The questions have been pouring in from far and wide after the success of Season 1 for IHYT as to what is next. Anticipation abounds, stories continue to emerge and the prospect of what lies ahead in terms of material is boundless.
After the bazillion miles accumulated on the road, (ok – almost 20,000) and a few air miles into Europe (with the “Volcano-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” having a temper tantrum to boot), the stage is setting up nicely for Season 2. Delicious.
Going into this fantastic exploration, I always knew how quickly this environment changes. Technology and applications are in constant evolution by what seems like the hour, or even minute. And as for we the people using all this new gadget and social hotness? We continue to shape this landscape in diverse and epic ways, each with our own fingerprint on the touchscreen of society. And the questions continue to teeter back and forth of “Are we better with it? Or without it?”
It’s all about the connection to ourselves.
Hopefully I’ll see many of you soon to garner your insights and opinions into this landscape.
As most people know, getting a small business up and running is quite the task. Keeping it running is a different monster altogether. While I was in North Carolina, I talked to a few people who had just started or were maintaining a small business. I mentioned Brad in an earlier post who runs and owns the Surf House in Carolina Beach, NC and is using a variety of methods including the social nets to spread the word about his store and community. My excellent friend Kevin has been running a construction management business, Elevate Construction, in the Wilmington, NC area. I sat down with him to get a perspective on an industry not particularly associated with social networking and how a younger generation with tech savvy is beginning to use these new resources.
The seeds have been planted and are being fostered to create communities within these niche spaces. It’s great to see social communication and networking strategies beginning to blossom in these different industries. A lot of the traditional means still reside, but the transition is there to enhance small business needs into the next decade. B2B social networks are out there, but the exploration of them seems to be developing at a faster pace with the onset of Twitter and other micro-blogging applications. With last year’s financial and real estate market collapse, smaller businesses especially in the construction and management space are looking to the alternative methods to keep ahead of the game all the while keeping costs at a minimum.
Thanks Kevin for the excellent interview!
Days turn into weeks into months and in that span I have zigged and zagged across this great nation of ours to the tune of 18,000 miles and counting. It’s a lot and a little at the same time. The beauty that I’ve beholden has come in many forms. The network of people along the way has been an endless provider of wondrous hospitality, conversation and joviality. It is this base of the social network that provides a unique daily experience. Whether you are broadcasting, receiving or tuned out, seeing the populace being redefined by means of the technology that surrounds us and vice versa has been an almost indescribable experience. The manner in which we use social nets, the mobile web and ultimately how we speak about the relationship of ourselves to new communication.
The tech trends will continue to develop and reshape how we speak to, with and at one another. But a big definer of the pieces that work have an emotional resonance. We like the application. We love our smartphone. We like to like (thumbs up!) And yes, we love to hate. It’s what makes the space so dynamic with it’s range of emotional outlets and primal shouts into the ether.
“Hulk maaaaaad about carrier provider!”
It’s this essence, and evolution, from the diary under lock-and-key of old, to transmitting openly online that I’ve found as a great magnet of conversation. Everyone I’ve spoken with, regardless of age, gender, race, etc. lights up like the holidays lights at the mention of social networking and so begins a deluge of fascination, excitement, confusion rage and even sadness at what this new medium has brought about. Being in the industry, you experience it on a daily basis, but whether I’ve interviewed people the videos, conversed offline about it or met people in passing, the reactions are priceless and fascinating. The comfort in speaking about the topic is like I’ve never seen with anything else among people. Casual, fun and intriguing as to how the social network is seen. I don’t think the formality of a focus group can garner such warmth.
Mention social networking during the holidays when you’re with family and friends and see what happens. It could be a unique gift unto its own.
Smack dab in the middle of America lies the heartland of Kansas, a state with a dual personality of West and East. The left half lying flatter than a pancake (science has proven it!) and the right bearing the natural green meanderings of the Mississippi River. I spent some time in Kansas City, getting a taste of the metropolis that has a blended culture from all regions of the compass. And how can I not mention the BBQ. Chow on that.
In between all the good eats and sightseeing, I managed to saunter into casual conversations with a nice cross section of social network users of varying generations. The finale being a conversation with my cousin Bo who is currently working for the Papa John’s brand and is a recent entry into the social networking space. It was a great perspective on not only seeing the space from a business perspective, but also at a personal level and the new function of family communication. It’s an interesting question to pose as this medium opens itself to the identity of virtual self. Facebook often combining the circles of family, friends and work into one location for broadcast and now separating those groups if so wanted.
Brands are still trying to figure out the best way to gain a solid foothold into this space and even as an internal communication tool. I enjoyed the leanings of the conversation toward this topic and how these new tools of social networking are being adopted into the business space. The arena of social networking as management tool.
Thanks Bo for the excellent interview!
“Passing cars with light trails behind them
We could follow them all
Forgiving this town is wearing me down, let’s take off
No one would know that we’ve gone”
Bicycle by Memory Tapes
There are often coincidences in life that are unbeknownst to us unless you listen or observe carefully. The meaning behind them is what you interpret the coincidence to be, unique to each person occurence. I usually find coincidence to be a heightened sensitivity to a particular subject, event or word. Sometimes it is realized immediately and sometimes it may take a period of time to recognize it.
I happened to have a coincidence I found amusing recently happen to me on the travels. While in the Carolinas I had conversations with two different business owners about what landed them in Carolina Beach, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC respectively. Each gave me almost exactly the same response. They wanted to be doing something they loved rather than slaving away in a thankless position. The amusing point of the story is that their names were Brad and Shad.
Brad runs and owns the Surf House in Carolina Beach, NC after being around the country at various positions for his career, but landed back in his home state to give the shop a shot. He mentioned to me that he couldn’t think about a better time to do it after leaving his job in Boston on a particularly sunny day and thinking how it was the best day of his life. It’s a particularly sweet spot combining a store and a tasty great café, but really stands out with the social networking. Active in the community with daily and nightly events, Brad is a natural networker and has extended his business with a Facebook group and runs a blog. If you’re ever in the area, swing by and say hi.
Shad is the proprietor of The Library Restaurant in Myrtle Beach, SC. His years of crafting and refining his culinary schools from NYC to around the world landed him an opportunity in Myrtle Beach to buy The Library and run a top-tier restaurant that has become the premier establishment for culinary delights and table side service in Myrtle. Personable with personality, Shad has created an environment of excellence, but has been affected like every other business by the economic downturn. It would be unfortunate to see such a place to cease, but any other spot Shad will be running will be sure to be as great. The stories alone of the history of The Library and his years there make it worth the visit. I mentioned he should write a memoir that would be sure to be a best seller. His ability to connect with people and bring a warmth to the environment is the old school social networking.
In the substance of being, old souls tend to make their mark in less subtle ways. Rather than being boisterous or overly exuberant, they often emit a warm glow of conversation and comfort in their relation to people. A wisdom in their perspective of the world and their place in it. In the scope of the social network, they tend to be the anchors, bring about a grounded foundation for building the future applications of communication. They can see the connections across and between people and apply them in new and innovative ways.
If you ever find yourself in coastal Carolina wandering the beaches and entranced by the waves, swing by for a hello.