Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation made my Chris Brogan. Through Thursday you can purchase a DVD of the event. Christine Taylor and JTMar partnered with Stage Post Studios to not only make Chris available in person to several hundred Nashvillians, but they also streamed the event online, including incorporating questions via Twitter and by phone all in real time. Everyone in attendance also receive an autographed copy of Chris’ new book Trust Agents, written with Julien Smith.
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The name Chris Brogan has become synonymous with all things social media. Many consider him to be the authority on the subject and the single best example for individuals desiring to be viewed as thought leaders and influencers and for companies hoping to more intimately connect with customers.
Needless to say, none of us were disappointed. However, I did find myself continually thinking, “This all sounds so familiar.” Chris himself mentioned more than once that so much of what works in the online world is truly nothing more than good ol’ fashioned common sense. Help other people first.
I think Zig Ziglar said it best years ago: “You can get everything in life you want, if you can just help enough other people get what they want.” You could even go back a little further. Remember the Golden Rule? To paraphrase, it says, in essence, treat other people the way you yourself desire to be treated. Or, as Chris so succinctly puts it, exercise some “common sense.”
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It shouldn’t be hard, right? Yet every day, each of us finds ourselves interacting with someone who has either failed to understand it, or understands it and is simply choosing to ignore it (maybe, heaven forbid, it’s that person in the mirror). The best illustration I’ve ever heard that really helped to put this into perspective came from Chris yesterday.
Imagine someone you’re being introduced to for the first time has just reached out to shake your hand. You oblige and then waste no time as you stick your tongue in their mouth.
As extreme as that sounds, it’s essentially what so many who don’t “get it” are doing every day. How many times do you receive a friend request on Facebook (or a “follow” on Twitter or, name your platform) from someone you don’t know – and who hasn’t taken the time to even include a personal message of introduction – that is soon followed by a note about what services or product they offer that you might be interested in?
If you’ve ever chatted with someone with experience waiting tables, you’re likely to find they view the Sunday “after church” crowd as one of the worst group of tippers around (at least that’s what my anecdotal research reveals). In some cases, the waiter or waitress is more likely to find a tract (a plan of salvation) than a tip once the table empties (just what the world needs: Christians who go around sticking their tongues in people’s mouths).
I’m embarrassed to admit that 25 years ago, as a young believer, I actually did this. Mind you, I left a tip too, but apparently had no problem with leaving a stranger’s eternal destination up to a piece of paper. As far as I was concerned, I’d fulfilled my obligation. If the message didn’t sink in, that was their problem. Investing in people’s lives was hard. This was so much easier. “Hurray, I planted another seed,” I told myself.
Did any of them take root? The evidence is weak at best. Let’s just say that if and when I get to heaven, I doubt there will be anyone eager to shake my hand.
This post is dedicated to my grandfather, William Otis Holladay, who, at 91, passed away earlier today. A veteran of World War II, he was the epitome of common sense. I have no doubt that in heaven, there is a long line ready to greet him.
Filed under: Books, Branding, Business, Marketing, Social Media, Twitter, Web 2.0 | Tagged: Chris Brogan, Christine G Taylor, common sense, JTMar, Julien Smith, Social Media, Stage Post Productions, Trust Agents | 7 Comments »