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II. The Heart of Social Media is Psychology, Not Technology


The crux of what makes social media “tick” is human psychology, not a specific business application.  And the business applications should follow the human value-added, not vice versa.

The real power of social media is in the practical purpose that it serves for its usernot in how a marketing message may be specifically phrased, or a happy customer may refer a friend to a favorite company, or how innovative the newest social media delivery technology may be.

People have needs.  Ranging from the most basic survival needs of food, water & shelter; through the “psychological” needs of love and esteem; to their “spiritual” needs for self-actualization and finding meaning. 

In the scramble of life, social media can become a tremendous asset in helping people make the decisions that will help them meet these needs simply and securely. Social media …

  • helps people stay connected with each other in an otherwise disconnecting world 
  • provides a relational shortcut to finding reliable “trusted advisors” and trustworthy suppliers, from among a sea of potential candidates
  • makes life easier – providing answers to life’s practical questions. 

Social media helps people get what they want – faster, easier and more reliably than many other methods they could employ.


I. Which Department Owns Social Media? (It's Not What You Think)

OWNERSHIP OF SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT BELONGS ... WHERE EXACTLY? It depends on which department head you ask. And the day on which you ask them.

Marketing? Social media is the groundwork upon which you'll position a company’s products and services. Social media is how you'll get a potential customer to trust your company or organization. And social media is the means by which you'll deepen your relationship with existing customers.

Customer Service? Never have individual customers had a better opportunity to be heard. In the age of social media, you don't own your brand anymore, at least not like you used to. Your brand exists in the conversation with your customers, and your brand is evolving everyday.

The IT Department? The latest communication tools need to be quickly pressed into service, if for no other reason than to show your company's technical chops. The market-value assumption is that any company walking on the leading edge of technology application must be smart and a leader in their field.

There's an argument for each, but social media is too pervasive – and to vital – to be anywhere besides the C-suite.

At [Context] Solutions, we believe that an organization’s Social Media Program belongs in the CEO’s Office – aligned and accountable with the highest level of organization-wide functioning.

Next: The Heart of Social Media is Psychology, Not Technology


Video. A Key Ingredient in the Social Media Mix.



Social Media & The Arab Spring

IT HAS ALREADY BECOME a truism that social media have played a key role in the popular revolutions that continue to topple regimes throughout the Middle East and North Africa. However, it seem that thoughtful analyses of the complex interplay of communications, culture, and technologies have been all but nonexistent in the American media.

In this balanced and textured account of these unfolding events, Simon Cottle of Cardiff University explains how ICTs such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, along with online bloggers and mobile telephony, have all contributed to communicating, coordinating and channeling the rising tide of opposition and managed to bypass state controlled national media as new media have propelled images and ideas of resistance and mass defiance.

» Media & the Arab Uprisings. Simon Cottle, Cardiff University. Sage Publications. (217K PDF)

A Unique Vision of Social Media

IN A MOVING AND MADLY VIRAL VIDEO last year (2 million+ YouTube views and counting), classical composer Eric Whitacre led a virtual choir of singers from around the world. In his recent TED talk, he described the genesis of the project, spoke of the creative challenges of making music powered by social media, and unveiled the first two minutes of his new work, 'Sleep,' with a virtual choir of 2,052 (the full version of which premiered recently on YouTube). Below is his original virtual choral piece, entitled 'Lux Aurumque.' Each time I listen to this, I'm struck again by this inspiring new use of our emerging ICTs and the promise of "Experience Design."