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Randy Weeks

I like this.
And I agree with you, Kevin.
It seems human nature for me to think whatever has worked pretty well so far is the good and safe way to keep doing anything. That doesn't mean I can't outgrow that impulse, if I'm paying attention.
I think paying attention is always at the heart of it. Social media is about connection and conversation. Hopefully, as we pay attention to them, these e-connections and e-conversations lead to physical world connections, conversations and relationships. There's no one right way to connect, engage, love, live, relate or reflect in the material world and once we've finished feeling our new feet and other cool e-appendages birthed in social media, we'll grow more into being ourselves and finding our authentic voices and ways of being in the world.
Thanks for the fine post!

Kellye Crane

Great analogy, Kevin. In truth, there are as many different approaches as there are organizations, since no two are the same. For those conversations that are rooted in ethical issues (e.g., paid/sponsored posts), there may be some justification for taking a hard-line. But for some of the highest profile Highlanders, I believe the mindset is often rooted in a power trip. A desire to someday be able to say "see, I told you all to leave Twitter and follow me to Friendfeed, and now you're here, so that means I was right." Or, "be sure to use my approach, and then tell everyone how great it is through your case study."

I don't believe these types are unique to social media. But, the openness of this environment makes the Highlanders easier to spot.

Mihaela V

Right on. In fact, I wrote a mini-theoretical argument of why my twitter is not and shouldn't be the same as yours:

Kevin Dugan

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Randy - Paying attention = listening. And I know we can all do more of that. I put myself at the top of the list.

Kellye - You could argue that if consultants solve the problem they're hired to fix, they're out of a job. So much easier to just move the problem to another platform.

Mihaela - Thanks for the link. One of the first things I learned writing the bad pitch blog is that there is more than one way to do something. Every time I said you can NEVER do X, someone would email me with an example of how they did X and it worked wonders for them.

Joe Kovacs

Clevery analogy. You could have simply written how everyone has his or her own "best, perfect and ONLY way to use social media", which would have rang true enough. Relating this to Highlander, though, well, you end up grabbing the attention of members of a certain generation. Which includes me.

Susan Cato

Excellent post Kevin.

There is no 'magic formula' for social media, and the amount of noise from the 'experts' about this is overwhelming at the very least. It comes down to (as others have said) relevant content, conversation and community - delivered in the right context. This, combined with understanding our audience, knowing what they value and being authentic in all of our communications all contribute to a successful social media strategy (which is only one piece of the big picture puzzle). If you have these core elements down, a successful approach often happens organically - using what works and tweaking as you go along.

BTW, I love Highlander. :)

Tom Streeter

I think you've (quite correctly) identified a manifestation of a cultural norm that pops up in a lot of areas lately. The story always seems to be framed as "there can only be one" no matter the context of the story being told. It has to be iPhone or Android. Yahoo is "dead." even though it makes a healthy amount of money every year, because it's not Google. Republican or Democrat? Christian or Muslim? Every issue seems to have its Team Jacob and Team Edward (and that right there means something because I know that reference has something to do with the sparkling vampire books and movies, but I have no idea what the hell an Edward or a Jacob is).

Of course I'm probably wrong saying this is a cultural norm that's popped up lately. Zealotry has always paid. Heck, look how long THAT word has been around. We've seen consolidation in so many areas of life, though, that maybe that's where this comes from. Can you imagine a campaign like Avis's old "We're #2 so we try harder" getting green-lit today? Today that would be an admission that you haven't figured out who to merge with to grab larger market share.

Humans have been hurling dung at each other (literally and figuratively) for millennia. Anyone who says "I have it figured out" is lying to you for sure and lying to themselves if they think they're not.


I think paying attention is always at the heart of it. Social media is about connection and conversation. Hopefully, as we pay attention to them, these e-connections and e-conversations lead to physical world connections, conversations and relationships.

Influence strategies

I'll admit that I've been guilty of having the "Highlander Complex" before when it comes to social media campaigns. While there are many ways of running a social media campaign, there are a few general rules that are good to follow. Be sure that when you are experimenting with new methods that you have goals and a loose framework to help you achieve them.

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