Do Online Friends Matter as Much as Real Ones?
We’ve heard your elevator pitch, seen your affiliate link and received your sequence of auto responder emails. Great. We know what you’re selling, where to find you and you’ve done a good job of proving how valuable you are. But excuse me while I ask…
WHO THE HELL ARE YOU ?
Recently on My Lifestyle Max, I wrote a post about the loss of a dear friend which sparked a lively conversation around the complicated nature of friendship. Our resident fire starter, Dino Dogan, casually stated:
When challenged on the source of his statistic, he said it was from the 1980’s. In other words, “ pre-social media”. I was able to breathe a sigh of relief, as we all know stats before the time of social media no longer count.
He then asked:
Readers, friends and paying customers
The world of blogging and conducting business online is a spectacular phenomenon. The method of communication and the tools that facilitate it have changed forever, and in many ways the lines of our business and personal lives have become inextricably blurred.
- Our readers: Those who enjoy our content, extract value from the knowledge we share and are happy to share their own.
- Our customers: Those who purchase the slamming products and cutting-edge services we provide, then come back to testify just how freakin’ awesome they were. Sometimes they hang around, sometimes they don’t.
- Our online friends: These people do a little of both. They stick around to join in the conversation, become part of the community and retain your services if they need them. Equally important, they help to share your message and partner with you to do even greater things. It’s a real win-win situation.
Those who make a real impact online are adept at mixing business with pleasure. They join exciting and progressive online communities and become really skilled at creating connections. They understand the synchronicity of working successfully online.
But I have to ask: Are we REALLY creating friendships, in the authentic sense of the word ?
There was a time before social media when friendship meant you actually hung out together. You were able to recognise a friend’s laughter a mile away, and we knew one another’s embarrassing stories and unique talents.
Friendship was more than 140 characters, or an ‘on topic’ comment. It was intimate, personal and a little vulnerable.
You could hang out for the day and no one tried to sell you an ebook for sale when you went home.
My theory is that although we enjoy and participate in the online community, there is always an undertone of business, keeping it professional and, dare I say, projecting and protecting our brand.
It’s a wonderful thing that technology allows us to connect with people in different time zones, but I’m not sure if we’re really making the most of that channel of communication to deepen our friendships. Despite the ridiculous amount of time we spend online, how many of us really know each other?
So to answer Dino’s question, whether online friends matter as much as real ones. For me at least, the short answer is no. But, I’d like to change that.
So here’s the idea
Wouldn’t it be cool to spend a day just hanging out together. No selling, promoting or marketing, but totally busting out of your niche, and sharing a little about who you really are and what makes you unique. Let’s scrap protocol for the day and just have some fun cruising each other’s blogs.
Because that’s the way people deepen their communication and become friends. They share.
I’m wondering if we can come to together, put the marketplace on hold and have a day of Show and Tell like when we were back at school.
SHOW AND TELL
Why: Show and tell is a day to connect with your neighbors, not your readers. Our blogs have no borders; we are making connections with people from all over the world. It’s time to share your special flavor.
What: Create a post that represents who you are. No marketing messages, niche talk, affiliate links, nothing. Close shop for the day and get creative on a personal level
You might include things like:
- What do you like to do on weekends
- Your previous life as a singer in a punk rock band
- Your skills with a sewing machine or a paint brush
Your only limitation is your imagination. Use video, audio, paint, show poetry, pictures. Whatever you like, just create a digital mosaic of your life and present it to us, your friends; not your customers.
When :Monday 25th of July 2011
Where: Your blog, of course
How: Share this post as much, and in any way you can. If you’re part of Triberr let’s see how far this reach really extends.
Tag It: If you plan on getting involved in Show and Tell, then put the hashtag #NicheAmnesty in the title of your post, so we can all know who’s sharing. Additionally please also use the hashtag when tweeting about your post or others.
Make this a “No Blogger Left Behind” initiative. Get everyone involved. Let’s change the agenda for a day and simply hang out and get to know each other better.
- What’s the worst that could happen?
- Do you prefer to keep it strictly business?
- Can you see the value in getting to know each other better?