Don’t Be On The Wrong Side Of The Social Divide

I’ve always been curious about those who choose not to participate in conversations regarding their industry online. Especially those in digital marketing and PR (or any facet of the tech industry – which encompasses everyone in marketing and PR).

Joining industry conversations has the obvious benefit of helping you build a network. As my friend Jeremiah Owyang commented in 2008:

Those who ignore the party/conversation/network when they are content and decide to drop in when they need the network may not succeed. It’s pretty easy to spot those that are just joining the network purely to take –not to give. Therefore, be part of the party/conversation/networkbefore you need anything from anyone. Start now, and continue to build relationships by giving now: share knowledge, help others, and become a trusted node and connector, not just an outlying ‘dot’ of a comet that swings in every 4 years or so.

But personally I don’t think this is the real reason to join, it’s just a benefit. The real reason is you should nurture a passion for what you do and be curious enough about it to engage with your peers. It is such an amazing time and opportunity to input to the future of your field that to not do so really says “I don’t care.” Even if it’s not the case, that’s what we might take away.

Think about the last time you connected with someone to work on a project, then searched for them to see what they’ve been up to online. And you come up short. No blog, no participation in social news or networks, silence other than perhaps a static resume or single quote in a media story.

Now imagine you look and you’re able to see their ideas, projects and contributions to the web and simple mechanisms to connect with them.

Who do you prefer to work with? Someone accessible and interested or someone invisible and passive. And while it wasn’t always this way, we’re at the point now there are enough passionate people contributing it’s easy to choose to work with them.

The physical world has completely blurred with the social web, and I think we’ll soon get to the day we won’t even consider it “not being online.” You just won’t exist.

Don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the social divide, or risk losing out to those who are findable and trusted.

image credit: Shutterstock