20 Feb 2008 @ 5:45 AM 

intellagirlogo2.jpgThe Intellacast is back! I don’t podcast as often as I’d like but when I do I try to make it worth it. So here’s a doozy. It’s a challenge to three of the best social media evangelists out there: CC Chapman, Joseph Jaffe, and Mitch Joel. All three deliver great insight into the ways social media is changing how businesses and organizations communicate and market. All three create consistently powerful content about how the new media revolution is changing us all. But all three deliver their messages via media forms that only reach the “converted”: podcasts, blogs, Twitter (except Jaffe who writes books as well).

So, in addition to giving my three rules of social media, I’ve also issued a challenge to these guys: How do the social media evangelists stop “preaching to the converted” through social media forms, and start engaging and exciting the huge population of folks who don’t even know what they’re missing? In the podcast I give my answer the question to get the conversation started.

I hope you all enjoy the podcast. And CC, Joseph, Mitch: I hope you’ll respond to the challenge!

Note: The podcast is at the bottom of the post in m4a format. I tried to get it up on iTunes but didn’t have the oompf to wrestle with it and this headcold at the same time. Enjoy! 

Posted By: Intellagirl
Last Edit: 20 Feb 2008 @ 05:46 AM



Responses to this post » (18 Total)

  1. Kafkaz says:

    Conversations as required! Hah!

    But, there are complications, aren’t there? There are many, many podcasts, blogs, twitters, etc. One simply cannot tend to them all.

    Many of my favorite blogs garner few comments–0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 2 (a good day), 0–like that.

    The phone is glued to the ear. The images and voices swirl by online. The text messages vibrate at the hip all day long. The blogs, well. Where to begin?

    I’m involved. But, I’m not the choir. I see the power to connect, but also the power to leave people feeling still more isolated and alienated.

    You can teach someone to blog, to twitter, to facebook, to podcast, to fish. You can’t promise they’ll find an audience. There’s a whole lot of pressure on audiences, you know. Exigence. Hmm. How many urgent needs to communicate can I tend to in a day or a lifetime? How many, reasonably, can resonate with me? How many little audience fish are there to go around?

    If we’re all talking, can we all be the audience, too? Seems to me that there still is a pulpit position, even in nominal “conversations.” The congregation gets to “Amen.” Maybe now and then to object. But the congregation still isn’t the preacher, and the conversation isn’t as balanced as the tech suggests it could be. Meanwhile, the preacher still isn’t likely to hear the *real* conversations in the pews and beyond.


  2. admin says:

    I hear ya, Kafkaz. There are way too many conversations going for us to listen and respond to them all. I don’t think that’s the key. I don’t think we’re required to participate in every conversation. I think we’re required to ALLOW conversation. So what if I only get a few comments on a blog? So what if no one reads it? Right? The point is that, if I think I deserve a voice and the ability to share an idea, I think I’m responsible for giving folks the ability to talk back if they want to. I hope that they will. I want to hear what folks are thinking but they aren’t required to tell me.
    I guess the big idea I’m trying to share is that if businesses and organizations don’t give people the tools to talk back (even if those readers choose not to) it’s the equivalent of saying “We don’t care what you think.” And who can afford to say that?

  3. Kafkaz says:

    Well, yes, but . . .

    If the invitation to respond is ubiquitous, does the ability to respond count for much? Sometimes, I do just want to listen. Then, too, what if many respond (I see this a good bit), but the responses just kind of sit there? I’m invited to be a barnacle? A little opportunistic growth clinging to the pulpit? That doesn’t seem very appealing! Or, I can stay in my own pulpit–an increasingly popular (and so, perhaps, increasingly less powerful and meaningful choice), and connect to yours via a link. With so many pulpits, perhaps there can be no congregation. No choir. And it’s there–in the group–that real community evolves.

    Sometimes, I think we’re losing the power of both the shout and the whisper.

    It all seems to work out best when the urgency is fairly targeted and shared, but the state of things is such that it’s hard for folks to focus.

  4. […] of course! I thought that this was really, really funny for some reason and when I read Intellagirl’s UberNoggin’ blog today it was right on the money and it inspired me to state this example of extending the social […]

  5. Hup says:

    There is definitely a need for people to find an audience, but they need to know who they want that audience to be. Maybe it’s a few family members, maybe it’s millions of fans or maybe you are your own audience and writing is a way to help you think about things in a different way. But, I feel that the key is to first get started by diving into the social media world so that you can truly understand what value it can possibly bring to your life.

    Value is defined differently for everyone and each person is going to have different levels of what getting involved with social media can actually do for them. I feel that we need to help show them the possibilities and help them see what this new technology is capable of and how it can better their current situation.

    I wrote a little about how I have been doing this with my girlfriend through a new blog that we have started together. We need to start teaching people to fish or no one will even know what they’re missing. Check out the post for reference:


  6. This is a great post and it’s a question that I am constantly grappling with… and here’s the paradox:

    we talk about how social media is so powerful, but to break the fishbowl it’s clear that we need to leverage traditional media to get the word out to the masses who are not “listening.” In doing so, aren’t we then disproving our theories – that people who want this information will find it on their own?

    I know… I know… this is what makes it “interesting times.”

  7. […] My friend Sarah “Intellagirl” Robbins called me out in a recent blog post. […]

  8. C.C. Chapman says:

    A great question indeed and I finally got a chance to record my answer as an episode of Managing the Gray.

    http://www.managingthegray.com/2008/02/25/the-intellagirl-challenge/ to give it a listen

  9. Kafkaz says:

    Well . . .glad the fish deal caught on, lol.

    But . . .since I’m in the business, now, of not only persuading folks to use these things, but persuading folks to purchase my services in launching them and using them well, it strikes me that the people to ask about what it would take to get them involved are the people who aren’t using these things. In my experience, one of the things it takes to get them eager to hop in is a sense that the competition is doing so. *That* lights a fire under people as little else does. Intellagirl–I echoed your “one way communication is not acceptable” line in a podcast I just put together for some people I’m working with. Three years ago, when I was persuading them they needed a blog, I was met with utterly blank stares. “What in hell is a blog?” was the basic reaction. Now, they see competitors with blogs and podcasts and ecommerce in place, and they want that. They still don’t know what blogs are–not really–but they want one.

    I vote for “look at the awesome way your competition is using x,y,z” as the best means to get businesses involved, but that’s still step one. It opens the door for what has to be ongoing discussion about what this fancy new (usually several years old, and sometimes already being replaced) thing can do if used well. Otherwise, it’s easy to end up with something either used poorly (blog as pure ad with no interconnectivy or communication, for instance) or ultimately not used much at all.

  10. Steve Allen says:

    Great blog Sarah, this my first visit but you’re now permanently book marked :)
    An answer to your questions i don’t really have (yet) but i did get introduced to social networking the way CC outlined on the Managing the Grey podcast. I started at a new job & after the first couple of parties links to pictures on Flickr started to get IM’ed around. So mass adoption of Flickr mainly happened so that people could get revenge & share experiences. Next came the Facebook frenzy & then mass re-adoption of LinkedIn. I even accidently started a Plaxo storm about a month back, which was extremely interesting.
    I was consolidating my linkedin, thunderbird, mobile, into yahoo which not only seemed to have the best de-duping function but also synced with my iPhone. At some point in the evening i got a request form an old friend to update my info on their Plaxo account. I thought i might as well get a Plaxo as well & imported my Yahoo addresses. The thing was that i accidently spammed all my contacts, who at first where slightly pissed off, but then most of them joined anyway. It was an interesting week & it would have been very interesting to see how many new members got added to Plaxo just because i was slightly brain-dead one evening.
    One thing that I do note that early adopters are getting tired of rebuilding their contact lists.
    Hopefully when mass adoption comes there will be single safe way to sign in & portable information between systems. OpenID could work out to be a great initiative if all partners play fair but there are worries that this may breakdown. Flickr is a great example of this, once you have a yahoo account you have an OpenID that can be used across multiple systems. Anyway, i’ll drop bye again soon :)

  11. Joseph Jaffe says:

    Just got to it myself: http://media.libsyn.com/media/acrossthesound/Jaffe_Juice_106_-_fish_bowls_bubbles_echo_chambers_conversation_starters_and_more.mp3

    Sarah – you were inspiring. So now I’ve issued 2 challenges myself to my audience.

    Take a listen…

  12. Hey Sarah – I have plenty more thoughts. Now that I am back from crazy travel and had the chance to review this, listen to Jaffe Juice, etc… I’m going to take a peek at C.C.’s response and then feed something back.

    Great post and I think I have a handful of ways to get to where we need to go.

    Hey, what would a comment be without a tease of what’s to come as well :)

  13. Sean Maney says:

    You pose a great question. It’s one that I’ve written about several times. I believe early adopters have a responsibility to help later adopters understand the technology. These later adopters in turn have the responsibility of helping social media novices understand the content that is out there if they can overcome the obstacles the technology creates.

    Here is a related post:


  14. […] have time to download it, I’ll explain in this blog post. Jaffe Juice #107 centered around Sarah Robbins’ challenge about taking new media (blogs, twitter, del.icio.us, Flickr, Facebook, etc.) out of the marketing […]

  15. […] Sarah “Intelligirl” Robbins on “Podcast and Challenge: How do we move the social m… […]

  16. Superb post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

    Feel free to visit my site :: Global Maritime Bureau

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