I have been thinking a lot about why we use social media today. The reconnection with past friends, the ability to connect with people more frequently that live far away and also the possibility of finding like minded individuals that you may be able to do business or collaborate with in one way, shape or form in the future. These are all great things. The problem is that I think we start to forget why we blog, use Twitter or Facebook, comment on other people's blogs. When it's all said and done, the underlying theme is to build meaningful relationships. The key word being meaningful.
While I was thinking about this, I ran accross this great post regarding the subject:
It made me think about how easy it is to forget why you are doing things and focus on the end result rather than the journey. For instance the above article brings up the practice of commenting on blogs and why it's important. Most importantly it talks about the right way to do it. Make meaningful comments, read several of the blogger's posts before commenting etc. I know I have been guilty of making comments in the past just for the sake of making a comment or rushing through the process. I realized recently that taking the care to make every contact you have value based is more likely to produce the meaningful relationships we are looking for.
On the “friend based” application side, several times a week, I receive “friend” requests from people that I don't know and that don't introduce themselves in the process. This isn't a huge deal to me but what ends up happening is that if you don't introduce yourself to me at the request, I quickly forget and never cultivate the relationship. It's not enough to say hello. If it was I would have had a ton more dates in college. I am not trying to get Ron Burgundy here and tell you that I am a big deal.
The reality is that I am interested in building a relationship and a simple introduction certainly helps that process and keeps the transaction in my mind.
Keep this mind as you are out on the web 2.0 landscape that the building of meaningful relationships is king in all you do. When you are connecting with people give them a reason why connecting with you will be meaningful. Create the value that you wish to receive in your relationships.