community building

Listening is a core muscle for thriving online

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
~Rachel Naomi Remen

Listening and asking for clarification is hugely important in the social networks. People are finding their voice in these networks, often for the first time. People are writing themselves into being in these networks. This requires frequent wisdom and compassion.

Yesterday, I encountered the reality of this needed compassion in a new way: I saw a variety of conversations that convinced me humanity is increasingly thinking as one mind. The weave of personal comments in threads with mass media news with music and images shared by individuals revealed to me the incredible way we have merged into a collective dance. Remember at high school dances when everyone danced on their own and then would merge into a line or a circle and then disperse again into couples and smaller groups? I watched this in real-time yesterday online. Truly amazing diversity woven into one shape, one circle, one global community – the Internet.

For years, I’ve predicted that a single tweet or FB post or YouTube video or Instagram photo would sweep the globe and fundamentally shift humans. Now I see that this is happening regularly. Individuals are offering up their thoughts in myriad networks via various mediums (text, image, video, music) and, in some cases, all of humanity circles around a particular message. An individual can watch a trend using sophisticated social media monitoring tools and jump in early on an emerging meme. He/she can capitalize on this meme and lead it, albeit with extreme aplomb since these memes are “thought-animals” that have a life of their own. The entrance of a meme into a culture, as many know, can significantly alter the individuals in that culture.

I think we have an opportunity to consciously sequence a series of memes in order to alter global consciousness. We have an opportunity to significantly change the way individuals relate to one another through an emphasis on kindness, goodness and empathy. One opportunity humans have online is simply to listen to others. And so we are all, in a way, sitting down in impromptu circles around specific posts and hearing each other out on that issue in the post. And often the issue morphs as participants work out their feelings and past issues. These expressions indicate a swiftly evolving conversation headed towards, we hope, understanding and unity on a global level.

Again, people are writing themselves into being in these networks. This requires frequent wisdom and compassion.

Social Business Intelligence Advance #3

It is not enough to have a web intelligence solution that shows us where our own internal CRM is connected to important conversations and trends. We must also have a solution that shows us where our competitors’ CRM is connected to these same conversations and trends. In addition, we must have a solution that automatically delivers a set of individuals exactly like our best customers, complete with First Name, Last Name, Current Phone, Current Email, Current Social Links and cited examples of participation in these important conversations and trends. That’s the solution yet to be achieved in the social business intelligence world.

Finding Your "Familiars" In Social Networks: A Step by Step Process

“A familiar spirit is the double, the alter-ego, of an individual. Even though it may have an independent life of its own, it remains closely linked to the individual.” ~Pierre A. Riffard

“Resist the temptation to think what afflicts you is peculiar to you. Have faith that what is in your consciousness can be communicated to the consciousness of all. And is, in many cases, already there.” ~Alice Walker, The Temple Of My Familiar

WHAT IS A FAMILIAR:
Familiarity implies intimacy. To become familiar with another person implies having more than a casual acquaintance. In European folklore and folk-belief of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, familiar spirits (sometimes referred to simply as “familiars”) were supernatural entities believed to assist shamans in their practice of magic. A familiar is a being who you come to know intimately and who works with you to create life and magic. This begins through listening, continues into relationship and culminates in collective action.

WHY DISCOVER FAMILIARS:
The core reason to discover your familiars is to have a relationship with meaning. A second reason for engaging in this process is to develop a community full of common purpose. A third reason for cultivating such relationships is to bring your gifts to the world and make a solid contribution to humanity at large.

YOU CAN FIND YOUR FAMILIARS THROUGH LISTENING:
The scholar R. Grimmasi writes about discovering a relationship to animals at a young age in the forest. He did this through listening and observing. “I quickly learned that it was necessary to remain still and silent in order not to scare away the wildlife…it was there in those silent moments of observation and anticipation that I developed my ability to establish rapport and communication with other beings, with “familiars”…familiars react to various symbols because of what they represent and the authority behind the power of the symbols.” Grimmasi identifies a very important aspect of relationship with familiars: symbols. Consider for a moment what you symbolize within your network by what you post on a daily basis. Write about this, draw this, speak about this. What is your symbol? What do you symbolize?

FILTER FOR FAMILIARS:
Filter your social relationships to determine which types of people respond to your content with eagerness. Now discover all the people just like those people within your own network. They may not be interacting with you simply because they are not seeing your posts in their News Feed or because they are focused elsewhere. Chances are that people similar to your “hottest” relationships will respond to you upon receiving a gift of your content. Try cc’ing one or two of these “Discovered Familiars” (a “discovered familiar” is similar to your known familiars).

HOW TO FILTER FOR FAMILIARS:
1. Import your Facebook connections to a Yahoo email account.
http://bit.ly/Import_Facebook_To_Yahoo

2. Download the connections as a CSV file. Open this file in Excel.

3. Upgrade your LinkedIn to an Executive account (you will need this level for a later action). Now, export your connections as a CSV file.

4. Sign up for Social Bro or Simply Measured and download a spreadsheet of your Twitter followers. Use the Klout Audience Analysis in Simply Measured to receive a spreadsheet you can rank by Klout or by other interesting data like Listed, Location or specific bio content. In Social Bro, you can export both Followers and Friends (who you follow). In addition, within Social Bro, you can adjust some nifty sliders to specify various aspects of the download (if desired).

5. Learn how to use the Sort and Filter functions in Excel to refine your sifting of these spreadsheets from Social Bro and Simply Measured.

6. Next, sign up for LeadGrabber Pro’s 1 month account and extract up to 300 specific types of profiles that you identify. Or go into specific groups and extract all users.

7. Filter and Sort your spreadsheets by location and by keywords in the biographies. These keywords are symbols of your potential familiars.

8. Use Spokeo and other Open Source Intelligence Tools (OSINT) to learn more about your familiars so that you develop a list with integrity. Here is a list of excellent OSINT tools: http://bit.ly/OSINT_Tools_2013

9. Upload all of your contacts as CSV format into a Gmail account. http://bit.ly/Import_CSV_to_Gmail

10. Get the Rapportive plugin for Gmail so you can see the latest details on any contact, including their social links. This seems to work best in Chrome. http://rapportive.com/

CONNECT ONE TO ONE:
Next, connect personally with all of your connections. This will take time so make it worth it – for you and for who you are connecting with. Study what the person is talking about, conceive a clearly written paragraph containing an idea that will help him/her. This can be an encouragement, a business idea, a compliment on a character quality or a note of gratitude for something he/she wrote or posted (along with a story on how this post helped you). Email him/her, send them a Facebook message, use LinkedIn Inmail, use @mention your connections on Twitter and Facebook. Also, use other modes of communication. Chats via Skype can be vital, as well as starting Google hangouts.

START WITH A GIFT:
It’s important to say something that helps the other person first. It has to begin with them. A great way into this is to study the person’s last 12 posts in any given social platform. What are they trying to discover? Can you provide the answer. Be specific to that person. Make your message short but deep. Get to the point.

Follow up, follow up, follow up. Act with with the intention of the best and highest good for all. Do what you love.