Social Objects, Strategic Transparency and Community of Practice

Yesterday I wrote about social crash and ecology of leadership. I meant to throw in a third idea — social objects — but ran out of time and brain power.

The social object in the context of the social web belongs to Hugh Macleod, who will tell you it belongs to Jyri Engestrom.  Says Hugh:

The social object, in a nutshell, is the reason two people are talking to each other, as opposed to talking to somebody else. Human beings are social animals. We like to socialize. But if think about it, there needs to be a reason for it to happen in the first place. That reason, that “node” in the social network, is what we call the social object.

So, health nuts like to talk about crunchy granola bars. Car nuts like to talk about Dodge Chargers. And so on.

The point is — within the context of the social web — that you can do anything and be anyone. You can get there from here and the mass media is not your friend.

Ssocial objects, strategic transparency (no one cares what you did last weekend) and communities of practice provides a new way forward. Focus on what you have, tell people what you need, and embed yourself in the discourse of the future. Then, you don’t need to prepare for the social crash.

Makers, focus on making. Doers, focus on doing. Listen to Nicolas Berryer, owner of Toile de Cuir, maker of the world’s finest leather: “It’s not about marketing, we knew we just had to elevate the product to an art form. Instead of sending samples we meet every client face to face. We’ve never been to trade fairs, our website is a landing page, we don’t send press releases.”

In other words, give customers something to talk about, do good work and be yourself.

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