02 December, 2008

The internet is personal again.

I am no expert in social media. I know some things about Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, but I personally refuse to join in on the party. What good does having thousands of online friends do? "Well that's the point Jason, it's for keeping up with people you've lost touch with," my wife claims.

"I lost touch with them for a reason!" I say. "I don't care to keep in touch with them!" (Sorry to those of you out there this might apply to.)

McDermott recently attended a seminar on technology and social media, and one of the nuggets he shared really struck a chord with me. He said, "Social Media and online networking is making interaction with your clients much more personal and one on one. Gone are the days of shotgun advertising."

Wait. I always thought the rise of the internet and its effects on globalization is the reason we have lost personal connection in the first place. I mean, have you experienced customer support lately?

If I have to wait another hour to talk to "Jack" from India, only to get disconnected, I'm going to have a stroke. I yearn for the days when customer service was friendly and personal.

But, McDermott insists these new tools can bring that back. It can help us relate to clients, keep our finger on the pulse of their consumers, and even network with new potential clients.

When the internet and social media was first introduced it was a novelty (Electronic mail? Neat!). It quickly evolved into an unbridled information-attack, constantly feeding us videos of people getting hit in the privates, porn, and junk mail.

Further evolution has brought us networking tools that create a precision that was formerly non-existent when dealing with the Web. These tools enable us to track consumer opinion, react and up sell to the newest trends, and build more relationships in real time, from the comfort of our own desk. This kind of personal service and real time information gathering can pay big dividends in the ad world.

Now I'll never condone spending hours Facebook stalking (sorry Mrs. Stern) or using Facebook to help you stalk. But, maybe I will consider building my professional network online.

I mean, it can't hurt right?

--Jason Stern, Project Manager

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