Thursday, June 7, 2012

Social is changing the game, in more ways than you think


Allow me to move off ITSM a bit. Trust me, I'll get back to it.

I am not a social media expert, and I'm skeptical of many self-described experts. I did, however, recently hit a Klout score of 51; so I must be doing something right, at least regarding social influence and reputation (See "The Reputation Economy is Coming - Are You Prepared?" AND) if you believe in Klout's interesting, if flawed, influence algorithm.

What is most interesting about Klout is not the actual score, but the IDEA that the value of your sharing is based on the usefulness of what is shared, and less to do with speed and frequency. Feel free to disagree with how Klout calculates that value. It's much harder to disagree that the value of social sharing is far more based on the perceived quality of the shared content, as opposed to the speed in which you can register a comment, opinion, or decision.

A recent Forbes article on the coming reputation economy makes the following point:
The economy is moving in one direction and one direction only. Take time to invest in your online reputation and you will be more confident, more connected, and more desirable to work with.

But how do you invest in your online reputation? Think about the poeple and organizations you follow online. I'm not just talking about Twitter follows, but that's part of it. Who's posts do you pay the most attention to on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and yes, Twitter? We follow people who provide the most value. It could be entertainment value, professional value, home improvement value, etc. We tend to value quantity of posts, artfulness of the presentation, self-promoion, and quick judgements much lower in the social media context, compared to in person interactions.

Your character/reputation/influence is becoming strengthened by the value of the content you create and shepherd. The 20th century "conventional wisdom" rewarded extroverts, to the point where introversion had essentially become a handicap to overcome. The Old Boy network/corporate boardroom ideal that grew from the Harvard Business School's over-reliance on extroversion as an essential trait for success, is starting to die. Most people just haven't noticed it yet.

Think about it. How many folks reading this post are more introverted than extroverted? If you've got a high Klout score, how much of that is based on dominating the social world with quantity over quality? Unless you are a celebrity, no one cares what you have to say if you don't have useful content. No one caring = lower Klout. Limited, thoughtful, useful sharing = higher Klout.

Sounds like an introvert to me.