Wednesday, December 30, 2009

True Confessions - Ulterior Motives for the Delaware Social Media Initiative

When I started thinking about this Delaware Social Media Initiative idea, my first thought was, "Wow, we can really make a difference in this state - promote business, help charities, and raise awareness of the arts." My second thought was, "We could make Delaware a magnet for entrepreneurs, investors, and artists."

While both of those reasons remain true, I do have some ulterior motives for promoting the Delaware Social Media Initiative, and, in the interest of transparency and full disclosure, I'll share those ulterior motives now.

First, I am a self-described First Amendment extremist - I believe that as more citizens exercise their right to express their views in the open marketplace, the better off we are as a society. I also believe that those views and opinions that are based in false information (i.e. urban legends) are more quickly exposed and relegated to the trash bin in which they belong when exposed to the harsh light of a transparent public venue such as social media.

Second, I believe that the social media tools available to us now - if used by all of us - can shape a very different future than the one we've been raised to expect. OK, follow me on this one, I think it's safe to assume that we've all grown up with this concept that advanced technology will be used by government entities to control the masses (i.e. Orwell's "1984," Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451," etc.). But, what we're seeing now is a situation where all of us have more advanced communication tools at our disposal than the vast majority of government entities that are either hindered by out-of-date hardware or out-of-date policies (blocking access to social media sites like Youtube and Facebook). Think about this for a moment - this means that those politicians and bureaucrats who historically have used secrecy (or at least a lack of communication) to lie, intimidate, or otherwise exercise undue influence on others are now the very ones who are subject to having their speech and behavior broadcast to the masses and must fear being exposed for the frauds/bullies/idiots that they are. As Thomas Jefferson put it, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

Third, I believe that every great advance in civilization comes about because of an advance in communication. Whether it's Gutenberg's printing press, Morse's telegraph, or Marconi's radio, we've seen new communication tools translate into great leaps in science, business, transportation, liberty, and overall quality of life. The thing is, where before we would need the resources to purchase heavy machinery, broadcast towers, etc., or pay to have our messages put out through those media - today everyone reading this has the ability and tools to become their own printing press and broadcast station. The more we engage in this communication, the faster we will see the next great advance in society!

So, there you have it - there's my deeper motives for promoting the Delaware Social Media Initiative. Feel free to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

THIS is a great step in the right direction!

The State of Delaware is really starting to do some good things in Social Media - it's encouraging to go to the state web site and see this:

Click Here to get the full run-down of State Government connections through Social Media.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Help spread the word!

Take a minute and think of the groups you belong to:

  • Business Associations
  • Rotary Club
  • Lions Club
  • charity group
  • church
  • chamber of commerce
  • PTA (or PTSA)
  • Scouts
  • Bridge Club
  • Civic Association

OK, now imagine getting just a few people from each of those groups engaged in Social Media, working together to promote each other, collaborate on projects, support each others' efforts.

So, here's the deal - if you want someone to come and make a presentation to your group about using Social Media, let me know. If you currently use Social Media and would feel comfortable sharing your experiences with a group, let me know.

We can do this!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Are You Willing To Lead?

Do you use some form of Social Media right now (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Blog, e-mail, etc.)? Are you willing to help others get up to speed? You don't have to be an "expert" - you just need to be someone who uses these tools and can help walk other people through the early steps to get them set up.

If you are willing to help, simply post your name, what you use regularly, and the best way for people to reach you.


Oh, and if you already have a web site, blog, facebook page, or anything else already set up - please post that, too!

First Interview on the Delaware Social Media Initiative!

Dave Burris just posted the first interview about the Delaware Social Media Initiative - click here to check it out.

And yes, this should demonstrate how fast this whole Social Media thing is!

The Delaware Social Media Initiative - We can do this!


We have an opportunity before us to make this state and region the single most attractive location for businesses, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, educators, and, well, everybody - while growing our communities and enjoying unprecedented success.

We can make Delaware the single largest social media state in the country.

Here's the basic concept:

WHAT: Growing Delaware's Social Media usage exponentially throughout 2010 - engaging people involved in every aspect of life:

- Finance Industry
- Service Industry
- Arts
- Music
- Manufacturing
- Bio/Pharma Industry
- Information Technology
- Non-Profit Community
- Education
- Parenting
- Government
- Hobbies
- Sports
- Charitable Organizations
- Faith Community
- Auto Industry
- Environmental Organizations
- …And More…

WHO: Everyone who lives, works, plays, or prays in Delaware

HOW: Using a variety of social media tools - LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, etc. to actively promote Delaware businesses, events, charities, ideas, and individuals.


WHY: By having everyone from CEOs to artists to teachers to high school students to caterers to Blue Rocks players to history buffs and everyone in between engaged and amplifying each others' messages, we achieve two things - First, greater awareness, support, and cooperation in the state leading to shared success in all sectors and all regions. Second, all of this transparent, open activity will act as a magnet attracting entrepreneurs, investors, artists, businesses, and creative teams from all over the world to Delaware (literally and virtually).

OK, that's the basic concept in a nutshell. If you've experienced the power of social media firsthand, then there's probably a light bulb (energy efficient, of course) shining brightly over your head right now and you're already leap-frogging ahead of me (which I encourage, more on that later).

If, however, you've not yet engaged in social media, done so in a very limited fashion, or just haven't had your first “Wow - I can't believe I just connected with that customer/collaborator/ceo/celebrity/writer/expert…” moment yet - then I need to share a little more about this concept to help you see the vision.

First Principle: YOU can reach EVERYBODY - by engaging in social media, you can create your own vibrant network to communicate with key people and spread your message to a large audience. What does this mean in real life? It means that if you want to let everyone know abut an important charity event, or your friends' new business venture, or encourage people to contact their local elected official about a new road being proposed by your neighborhood, or even something as simple as sharing your thoughts about a great book you just read, you don't have to take out an ad, you just put the message out there.

Second Principle: YOU can listen to everybody that matters - If you don't have anything to share, that's OK, sit back and listen (or, to be more accurate, read). You will know more about everything that interests you and be exposed to new events, concepts, ideas, products, groups, and individuals.

Third Principle: It's all about open communication, community, and transparency - You can have a simple conversation with someone in social media about your favorite book, business, cause, organization, or whatever and quickly find that the author, CEO, leader of the cause is joining in the conversation and thanking you for your comments. This is the world in which we live, embrace the possibilities!

Fourth Principle: Traditional Media IS engaged - Virtually every radio station and newspaper in Delaware (as well as national news organizations) is fully engaged in social media, reporters and editors are not only paying attention to what's being posted, but will also ask questions about news tips, experts, and opinions - if you are not engaged in social media then you are missing one of the most effective methods of communicating your message to a very large audience.

Now, back to those of you who are already jumping ahead with this concept. I encourage you to take this as far as you can! Go, blaze the new trails, show all of us what is possible. Create new web sites and applications. We are on the border of the wild frontier that is Social Media - the potential is limitless and there's room for all of us to learn and grow together.

Finally, I encourage all of us to embrace the 12-to-1 ratio rule (note: I'm stealing this rule from Chris Brogan, I don't think he'll mind) - for every ONE message you produce promoting your business/brand/non-profit/cause/etc., produce TWELVE that promote other Delaware businesses/brands/non-profits/causes/etc.

Friends, we can do this! You can create and grow your own network, encourage others in the area to do the same thing, and grow the number of opportunities for all of us exponentially. Let's make history together!