Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

The #SocialEra Is Much More Than Just “Social Media” . . .


[ this post is directed to writers but it can help Anyone who needs to overhaul their ideas about “business”…]

Regular readers have become aware of my difficulties with Social Media as a means of helping folks find my books

This blog is my main Author Platform and, as far as “doing social media”, I’m down to Google Plus; and, it never helps as much as attracting people through simple Internet searches

Some people Love using social media and I’ve worked to provide information here to help them —> past posts on social media, social networking, and author platform. [ You’ll see this post at all those links since I’m tagging it with all those terms :-)  Just scroll a bit to see all the other posts ]

However, there are issues and considerations far beyond posting updates on Facebook or Twitter for a self-published author like me (not to mention the issues and considerations of the harried authors who traditionally publish).

There are more books then ever before in human history and more of them will be completely forgotten then ever before, in spite of the long-term memory of the ‘Net

But there’s a woman referred to as the “The Jane Bond of Innovation”—Nilofer Merchant—and I posted a video of her talking about businesses going beyond just social media in the post, #SocialEra ~ The New Model for Book Promotion.

I focused that post on book promotion but Nilofer is proposing ideas for any business (and, yes, these days, sorry but, authors have to think about business).

So, to give you a hint for how to approach her ideas for business from the perspective of an author, hold on to your image of traditional publishing versus self-publishing and check out this quote:

“These organizations don’t operate like the powerful ‘800-pound gorillas’ of yesteryear—but instead act more like a herd of 800 gazelles, moving together across a savannah, outrunning the competition.”

And, even though she uses the word competition, her ideas are nowhere near the cut-throat competitiveness of the Traditional 800-pound-gorilla Publishers

I recently read Nilofer’s book, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era, and will share some of my favorite quotes:

[You can almost always plug in the word “author” for “company” and “reader” for “customer” and “book” for “product” and “publishing” for “manufacturing”…]

“…communities ‘made up of singularly unique individuals’ create value.”

“You no longer need to have a budget to deliver value.”

“Social purpose is a fundamental way to create value in the Social Era.”

“When a clear purpose is coupled with shared power, people can self-organize to reach a goal.”

“However much I’d like them to be, these ideas are not 100 percent neat and tidy; they are certainly not a formulaic or even a prescriptive set of ideas.”

“Connected people with shared interests and goals…create ‘virtuous circles’ that can produce returns for any company that serves their needs.”

“…a person or team anywhere in the world can create scale without being big.”

“…what makes a company great: customer insights and the ability to serve those via its own unique strategy (what only it can uniquely do through a combination of talent, culture, and purpose).”

“Social gives companies more control to operationally adjust their offers and create zealots by better collecting and amplifying even weak signals.”

“…platforms exist to allow community to fund expansion. When no one funds you, you know there’s no market for your idea. This changes more than the economic source. When a community invests in an idea, it also co-owns its success. In other words, it’s not just socially funded; it’s socially meaningful. And when products are crowdfunded, the ‘return’ is not just financial. When people are emotionally invested, they also want to contribute to the value equation.”

“When companies figure out how to shape their design, production, and manufacturing cycle from rigid planning and production systems to unique customer-driven experiences, they’ll design a way to respond in smaller bursts of more profitable cycles.”

“Organizations can be in a constant conversation to learn what is working and what is not, and adapt on the fly.”

“What is interesting about this approach is that no company has to get it right the first time; it just has to know how to learn and discover what works for growth. A firm that waits until it gets it right will actually be at a disadvantage.”

“The Social Era rewards those that can bring together a herd of gazelles by which they can be fast, fluid, and flexible. What we reward in the Social Era is being connected to customer insights and acting with relevance in what we produce and deliver.”

That last quote could be misinterpreted as authors communicating with their “herd” of readers and swiftly producing a series of formulaic genre books.

However, it’s possible for an author to work with readers and still produce unique and valuable literature; and, if you visit Nilofer’s site or read her book, you’ll see that she’s far from proposing we suck up to enervated consumers

Here’s a link to a Webinar of Nilofer talking about The Social Rules: Communication That Will Change Your Company.

And, here’s a short video with her talking about some of the human barriers to innovation:


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6 responses to “The #SocialEra Is Much More Than Just “Social Media” . . .

  1. Martina Sevecke-Pohlen October 25, 2013 at 2:20 am

    I haven’t finished reading Nilofer Merchant’s book yet, so maybe I will stumble upon an answer later in the book. Her ideas sound exciting, but I am confused about one thing. If People, as in the case of McAfee, give their expertise for free because they care so much about the product, how will they ever get money (to buy the product)?
    What do you think?

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai October 25, 2013 at 10:29 am

      I believe the answer is that the company has other offers of service that are optional

      When you get to the answer in the book, please correct me if I’m wrong :-)

      Like

      • Martina Sevecke-Pohlen November 4, 2013 at 3:44 am

        I’m sorry I come back so late. We had a storm over the North of Germany last Monday. Two trees in our garden fell. Fortunately nobody was injured but we had to get rid of a vast amount of Wood. :-)
        If I remember rightly what I read, Ms Merchant assumes that people who have paid jobs still give their expertise for free to other companies they admire. What I like is her distinction between work and a job. This is applicable to big companies and small businesses alike, and self-publishing authors already use, as you wrote in your post, this strategy when they work with freelance editors and designers. The Social Era demands a new way of thinking about work for workers on all levels of responsibility and income. This offers chances for people from “difficult” backgrounds who have never felt wanted and appreciated in School or in their jobs.

        Like

        • Alexander M Zoltai November 4, 2013 at 8:31 am

          You make an extremely salient point, Martina—the #SocialEra brings not just a new paradigm for work and art but empowers people who are currently “shut out” of the “System”

          Thank you for your insight :-)

          Like

  2. Pingback: How Do Writers Find Their “Voice”? | Notes from An Alien

  3. Pingback: Revisiting The #SocialEra | Notes from An Alien

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