Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
April 2, 200910:53 PM

Start A Movement

Without a doubt, the number one question asked about these new Digital Marketing channels is this: do people really care and want brands to participate in online social networks? Most brand managers have a hard time believing that anyone cares that much about their brands and what they do.

They may be right.

Not many people cared deeply about the environment until Al Gore put together his presentation and the movie, An Inconvenient Truth, came out. Many people were not thinking about the digitization of music until Steve Jobs and the good folks at Apple introduced the iPod and iTunes. Nobody thought twice about selling their used junk online until eBay came along.

More importantly, none of these initiatives are really about the individual, the company or the product/service they peddle. What makes these instances (and many more) very exciting is how they all started a movement.

That movement may sound like a joke to you. It might not make any sense in terms of how your business operates. You might even question if anybody would care to be a part of your movement. The reality is that it's not a joke, it makes total sense and there are always some semblance of a group interested in the most obscure things.

You're all freaks and weirdoes (and so am I).

This is a movement. Six Pixels of Separation is not about Twist Image, it's not about Mitch Joel  and it's not about just you. It's about all of us. This is a place where people connect, learn, build, share and grow on the topics of Digital Marketing, New Media, Publishing and Personal Branding. And while it may not attract the same mass amount of people as those interested in Lady Gaga, it's still - definitely - a movement. These online tools, channels and platforms allow everyone (including you and I) to have our own little space to organize, think, learn and push new ideas to the edge.

If your company has one challenge, it will be to uncover what your movement is all about.

Remember this:

Starting a Blog is boring. Staring a movement is exciting.

Dig deep, focus and figure out what movement your company can get behind. The more unique, the more interesting, the more likelihood it will have of catching people's attention and getting them engaged and active. It's not easy. It won't happen overnight, and you have to do it because it's the right thing to do and because it matters - to you, your employees, the clients you serve and the greater community.

What are you waiting for?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Tony Vlismas
    Mitch Joel

    Another great entry. And timely, I was having a similar conversation earlier today and came to the same conclusion. Companies think that just because they have a Facebook page or a Twitter account, people will flock to them. But the opposite can happen: they can alienate customers because these social media accounts are normally not managed by the brand department.

    Being relevant and "now" will always be in style. Good article.

    (And thanks for making the spam filter one simple letter instead of those crazy 10-letter acid-induced things.)

    Reply
  • Posted by Jeremy Epstein
    Mitch Joel

    You continue to nail it. I'm a proud member of the Twist Image movement!

    When I tell clients about the power of CDM-Community Driven Marketing (my specialty) and how it leverages social media, the first point is..."if you don't have a movement you're trying to start, then I can't help you...and social media as tools will not be a true force multiplier."

    Reply
  • Posted by Niki
    Mitch Joel

    True, being involved in the community is just one part of social media. The movement you're talking about is a good way of re-aligning people's idea of branding through the use of social media. A movement has emotional attachments to it, a kind of belief, which, if you ask me, is the same as what brands mostly do.

    Kudos to this article. Loved how well written and timely it was.

    Reply
  • Posted by Chico
    Mitch Joel

    I struggle to think of what sort of movement big corps should adopt. Unfortunately we don't all have CEO like John Chambers and driving change from below is slow and painful (in the extreme).
    This article (http://www.portfolio.com/views/columns/dual-perspectives/2009/03/09/A-Long-Term-Forecast) argues that it will only be when the current generation of IT managers retires that we will have a breed of managers who gets it. So my question is; short of starting a revolution, do you think there might be a way to get our bosses to not just talk the talk but also walk the walk...

    Reply
  • Posted by Amod Munga
    Mitch Joel

    The thing about starting a movement is that it requires you nail your colours to the mast. In other words, you need to have an unwavering belief something, some ideal that you believe in... Think Martin Luther and the church door.

    Most brands don't want to commit this heavily (or can't because they in the habit of rotating brand managers, agencies of record and cmo's).

    So as much as the thought is great, Mitch, the (current) reality is that most brands will only commit to being changeable in favour of whatever trend works for now...

    Nonetheless, great article and who knows? Maybe it will change...

    Reply
  • I think companies might have the easiest time with starting a movement (before you go screaming and flailing your arms, hear me out).

    Most great companies started out because they had a different sort of passion for the industry they serve. They took long and hard strides to develop a unique brand and positioning in the marketplace. All they really have to do is look at the industry they serve, demonstrate that passion by adding value and voice to the community and by nurturing and cultivating that message and why it makes people connect.

    I think all companies have some kind of movement within them (and I mean that in the best possible way).

    Reply
  • Posted by Malcolm Bastien
    Mitch Joel

    I'm liking the trend, or I guess the few posts I'm seeing here and there that are shifting in the basic messages they give out to readers.

    Less about how to do something well, blog, tweet, be social, but more to doing these things with a purpose and strategy.

    SPOS is movement I'd be proud to be a part of. Maybe now especially because I realize it does move and evolve (Media Hacks being a big marker)

    Reply
  • It is hard to create a captivating purpose for a corporate blog because at the heart of successful bloggers is passion. Looking at it from the eye of starting a movement is the great way to free our mind and for companies to explore how they can make a difference. Once you found a clear and worthy movement, it will be easier to inspire your team and get readers to participate in your social media activities.

    Reply
  • Posted by Bob
    Mitch Joel

    In my opinion, I would almost agree with your first statement that people don't really care about brands and what they're doing. People are selfish and I think the thing they do care about is the story of the brand, the way they make them feel and how the brand affects the person's life.

    You're right, to get people to care about the story (and in effect, the brand) you have to start a movement that makes the person part of something larger than themselves.

    Great post,
    Bob

    Reply
  • Posted by cam balkon
    Mitch Joel

    Less about how to do something well, blog, tweet, be social, but more to doing these things with a purpose and strategy.

    SPOS is movement I'd be proud to be a part of. Maybe now especially because I realize it does move and evolve

    Reply
  • Posted by nicolask7
    Mitch Joel

    inspirational, thanks!

    Reply
  • Posted by Kevin
    Mitch Joel

    I disagree to an extent. People were interested in digitized music, it's the industry that wasn't. People were, and still are, using the internet in ways many industries are still resisting. What Apple did with iTunes was unpopular with the music industry, but consumers were more than ready.

    Sometimes all it takes is taking a step back and simply filling a need.

    Reply
  • Posted by cam balkon
    Mitch Joel

    I disagree to an extent. People were interested in digitized music, it's the industry that wasn't. People were, and still are, using the internet in ways many industries are still resisting. What Apple did with iTunes was unpopular with the music industry, but consumers were more than ready.

    Sometimes all it takes is taking a step back and simply filling a need.

    Reply
    • Posted by cam balkon
      Mitch Joel

      I disagree to an extent. People were interested in digitized music, it's the industry that wasn't. People
      were

      , and still are, using the internet in ways many industries are still resisting. What Apple did with iTunes was unpopular with the music industry, but consumers were more than ready.

      Reply
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