Special Sauce #1: Relevance

1 Feb

Social Media is a brutal game. Most of us come in with pristine intentions, trying hard to stay in the conversation. Yet, some of us leave bloodied when all we wanted was to get simply a pat on the back. We post, we tweet, we reach out to friends and faceless strangers alike. We bait, we cajole or worse, patronize. Then… nothing. It’s like that proverbial blue screen of death to battle-tested Windows veterans. No response.

Well, the usual advice has always been, get relevant. Okay, but what exactly is relevance?  Wiki says, pertinent, connected or applicable something is to a given matter. Umm, another one please… Definition: Something (A) is relevant to a task (T) if it increases the likelihood of accomplishing the goal (G), which is implied by T. (Hjørland & Sejer Christensen,2002). They are actually all correct except, they don’t tell much “the how” of it all. Well today, I might have a few ideas of my own to share, after many, many blue screen experiences. Like…

To be relevant, be recognizable. There are millions of images passing before our audience each day, all vying for attention. And they tend to respond only to stimuli they recognize. People, it seems, disconnect if they cannot make sense or interpret information. So don’t  discuss Hilbert’s 16th Problem in Algebra to Pre-School children. They may see flowers for equations, or cut you off completely.

The media in social starts with “Me”. Yes, me, not actually you… but them your audience. It sounds so simple but we do often forget that it is a conversation and not  an oration. What do they hope to get out of it, what’s in it for them? Relevant comes from the Latin word relevare, which means “alleviate or unburden”. So aim to be helpful and expect more dividends.

Be ready for change. After all, relevance is a moving target. Context, as my good blogger friend Albert Borrero would always say… is everything. So keep updated with movements in people’s reference points. “Bad” is not always necessarily so. Keep scanning the horizon for shifting sands.

And finally, sometimes, staying relevant means staying healthy like getting enough sleep. It happens too often that the quest for a Social Life in Social Media leads to otherworldly ideas at 3′ o clock in the morning. Then again, find some time to smell the orange blossoms whenever you can.

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2 Responses to “Special Sauce #1: Relevance”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Social Media [Must] Leave No One Behind « Where's The Sauce? - February 4, 2011

    […] The Social Media [remember, the use of it as tool to communicate] has been phenomenally growing in importance and steadily breaking down barriers to communication, allowing people to connect, engage and share in a more informal way. Individuals can now leverage the power and popularity of social media to be their own [Me]dia. […]

  2. Tweets that mention Special Sauce #1: Relevance « Where's The Sauce? -- Topsy.com - February 2, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Albert Borrero, Alltop Facebook. Alltop Facebook said: Special Sauce #1: Relevance http://bit.ly/eKtgBr […]

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