Social Media Blend Cycles: Online Offline And Online Again

Johnny Laird wrote a wonderful post a few days ago on his blog, Take The Online Offline.

In his own words,

However, for all its digital aweseomesauce, the real magic happens when you take the online offline, and make the effort to meet with those new friends.

Much as I love it, all the good stuff you can share with your online community is magnified when you can kick back and spend time with those folks…drink a coffee together, share your stories, laugh together, bounce around your ideas and just share a little of your life space with a like mind.

I am great proponent and believer of building real connections in our social lives – connections that transcend tweets and comments, and morph into relationships and friendships that we can cherish for years.

A few months ago, I wrote about 5 Simple Ways To Build Real Contacts With Social Media. The gist of that post was on similar lines:

  • Add real value, stay relevant
  • Comment, and augment the value of the original content
  • Flock with birds of the same feather
  • Provide tangible, constructive feedback
  • Help, and ask for help

Social media seems to be working best when we can take the online, offline. And there is definitely a lot of merit to that thought.

Joseline Mane of Boston Tweetup shared a pretty similar insight during the Influencer Project 60 In 60 conference a few months ago:

The most important thing I would recommend to develop your online influence, is getting offline and meeting people in real life.

There’s two critical pieces of meeting people in real life that I would highly recommend doing.

The number one thing to do is, really connect with people before you connect with them on Facebook. If they’re right in your face, there’s no need for you to be so eager to get their Facebook credentials. Really be in the moment, connect with them, and then once you connect with them on Facebook, there’s much more value there.

Another critical secret that I’ve learned, is as soon as you meet someone, introduce that individual to someone else that you know, they will stand out significantly in their eyes.

That brings me to the online-offline bridge conversation. I spoke about this wonderful insight here a few month ago, Foursquare, Gowalla: Perspective, Paradigms & 3 A-Ha Moments:

Social media interactions are not all online. I need to offline at times as well. And can I be the bridge that connects the online and offline worlds?

And then, Mike Cliffe-Jones wrote a cracking post last Saturday which talks about taking the offline, online.

Let me give you an example. When we lived in UK, we were almost exactly a mile from my brother in law’s house. Once a month we’d meet at one of our places as a large family and enjoy lunch together. It was always a cacophony of kids and a maelstrom of conversation – if I was lucky I’d get 2 minutes of face to face time with him. The truth is I didn’t know him at all, I didn’t realise we shared so many common interests, and I had no real clue what was going on in his life.

But now that he has a blog and a Twitter account, I know what he’s doing, even what he’s thinking, on an almost daily basis. I can dip into his Facebook chats with his friends and have real conversations with him. I know him far better now that I live 2000 miles from him!

If you’ve noticed, there is a definite pattern emerging here. A pattern that establishes the social media equivalent of the circle of life.

Here are the three perspectives that take social media full circle:

  1. Taking the online, offline. Meeting with online connections to forge stronger relationships.
  2. Bridging the online and the offline worlds – similar to my paradigm shift at the Half Moon Bay.
  3. Taking the offline, online again. Just the way Twitter Sent The Very First Lexus Back Home.

I think the comment that I left on Johnny’s post sums it up pretty well:

Social media success is not measured by the number of tweets, or the number of followers and/or fans – it’s more a function of the moments that make a difference.

What do you think? Are you taking the online, offline – and back online again?

(Image Credit: drinksmachine http://www.flickr.com/photos/drinksmachine/)

2 Responses to Social Media Blend Cycles: Online Offline And Online Again
  1. Johnny Laird
    Twitter: johnnylaird
    August 18, 2010 | 1:16 pm

    Thank you,Kapil.

    …humbled.

    J
    Johnny Laird recently posted… Bring out the big guns- Chris to the power of 2

    • Kapil Apshankar
      August 18, 2010 | 11:16 pm

      My pleasure, Johnny – always 🙂