Posted by CustomGuide on May 22nd, 2012
Social giant Facebook went public on Friday, and its successful IPO is a testament to the rise of social enterprise on the Internet.
The exciting thing is that this is only the beginning; the social movement will continue to evolve. It has to, because there is a lot to improve on. Real life is still leaps and bounds better than the social options available now.
Here’s an example: It was Wednesday morning at the Learning Solutions Conference in Orlando, and my co-workers and I entered the hotel’s breakfast buffet. It was very quiet, with only 2 or 3 of us milling about. A cheerful voice said, “Good morning! Would you like an omelet and a waffle?” We turned to see a woman with radiant smile standing at the griddle. Of course we all said yes. It was a great start to the day, and we were all heartened by her hospitality.
I saw this same scenario play out with each person that came into the buffet. Even the morning’s keynote speaker, John Maeda, strolled out of the buffet with waffle and omelet in hand.
Later on, as Mr. Maeda gave an excellent keynote presentation, he recalled this breakfast experience. He said that the woman at the counter went out of her way to make him feel welcome in a place that often feels intimidating. As a result he had a waffle and omelet breakfast, a rarity for him. Everyone in the audience could sense how much he appreciated her hospitality and enjoyed his breakfast that day.
The next morning, breakfast was completely changed. The buffet was a busy hive of people getting their breakfast, and a line several people deep waited for omelets and waffles. But the real draw was the woman’s hospitality. She took it all in stride, sharing her radiant smile and friendly welcome with everyone.
Was it coincidence? I don’t think so. Mr. Maeda’s respected opinion influenced many people to get an awesome breakfast. They were convinced by his enthusiasm, and were already making the plans for waffles and omelets the next day. It was a real-life example of the power of word of mouth.
I couldn’t help but wonder, what if Mr. Maeda had shared his experience on Facebook or Twitter instead of talking about it during his presentation? Would the response have been nearly as robust? Perhaps it would have reached some in the audience, but probably not as many. And even so, would they have felt his sincerity and excitement? Would they have been as persuaded to try it out for themselves?
To be sure, we are on a path of no return; social is here to stay, and I think that’s good. But it’s exciting to think of the possibilities for its evolution in the future; the possibility that one day a tweet really will be as good as word of mouth.
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