooms….and I am not even a Gen Y.  As a Gen Xer, I hope to just keep up with them. As I find TV watching an isolating experience and the new approach to being entertained resonates with me.

Afterall, ” Man is a social animal”. Soon, “Man will be a social media animal”!

When I am asked “Why do you write”, its usually followed by a “Everyone  knows most writers don’t make a living out of it. So, why would you do something like that?”

In answer to this,  the following quote by James Baldwin resonates with me.

“You write in order to change the world…. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it.” – James Baldwin

If you keep this in mind, you can sense the difference writers’ and authors’ tribe makes to this world. And in pursuing this passion, you come to a point, when you meet and interact with many people who are changing the world one article and one book at a time. Seth Godin says, “He writes because there is no better way to spread ideas”… I agree. So, if you look at this Tribe of authors you will see their commitment to spreading ideas, sharing ideas – like a free trade of exchange of ideas to shift the world view in a medium called “language” which is what separates human beings from animals.

When I wrote my eBook, PINk and Grow RICH, I was sharing the idea that ” RICH means different things to different people. Most successful people did not start with the motive to get rich. They were more interested in helping others”. And then it was a matter of time when I saw the power of sharing ideas through social media. I found an aspect of “creativity” and “community” that I did not know.

Creativity

This was brought forth for me by Roger C Parker, who shared his review on his popular blog leveraging social media to do so . His review focused on sharing ideas on content, design and picking a title – ideas exchange for those writing or considering to write an eBook.

Read below his post on content and design

Content & design tips for e-book success

Read below his post on choosing a title for your book

Choose a memorable book title before you begin to write your book

Community

This became visible with post from William Reed and an interview with Rajesh Setty. They became part of the community that helps you spread the ideas using social media.

Read below article by William Reed
Lessons in Leadership from Deepika

Read below interview with Raj Setty
Pink and Grow Rich; Interview with Deepika Bajaj

And their respective communities “Tweeted” and shared it with their communities. And I became part of a bigger community – a larger community powered by social media.

So, as a gift this holiday season, I am taking 40% off the price on my ebook (regularly priced at $9.95, now $5.99).

We all have people who give us material gifts, this season give an idea as a gift and become part of the larger community of folks who share your interests. Make this Holiday count for someone, who is not stepping up to his maximum potential Or someone who feels robbed of his dreams Or someone who thinks if he had more money, he would be happy….Get your copy now and gift it to as many people…and become an agent to spread the ideas.

Social Media and Tribes #21: Bday becomes a Big Day

by Deepika Bajaj on November 17, 2010

This week, I celebrated my Birthday (yesterday – November 16th). Every year on this day, I celebrate it. But the past few years have been quite special. And the credit goes to Facebook.

If you have ever received Birthday wishes on FB, you are getting the drift.

Pre-FB Scenario

I was not in touch with a lot of friends. Some of them parted ways when we finished school and some parted ways when we graduated from college. And so people who you used to celebrate your Birthday with vanished. So, on your Birthday just a small sample of your family and friends who remembered or were in touch with you wished you.

Then there are a few people who forgot about your Birthday. It is hard to remember for people like myself. I am good with names and faces but dates are something I always struggle with. Moreover, even if you remember the date, at times, the time difference gets you. By the time, you make out the time – most of the time (if you have a global family  & friends) you are likely to be wishing Happy Belated Birthday!

Post-FB Scenario

I am in touch with quite a few school; college and work friends. They are getting a notification of my B’day in their FB feeds. Viola! I get a lot of wishes and since they simply get to wish me by posting on my facebook wall, it is time difference immune.

I find this very interesting. When you wake up on your Birthday and see all these wishes, you are pleasantly surprised. Of course! it makes you feel special. The short and brief comments are reminders of all the people who are connected to you and part of this big day with you.

In Conclusion

If you are wishing someone on FB, I encourage you to do so. It is the least amount of effort to connect with someone on their special day. This FB tribe has a way to make the BDAY a BIG DAY for you. Afterall, the party started with the first message… and that too, perhaps, while you were asleep!

Interesting to be in India when they are venturing into how to use social media for tribes that have similar interests. As the social media momentum takes off, it is clear that tribes will mature in the coming year. Specifically, professional tribes in India. Since the entire nation is upbeat with the economic growth – it allows for professionals to feel they are treasured and wanted. What better feeling for a graduate coming out of school or for a professional looking for another interesting challenge!

I was in Mumbai last week for some business meetings and it was interesting to note that India talks on SMS/text messaging more than on email. Unfortunately, I have a handset where it was challenging to text but I had no other alternative. Even people at Executive levels pass on their mobile numbers and will text you if they need to connect with you. Quite an interesting shift for me.

Here is professional tribe in India that is a LinkedIn local maker : Brijj

Some interesting observations:

  1. No job search: Though this is a professional network, it does not have its own job search function, it partnered with Naukri.com for that functionality. Therefore, it is a professional network minus its own job search as seen in LinkedIn.
  2. Import contacts from LinkedIn: You can invite your contacts from LinkedIn to connect with you on Brijj. I am wondering when LinkedIn will allow local professional sites to import contacts to it. 
  3. Featured Experts: They have a section where they have “Featured Experts”. I found this quite interesting as I was not able to determine the criteria of how a Featured Expert is chosen. I looked for their contributions as in articles etc. but could not locate any. I do believe people get a lot of clicks on their profiles so makes sense for someone who wants to establish a Thought Leader persona.

… and of course they want you to KEEP BRIJJING...which is I guess like keep Googling…Interesting to find how local versions are existing inspite of the success of mega networks like LinkedIn.

A recent report from Nielsen Company demonstrated that more and more Americans are spending time on Social Networks. Share of US internet time spent on social networking is 22.7% which clearly dominates the time (as highlighted in the list above) of where users spend their time online. There is an increase of 43% from 2009, which clearly indicates that it is no more an activity embraced by early adapters but now is part of the main stream population.

Social Networking goes mainstream

  • The most surprising part is that it part exceeds the time people spend on playing games or emailing. This surely means that people are connecting for personal and professional reasons on social networks. A social networking report just pointed out that there is an increase in traffic on Facebook from middle-age users and users with same college since 2009.
  • In a demographic view of social networking activity on mobile devices, women were found to use their phones to “tweet” and “friend” 10% more than men. Also, the 35-54 age group had more active mobile social networkers than any other group.
  • If you are in the U.S.  and use social networks like Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn, chances are you’re more affluent and more urban than the average American according to Nielsen Claritas

Mainstream Behavior

“Intimacy prevails” – In spite of the explosion of social networking users studies show only 5-10% of FB users leave comments on statuses, photos and walls of their friends though women are more active. People who are members of online social networks are not so much ‘networking’ as they are ‘broadcasting their lives. So, it is common for people to comment on their activities and updates. In effect, as Godin, the author of Tribes, says every tribe becomes a media channel.  It is most important to notice that humans may be advertising themselves more effectively. But they still have the same small circles of intimacy as ever. So, even if you are “broadcasting” to a wider, exponentially expanding network, people who are engaged with you is a small, intimate circle of friends who are part of your professional or personal tribe.

Social Media and Tribes #7: Is Twitter doomed to fail?

by Deepika Bajaj on July 28, 2010

More and more, I am observing that people are denouncing Twitter and there is an emerging war between the “For” and “Against” parties. Most recently, retired basketball star Sir Charles (Barkley), on a CNBC replay said that, “people who use Twitter are idiots”. Well! it is these statements that categorize people into “those who have a life” and “those who don’t have a life”.

I am not here to say what is “Right” and what is “Wrong”. I am here to illustrate what Twitter can provide if leveraged strategically.

  • Using Twitter is about reciprocation. You need to promote other people who work at companies you’re targeting and business leaders you respect.  If you are looking for a job, the best way is to help people in companies that you are interested in. This is possible by sending a email newsletter to your network, a Re-Tweet along with a link to their website. This will eventually have a better reciprocation if you ask them help with your initiative.
  • Using Twitter is about connection. Never before people had the capability to connect with celebrities but now twitter has some profiles like Ashton Kutcher and Oprah where people sense a direct connection with the individual they trust. Even if you have these connections, they build into relationships overtime. Helping someone increase their circle of influence is a gift you can give by simply tweeting about their link.  Also you can connect others on Twitter by simply making an introduction in less than 140 characters. “Relationships are like muscles—the more you work them, the stronger they become,” says Keith Ferrazzi, author of New York Times best-seller Who’s Got Your Back.
  • Using Twitter is about sharing. If you found something insightful, you can broadcast it quickly to your network. You will be surprised at the #FF what you will get if people find you are someone who has something valuable to share. This is a way where others give you a gift by recommending you to their followers and recognizing your thought leadership.

My 2 cents: Start today by contacting at least one individual you’ve never dealt with and asking that person if she or he needs help. The response you get will surprise you… and please let me know how may I help (@invincibelle, @99tribes).

Tribes do not include everyone… or in other words, not everyone forms a tribe. It is constituted of people who care about a specific topic or interest or looking to bring a specific change. Real change comes from real people – who then influence others – who, in turn influence others.. .and before you know you have a tribe!

Tribe is needed to change the world. And Changing the world is addictive.

Social Media can be overwhelming but it has created a tremendous opportunity for anyone to be a leader. There is no test to pass, no permission needed. Before you needed millions of dollars to get on Television. NOW you need ten dollars to create a video. So, if you care about something, you can get up and lead.

If you are someone who wants to change the world, you will continue reading this post because you still need to understand how to gain advantage using social media and not get simply distraught by its demands. The understanding involves:

  • Understanding transaction: If you have thousands of friends and followers on Facebook and on Twitter and not one of them is helping you to set up a meeting with a prospect, connect you with a decision maker or help you in any way to meet the objectives of your initiative – these friends and followers are worthless. Tribes exist because people care about something and they have the collective power to do impossible things – otherwise how do we explain airplanes and satellite communication – almost unthinkable a while ago.
  • Understanding Meaningful: If you have to sell everything to everybody, then you will either drive yourself crazy or fail in your initiative. You need to sell it to a few who care about what you have to offer. Then they will talk about it to others. So, there is no need to SPAM people. Just find people who care about what you have and talk about you. The election of President Obama is an example of how people found meaning in his message and then brought in more people. And together these people changed the world.
  • Understanding Focus: You cannot possibly be doing everything to change the world. Become focused on what aspect of the world will you change and the specific task that you believe you are good at in this effort. Tweeting, Facebooking, reading blogs, Youtubing – all these activities require a lot of time – if you are good writer – just write, if you are good networker just meet people – don’t do everything.

To change the world you need a Tribe – where people care about the same thing… are skillful in different tasks and… have relationships with people who care about the same change.

This is RAW power needed to change the world. Once you belong to this tribe, when you enroll people – you will discover it is addictive – not because it is COOL to do so. Because you will see the limitless possibilities and positive change that will impact others lives.

Social Media and Tribes #4: Tribal leadership

by Deepika Bajaj on June 30, 2010

What is a Tribe?

A group of 20-150 people. In these tribes most of our work get done. Naturally occurring groups.

What is Tribal Leadership?

The leader of one tribe meets someone who is a member of one tribe and find someone of another tribe and make introductions. That is what great Tribal leaders do.

People form tribes – they always have and they always will. But not all tribes are the same and what make them different is their Culture.

How people behave?

People behave based on how they see the world. If they see the world as a unfriendly place, they will behave unfriendly and isolated. But the good news is if they see the world as friendly and collaborative SO will they BE.

How does culture shape the Tribe?

  • Level 1 – You are in a dumb culture, and people in such cultures stay dumb and live together. You succumb to your circumstances and you feel life is horrible and powerless.
  • Level 2 – You are an elite – You see yourself as an expert and NOT others. This is where we become sarcastic, resentful because you only value your contribution and NOT the contributions of others. This leads to the creation of an environment where there is no acknowledgment and bitterness reigns.
  • Level3 – Individuals unite and see that together they are larger – they get excited and enthusiastic and life is better. You feel you can create more than was possible ALONE.
  • Level 4 – You find life is amazing and gravitate people. Gandhi said “Be the change you want to be” Martin Luther said ” I have a dream” NOT “we have a dream”. They are giving a message that life is good. The Tribal leaders have the competence in moving people into leave them better than they found them. They move their life to be better and enroll them to the tribe and get them connected.

The Ultimate Tribal Leadership

Go beyond “networking”, where you extend your reach. Find people who don’t know each other and connect them – elevate them – empower them. Make an impact in your tribe and touch them so that you nudge other people to move to a higher level. So, that your Tribe can change the world….

PS> Join 99tribes by simply clicking on “add me to the tribes”…and join a tribe… or even better, form your own tribe.