Friday, September 09, 2005

How to get your message out to those who wish to read it

Or how to use other people to get what you want.

As a blogger and/or a business communicator, this is an important aspect of self promotion.

Reflect on Networking, for a moment. Remember the last time you were at a conference, or a cocktail party. You would seek out the people in the room who you felt were the most important or had the greatest ability to help you achieve their goals. Then what do you do? You grab your coffee, or your glass of wine, and position yourself as close to that person as possible. Once there, you try to say something witty, or something interesting to get that person interested in talking to you. When they turn to face you, engage in eye contact and you both have a conversation you know that you are networking really well. Then after a while, you move away and seek out others to network with. Most of us do this instinctively, it's part of getting ahead in self promotion.

What we don't usually do is dissect, on a very basic level, what is taking place here. In real life networking, we use proxemics to filter the people we want to talk to from the rest. Everybody does this, in fact, proxemics is one of our most basic human perceptions. Using proxemity to filter our communications is what's known as social filter. Experienced networkers are very skilled with how they use proxemics to make an impact. Even something as simple as standing a little too close to somebody can be a winning move at the hand of a good networker, and a disasterous move when done by somebody who does not know what they are doing.

But like I said, most of us already do this - what complicates things is technology. When you interact with a computer screen or write your blog, you can't exactly use physical proxemics BUT you can still use social filtering. On the internet though, social filtering becomes more of a "word of mouth" type of thing. Generally experienced internet users LEVERAGE THE KNOWLEDGE of others to find information that is useful to them on the web (after all, we KNOW there is too much information out there - it is very difficult to find exactly what you're looking for). How do they use other people to find what they need? Through membership in online communities, social bookmarking sites (, furl - if you haven't signed up already go, go now), and by looking at the ratings of others before they decide where to go, or what to buy ( is great for this i.e. "see what others who bought this book also bought).

Google is a dinosaur, it's over. The way you promote yourself, is by joining a community (or many) of like minded people, and sharing with them your favorite sites on the web. When your community starts to realize that you have similar tastes, and a good knowledge of what is available on the net - they will not hesitate to come to your own site, and recommend it to others. Then since they are also members of many online communities, other people will be looking to them for suggestions as well - and your site will spread.

It is almost no longer enough to just update your blog. You have to get out there, and network in the internet cocktail party. This means commenting on other peoples work, joining a social bookmarking site, and seeking out like minded people on the world wide web.


Anonymous Stacy Brice said...

Hi, Jay...

Great post! I have a question about it, and wonder if you would please email me directly (stacy at virtualosophy dot com). I couldn't find an email address for you on the blog :(

In case you don't remember me, I'm another member of the Ho'ohana Online Community! :)


7:41 AM  

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