There's been a lot of talk online about some very bad apple Bloggers in the past few days (it's disgusting and sad). Instead of continuing on that meme, it got me thinking about how those few should be shadowed by the many who are good, honorable and sincere.
Last night we held the first-ever Geek Dinner Montreal at Café Melies in ex-centris (just downstairs from Twist Image HQ) with over thirty Montreal Digerati along with Shel Holtz - co-host of For Immediate Release - The Hobson and Holtz Report Podcast (who was in town from Concord, CA speaking at a conference on intranets).
Hanging out with Shel for the second time in our protein forms only further cemented our very real friendship that formed over the past year via virtual channels. As we discussed everything from PR practices at the university level to jam bands and all the way back to the power of Podcasting for internal communications and how marketers and PR practitioners are getting much better at "playing nice," it struck me that for all of its warts and sores, social media is growing, connecting and building real-world relationships in ways we have not yet been able to crystallize in metrics.
For Marketers, this is an important distinction. It's no longer about the "quick shot." It's no longer about tossing out the 'ole, "we need something viral... right now." It is about truly digging deep and looking at the power of relationships - how they are formed, what builds trust, etc... and how these channels can be used to engage those very-worthy conversations.
I've been thinking about the way Marketers are trained to think (CPM - Cost Per Thousand) and about the way things are evolving (Trust Economies). This is going to be a very tough formula to modulate and quantify. Some of this thought was spurred by my upcoming keynote for the CMA - Canadian Marketing Association - National Convention and Trade Show called Burn The Ships - New World Tactics For Marketers In A Digital World, some of it came from how many people I am rejecting from Facebook (because I'm looking for quality and not quantity, so don't add me to bump up your numbers... add me to add value to both of our networks) and some of it was rekindled after reading Bob Garfield's article, Chaos Scenario 2.0 - The Post Advertising Age.
In the end, real-world meet-ups like Geek Dinner Montreal don't just validate the power of social media. It does validate that marketing and communications is changing - from how we talk to consumers to how we connect as an industry. It's an amazing democratization and decentralization of information flow that ditches command and control for a more folksonomy approach.
Marketing is changing... if you were at Geek Dinner Montreal, you too would have felt it.