Something we’ve sometimes discussed here is the value (or not) of “social” media.
Recently I listened to a fascinating interview on Alex Sanfelippo’s Creating A Brand blogsite. He was talking with Gina Bianchini, founder of Mighty Networks. Gina believes that Facebook, Instagram, etc., connect people in a way that doesn’t stimulate them positively. Her take is that new users add no increased value to existing members. The network grows with diverse-interested and often negative elements.
At Gina’s Mighty Networks, a group of people with common interests can form an online community. This community will have a pinpoint focus. For example a group might be radio-controlled model aircraft enthusiasts. Such groups could also have a more serious purpose, such as investments, or strategies to retain employees. Here’s the interview (about 30 minutes) where Gina fleshes out this idea. She also explains why these groups promote healthier chats than do social media.
In the pre-social-media world, people often got together, in person, in groups with like interests. There were gardening clubs, woodworking clubs, poetry clubs, etc. Often they were even more specialized than those examples. Some of them of course still exist. They’re the kinds of groups Gina promotes on Mighty Networks.
By joining these groups on line, the members can communicate with others anywhere. It’s important though that the conversations remain focused on the group topic. Other conversations should be taken “off-line” – to a separate communication. They might even become the focus of a new group. A moderator should watch to see that things stay on track.
Gina believes that the best ideas come from people with similar interests stimulating their thinking in conversation and camaraderie. I agree.
The large diverse social media networks have often become platforms for spreading discontent and criticism. I recently had a disagreement with someone who was prone to making sarcastic comments in “reply all” emails or WhatsApp groups. This is the sort of thing that can often happen on social media sites. Gina points out that unpleasantness spreads much faster than positivity. It can become poisonous!
To me, it seems that Gina’s model provides a better way for positive people to communicate in like-minded groups. Some people will of course still prefer the broader platforms. They’re welcome to them!