Without a doubt, the Internet has allowed people with common interests who were previously isolated by geography to CONNECT. The playing field has been leveled. Obscure performers like Tay Zonday or the Numa Numa guy become household names. An unknown singer named Justin Bieber found a connection with mainstream media success by first leveraging YouTube. Fundraisers now regularly build connection of political outliers to splinter issues, thus creating visibility for presidential candidates. Countries have been overthrown by their frustrated citizens who found real-time connections on Twitter. And, of course, there are myriad random “Fan Pages” created for topics formerly collected only in syndicated articles like “News of the Weird” or the Onion.
I’m guity, too. Back in 2009, upon reports of a call for President Obama’s consideration to add a new Secretary of the Arts post to his cabinet, I immediately fired up a Facebook fan page (partly as a joke, party serious) to nominate a good friend of mine (and incredible arts advocate) Ken Busby from Tulsa, OK for the post. With little to no effort, I immediately found connection to interested supporters who, if I’d been more serious, likely could have provided much needed leverage for wider support of the “campaign”.
Then, there are blogs which observe daily life, unexpected moments caught on video, and urban myths / legends like Milverine.
Sure, there are great ways to leverage social media to legitimately build an authentic CONNECTion with your customers and clients by sharing your views and offering tips to help THEM succeed (see what my friend Darren LaCroix is doing with YouTube!). But, let’s not stop the amusing aspects these creative platforms encourage. If there is something of interest to you, no matter how odd or less-than-mainstream it may seem to your immediate group of friends, post it up on YouTube. You just might find a community of like-minded people. Become known for facilitating CONNECTion between people and ideas!