Organic Minds: Notes from the Social Front

Some of us tend to come across or focus on content related to dominant social media trends, studies, news, as well as the chatter about organizations’ experiences in the social space.

I’m going to switch gears for this post and get a pulse check on the up-and-coming, entrepreneurial set—get some thoughts from them on their experiences.

I posed three questions to four members of my tribe (and when I say ‘tribe’ I mean my twitter follows):

  1. What one aspect of social media encourages you to believe in its effectiveness and why?
  2. Describe your most challenging social-related experience in a team environment and what lesson(s) you’ve learned from it
  3. If your next gig involved educating a group of people about social media, what top 3 things would you focus on and why?

I refer to these promising young women and men as ‘organic minds’ as it characterizes the way I’ve invested in cultivating my relations with them.

I didn’t resort to auto-DM-ing them to sell anything. It wasn’t all about me. And yes, I consistently make the effort to ‘stop by and say hello’ and ask how their lives are doing.

Eventually, during the course of my regular interactions with them, I begin to get an authentic sense of who they are and of their take on the social web.

See? Organic minds. No artificial flavour added.

So. Googly-eyed C-suite-ers just getting the hang of the socialverse…listen up. Some first-hand thoughts from a sample of the generation who may well be charged with managing the evolving social formula over the long term:

Charlotte Barker@charlottehrb Social media strategist in love with social media. Loves out of the box thinking, guerrilla marketing, engaging, conversing and learning. Tweets for @SMMKSC Charlotte Barker@Grdeken Associate Director of Haitian Microfinance Inc. and Web Consultant for Small Businesses
Charlotte Barker@AdrianEden Director of Social Media and SEO at | Currently mentoring with some of the best Search and Social people in the world Charlotte Barker@Beckstar23 A decade in PR, inquisitive and love to ask “why?” or “why not?”, enjoy telling and listening to stories, love laughing and brainstorming ideas and solutions

Charlotte BarkerCharlotte

1. The community and the relationship building. SMB’s are proving that sm marketing is working. For me this market segment is where the success stories and the case studies are. Times are changing and so is marketing. Experience and engagement are priority.

2. I was in a situation where the team I was working with were hard to get motivated. The group was very unorganized and not ambitious, which made trying to get projects together and launched become increasingly difficult. I felt frustrated and helpless in the situation. But I learned that there’s always a time to speak up and light some firecrackers under people’s butts! I realized that there will always be situations that I want to unfold differently but people have different ways of going about things and sometimes you have to speak up, and sometimes you learn to adjust and adapt.

Top 3

  • If you screw up, face the music. Don’t hide away and hope people forget – they won’t. Be prepared to defend yourself or admit your wrong and fix it. transparency (honesty, consequences)
  • Time commitment/dedication – it may be low cost, but it’s not low time commitment. Be prepared to commit.
  • Be social. Be engaging. Be conversational. Make sure you are being the ‘social’ part of social media.


Adrian EdenAdrian

1. Communication Barrier Removal. You can speak with any business owner/public figure/etc directly at any time, in any form you wish. This makes everyone have to be very sincere and real with what they say and do, because it is out there for the world to see and judge. No more “gate keepers” to get through.

2. Well, currently I’m putting together a website for Calvin Ayre (founder of the Bodog Brand) and in doing so I have to work closely with many people from around the world. This requires a lot of pre-planning and highly descriptive process documents so everyone is up to speed with what is happening at the same time. Another challenge I’m facing is the language barrier, I don’t speak Thai or Chinese, so I rely a lot on Google Translate and human translators. In doing this project I have learned to be patient and understanding, because of the cultural differences, but also because Social Media is new to many places in the world, especially China (with the great fire wall and all).

Top 3

  • I believe all Media is Social Media, and the only reason why we call it Social is because it is necessary to help explain the changes in the Media landscape to people who do not understand this. So the first thing Iwould teach is that “Social” Media is not complicated, it is simply an evolution.
  • Second thing I would explain the Real-Time web and concepts like PubSubHubBub, and how this is affecting the rate at which information/news is passed from website to human. The real-time web is also removing a lot of barriers between news source and people hearing about it. For instance, you may hear about an earth quake in your city over Twitter by people who experienced it first hand, hours before news websites have this content live.
  • I would suggest that they have fun with their Social Media usage and show as much personalty as possible. At the end of the day we are all humans wanting to have fun, and this should definitely show up in their Social Media strategies for business. Also, ask a lot of questions publicly on Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook etc and reply to those answers. Create conversations around topics related to your brand. This will create community, transparency, and trust. Which will increase the likelihood of inbound links from others Blogs/websites. Allowing for fun and engagement, but also an increase in SEO benefits.


Rebecca ErasRebecca

1. I see social media’s effectiveness attributed to transparency and immediacy. Never before has the average person been able to break a story, start a trend, spread a joke, video or photo as quickly, and to as many people, as social media grants. There is no red tape holding “news” back, and as a result, more than ever, people are trusting each other as invaluable information sources. Information is literally at our fingertips and we know where it’s coming from and who’s talking about it.

2. As far as a socially challenging experience, it’s hard to pinpoint one to take precedence over all. It can certainly be challenging to convey or receive a message as intended in the case of online communications versus in-person. Subtleties in language can be overlooked altogether and can create misunderstandings and hostilities that throw a wrench in an otherwise well-intentioned conversation.

Top of mind

Should I find myself in a position to educate others about social media:

  • I would like to focus on what gets people talking in the first place.
  • Why do some of the oddest things spread like wildfire over the net?
  • Some people say it’s unpredictable, while others claim to know how to make it happen. I would like to delve into case studies on this and look at perhaps an experiment with my “class” to see what idea/approach proves most successful.


Grant DekenGrant

1. SM has the capability and ongoing potential to shift traditional norms in terms of relationships between businesses and consumers. Companies – and this will continue to improve as long as the social media arena grows and evolves – are required to be more transparent in terms of customer service and accountability. It creates exceptional opportunities for both sides, but brings some new constraints and expectations that organizations (and at some level consumers) need to be aware of for these opportunities to be utilized and of course monetized.

2. In SM there have been times in which we have tried to create hype and grow groups and had limited success. The most important lesson I learned is that you can’t get the results you want unless you have advocates for your organization, product or service. In addition it’s been important for me to learn that advocacy is what spawns engagement, and without engagement you’re really limited in terms of what you can do with social media.

Top 3

Let me preface my answer by saying my focus is primarily related to the business practice of social media:

  • Approaching social media with a strategy that aims to achieve specific predetermined objectives.
  • The importance of consistency in achieving results
  • The difference between self promotion and engagement. Engagement is the essence of social media.


Are you making the effort to ask your tribe what they really think about social media and how it impacts their day-to-day? What notes from the field would you share with bright minds and entrepreneurial spirits?

8 thoughts on “Organic Minds: Notes from the Social Front

  1. Thanks Autom for doing this post (and asking me to be part of it with these great people). We often fixate on what the experts and gurus are saying and yet it can be refreshing and enlightening to hear the thoughts of the newer comers. It was great to read how the others answered the questions and was interesting to see a real sense of agreement in the answers. Nice work Autom.

  2. Sorry, I’m late to the party. Autom, I LOVE this approach. This is a great way to involve your audience and get diverse views incorporated in your content. Since I actually AM teaching a class on this subject beginning this week, I found it especially relevant! Well done!

  3. a party’s a party whether late or not Mark 😉 glad you could swing by and add to the dialogue.

    notwithstanding the truly talented young men and women in my tribe, the content on which we all collaborated is not what i see as novel, although the collaborative *effort* to build that content certainly is. despite the dizzying pace of online socialization, there are in fact productive and genuine ways to come together as a tribe, organize collectively and leverage from each other’s strengths.

    and the challenge is usually not about *how* to do it, but *with whom*

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