Startup Life

Starting My Own, Thanks to …

Social Networking Stickman

Starting my own, thanks to Mitch Joel, Chris Brogan, Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki.

Why I got started
I only started taking social software seriously after reading Seven Blogs You Must Read And Other Useful Know-How – By Mitch Joel at Twist Image in the Montreal Gazette. For the most part, I’ve been following Mitch Joel‘s advice and listening to him, Chris Brogan, Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki’s How to Change the World and try to keep up with ReadWriteWeb, MobileCrunch and TechCrunch every now & then.

To be quite honest, I never felt a burning desire to spend much time with Facebook and just couldn’t relate to telling the wold that I’m going to have a coffee with Twitter. Now I know that sounds rather anti-social but I really felt there had to be more to it. But then among all of the feeds above, I came across ESME: Is This What an Enterprise Twitter Could Look Like? – ReadWriteWeb and things started to gel for me.

But enterprises come in many forms and I’d like to focus more on enterprising communities – those that are looking for new ways to tackle age-old problems. Those that are anxious to learn as they go along and maybe even contribute to the learning process.

One more Why
Here’s a comment I posted to Start A Blog Today | Six Pixels of Separation – Marketing and Communications Blog and Podcast – By Mitch Joel at Twist Image that explains why I finally got off the sidelines:

Actually, I only “got” social media after reading your post. Just recently, I started blogging myself, also, mainly due to you,, and I most definitely agree with you & the others, that – given the challenges of today’s realities, now is absolutely the best time to show your snowflake. With so many people being batched together in layoffs, people need a way to distinguish themselves.

The light bulb went off for me when I was about to offer the father of my daughter’s best friend an afternoon How-To do it. Fortunately, I realized the arrogance of my offer & held back. I was about to waste 4 hours of his time, my time, completely frustrate both of us and in the end set us both further back from where we started.

That’s why I started blogging. I realized that so many people I know – personally & professionally, have no idea of the social software tools not only available to them, but more importantly, just how beneficial they can be. So instead of inefficiently offering my help one person at at time, I hope to learn & refine the experience in my blog, grow my own social network and help others seed their own.

Here’s my lightning rod
According to Rubicons’ October 2008 report entitled “Online Communities and Their Impact on Business: Ignore at Your Peril”, there’s pretty much two kinds of community members: the most frequent contributors (MFCs) and the ones that read their contributions. By the way, the MFCs represent only 10% of the members but they contribute 80% of the content. If this is true then this is what I’m aiming for:

  1. If we can get just a handful of members, then I’m hoping that 90% of our new community will follow the adventures.
  2. Hopefully a percentage of that 90% will even try to implement their own community
  3. 10% will either let me know of:
    1. mistakes I’ve made, and/or
    2. problems encountered using my choice of software, and/or
    3. let me know how the competition deals with a scenario – whether it be better, or not

So bring it on. Let’s all learn together. Let’s share our experiences with not just this community here, but with any children communities born here, as well as, the developers who write our social software.

Up Next
Over the next few postings, I’m going to explain my niche market, a simple scenario for us to implement and a high-level outline of to-do’s which will ultimately become our How-To’s. You may agree, or, disagree with what I think is niche & whether my scenario has any practical use. But that’s the beauty of this social networking thing – provided you post your comments back.

My Process
There’s nothing truly original here. I’ve seen others do it. So unless anyone has any other suggestions this is how I’ll proceed:

  1. Send a tweet through Twitter letting anyone who’ll listen know what I’m planning on posting next & ask for any insights.
  2. Post my entry, with the first line being the entry’s tweet. If I can’t net out my posting in 140 characters and you can’t “Get it”, then I failed & you shouldn’t bother reading any further.
  3. Tweet that first line and see if anyone “gets it”.

All thoughts are welcome