What I want Social Media Breakfast: Singapore to be

May 26, 2008

On Saturday, 24 May, Daryl, Sheylara, Brad and I hosted the second Social Media Breakfast. I want to thank all who came, and my apologies for not being able to talk to all of you. If you were there but we didn’t manage to talk, feel free to connect with me online – all my contact details are on my blog sidebar.

Daryl posted about the successes and the failures of the event, and it got me thinking. When we first started this, it was more of a “make it up as we go along” kind of thing. We never really firmed up what we wanted from it.

So here’s my opinion on the topic. Disclaimer: this is just my personal opinion of why I wanted to start this. It doesn’t represent the whole group or community. So feel free to disagree.

To me, the Social Media Breakfast is a way to build real, deeper relationships. It’s about making friends (Friends with a capital F), not just about business contacts or networking per se. That’s why I like it with the informal format. I think there are lots of networking sessions out there where you can meet really intelligent people and have good discussions. They are all well and good, and there’s a place for all that.

But I want this to be more than that. I want it to be about building deeper, more personal friendships. I want it to be a place where you can meet and catch up with friends, and build personal relationships and just have fun together.

It’s very easy for us to get caught up with work and with the online social world – our blogs, Twitter, etc. But no matter how personal our blogs or tools like Twitter are, they can’t replicate or replace the personal connections made through real life interactions.

And that’s what I want the Social Media Breakfast to provide. A platform to bring the social back, as CC Chapman put it.

Yes, when you gather intelligent, passionate people (like all who were at the event) together, there are bound to be interesting discussions that get you thinking. But that isn’t what I want the main focus of it to be. I would like the main focus of the Social Media Breakfast to be the relationships built, not the discussions that took place.

Once again, though. That’s just my opinion, and I’m just one person. So from you guys, especially those who have been to one of the first two breakfasts, what do you want from Social Media Breakfast: Singapore?

Evangelism is about Relationships

Mar 21, 2008

Grant English recently wrote about how he tossed aside the tract. You know, those tracts that evangelists carry around? Personally, I couldn’t agree more with him. I personally can’t stand how people are trained to “evangelize” by following a fixed pamphlet, and a fixed ‘script’, almost.

I think the principles Grant talked about there can also be applied to any kind of evangelism – as ‘software evangelists’ or ‘new media evangelists’, etc. Grant makes a brilliant point, and it’s not just limited to Christian evangelists. It’s about relationships. It shouldn’t be about a fixed script or fixed points.

Sure, you have specific things you want to tell. Yes, you want to share the benefits and features and all. But whatever you say won’t matter without a relationship.

So, I just want to echo his advice. Don’t focus on converting the person. Focus on building a relationship. On listening to what they have to say. The rest will follow.

Data Portability and Your Personal Brand

Jan 14, 2008

The biggest news of the last week has been about Data Portability. After Robert Scoble got banned (temporarily) from Facebook, a huge debate was sparked about who owns the data. And a few days ago, Google, Facebook and Plaxo all joined the DataPortability group.

I didn’t want to write much about it, because I couldn’t really decide on what it meant for you as an individual. But I just wanted to point you to Mitch Joel’s post: Should You Be Frightened By What Facebook And Google Know About Your Personal Brand?. It’s a good article about the whole issue, and what it means for your personal brand. Great insights (as usual) from Mitch, and worth the read.

Facebook Update

Jan 11, 2008

Apparently Facebook is about to announce 3 new important features.

I think the first update is going to be really significant. It’s something I alluded to a couple of posts ago, and I’m glad to see this being done. This could be a big step towards really developing a ‘friendship’ model that reflects life more accurately. Especially since Facebook is (arguably) the leader in networks, it might spur other networks into doing something similar as well.

Either way, it’s just nice to see developments in this area.