May 28, 2012

The collective mind and you

Sometimes I wonder if the collective mind of social media is good for us. Sure, you have the knowledge of thousands of people at a tweet’s reach, and that’s truly powerful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think for yourself, nor take a stand based on your own ideas and assumptions.

Picture this: social media advocate is at a conference, getting ready for his or her speech. Said advocate asks his Twitter followers about the topic, to learn what they think, to collect arguments, and to get a general consensus of what the collective mind thinks.

Then he or she delivers the speech.

Rinse and repeat at the next conference. And the next, and the next, and the next…

I see this all the time. It’s not that this means that the speeches are bad, and I do think there are a ton of things we can learn from our followers. Knowledge should be shared, and as a principle that means that this model is great.

But I fear that the individual is getting lost because of this. It is easier to just ask your following, especially if they’re numerous, and then tune your actions to whatever fits this, your target audience.

Never stop asking, never stop learning from others, but don’t forget about your own thoughts and ideas.

Thoughts? Let @tdh know on Twitter, or find me elsewhere. There is also a newsletter.