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Shhh…. Don’t tell anyone…

Don’t tell anyone, please….I am not a fan of social media. So much noise that can be difficult to filter out to the relevant morsels… I also do not believe that content is king, or that content is the new currency as I have seen people mention.

Want to know what I believe? Social media, when part of an overall social business strategy, can lead to real organizational value. Yes, if it is only used tactically it can be noisy and distracting. However, when used strategically real value is created.

Content is not as important as value creation. The determination of content quality is always subjective. The creation of value in terms of reduced cost, higher revenue, increased profits, is always clear.

What do you think? Is value creation really what we’re all striving for?


p.s. The photo is from Flickr user Patchworkbunny

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Andrew Krzmarzick

Hey John – In many ways, much of government is about disseminating content – making sure that citizens get key information. So I don’t know if value creation and content are mutually exclusive. More effectively sharing content with new, larger target audiences could be an outcome generated by the use of social media, right?

John Moore

Good point Andy. The point I was making, poorly for sure, is that your definition of quality content and mine may differ, depending on our needs at any given moment. The key is to deliver the right content at the right time, delivering real value to customers/citizens when they need it.


Avatar photo Bill Brantley

Communication is king! Content is just information and data. Knowledge is created within people and between people. That is how I measure the utility of a social networking application – is it creating useful knowledge? Does the social networking app promote conversation or is it just spreading content?

This is why I really haven’t taken to Twitter like I have with Facebook, wikis, and blogs. Maybe I just don’t know how to use Twitter but I don’t feel like I am having a conversation with anyone. It feels more like throwing bottles with messages in them out in the cyber ocean and then picking up random bottles to read their messages.

Compare Twitter to this discussion thread. We are having a conversation and creating knowledge. So, I confess too – not all social networking is good.

Ed Albetski

Social media can be useful for some agencies. I work for a statistical agency. We produce economic data usually displayed in rather complicated tables with charts and articles. We cater to governments, universities, and other pundit types. We can Tweet a link when something is posted on our site or use Facebook to recruit, but thats hardly anything to justify a budget allocation. If we were in the business of warning folks about hurricanes or earthquakes I could see more practical uses. I think social media needs to evolve a bit past the “I just got a new goat on Farmville!!!” stage before a lot of agencies find it a useful business strategy. We keep looking at it, but so far, “meh”.

Christina Morrison

When used effectively, I believe social media can be a valuable tool for opening up the communication lines with customers, colleagues and citizens. It’s all about engaging your audience and understanding what your readership/followers care about.

Everyone’s definitions of quality content will differ, but there is still content out there that provides value and it’s up to us to refine social media to drown out the rest.

John Moore

Exactly, Christina. The key, though, is understanding that content quality is in the eye of the recipient and that we need to evolve to the point where both the channel over which content is delivered, as well as the messages being delivered, are right (and different for each recipient). The Social Ecosystem, which I have started writing about today, has, as part of it’s goals, the ability to address this need.


Would love to hear everyone’s feedback.