Now that you know your digital archive is the future of your perceived brand, it’s important to realize how your connections fit into that equation. After joining Facebook last week, I realized several things rather quickly. First, Facebook is far superior to LinkedIn in terms of showing how deep your connections really lie. The personal nature of Facebook makes this rather obvious. It certainly reinforces Dessert Theory in regards to connections. In short, it’s less powerful if I tell you who I’m connected to and more powerful if you can see my connections (LinkedIn). Even more convincing however, is for you to witness who I interact with on a daily basis. This gives you more insight into a person’s brand. LinkedIn by it’s very nature is limiting in terms of interaction. It doesn’t spark community.
Brett Hurt, the CEO of Bazaarvoice, told me he spoke at a high school recently where he asked Generation-Y teenagers if they used email or IM. The majority to his surprise said no. They all used Facebook and Myspace. While this may not come to a surprise to everybody, it did make me think. Where e-mail and IM went wrong is that they weren’t platforms so to speak. They don’t give you the ability to share knowledge with the masses. They don’t allow you to show off your connections. While LinkedIn does allow this to some extent, it’s still limited in the sense that you can’t spark dialog between your connections. A successful social network should be your community so to speak, especially if you don’t have other outlets such as blogging.
People may question whether it’s more important to have active community or a big community. While I think the holy grail would be to have both, an active community of connections is far superior. You are creating a following through the dialog you spark and the participation you elicit. In short, you have a following; a brand people associate with.