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11.19.2010

SMBMSP #31 de-brief

Not that anyone's interested in reading about me or my thoughts (that's not self-deprecating false humility; it's proof that I have a firm grasp on reality), but I figured I'd expand on a couple comments or lines-of-thought from this morning's Social Media Breakfast.

And, if nothing else, you can learn something about the grateful (but reserved when not on Twitter) guy who won the MixMobi give-away.

First, brief background: I've worked at the University of St. Thomas full-time since 1996 in one form or another of "academic technology support". When I finished my M.A. in Human Resource Development (a field that you can steer in the "career coaching" or "instructional design" directions -- I went with the latter) I moved over to the Web and Media Services department as a Business Analyst, where I first encountered the Social Media Breakfast (and attended meeting #3). I've attended off-and-on (mostly "on") ever since. I've dabbled in all-things-web ever since Gopher (how's that for an obscure reference?) which explains the odd Kari Byron references on this particular blog; I mentioned her in passing once and checked my stats only to find that there were lots of geeks desperate for information on her, so I figured I'd have some fun with it... and it's still my #1 search result.

I'm also a Capricorn and like long walks on the beach.

And long sentences.

Usually.

Anyway, my SMBMSP interest today was to see how we can move beyond (not "instead of" but "in addition to") the "typical" mobile conversation about retail sales and physical check-ins. I totally "get it" for that kind of business relationship... But what about using mobile technology to mediate relationships that aren't "sales" oriented?

And, I'd argue, "donations to non-profits" is really just a different spin on "sales".

But what about building relationships through the mobile side of "social media"? What about getting people more engaged in causes that they profess to value -- and probably do value, if only they can be nudged in the right way at the right time.
  • Churches and other communities of faith relating to their members?
  • Faculty connecting with their students... and students to each-other?
  • Charities who want people to engage with them using more than their checkbooks?
What does that look like? Once people check-in with Foursquare or scan their QR code... then what?

I'm the first to admit that maybe I'm asking the wrong question. Maybe the answer is, "Dude, you're talking about getting people to engage in relationships. The tools are irrelevant; once there's a relationship there, it will be 'brokered' through a variety of technology and non-technology means and people will figure that out just fine."

Maybe. But I don't think that's all there is to it; I think there's some sort of layer of "social engagement" that we (or, at least, "I") haven't yet fleshed out.

Ideas?

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