The social web has made it so easy for people to connect with each other and have a voice at the table like never before. Last night at a tweetup here in Honolulu, I met Larry Heim, CEO of HonBlue. This was a Tweetup Treat, as Larry and I do not normally travel in the same circles. Later back at home I could Google him. Then find his LinkedIn profile on the first page of Google’s results. Then click through to a known company here in Honolulu. “That was easy!”
Contrast that to a situation this past week. I was approached (via several urgent phone calls over the weekend), to become an affiliate of a new web site and to also have this company make a presentation at our upcoming Social Media Club meeting. Let’s just call him Sammy.
By coincidence, Seth Godin tackles this topic of the tacky techie on his blog today:
…you can see the danger anyone who introduces new technology faces. While you’ll attract Les Paul and the 37Signals guys, you’re more likely to attract spammers, scammers, opportunity seekers and others that will bring our culture down as easily as they’ll bring it up.
There were several practices that were used by Sammy which indicated he was not a good fit for me. Teachable moments are in italics.
There’s more, but this is enough to make the point. Because it is easier than ever to connect, have incoming filters to guide you against those who are not a good fit or worse. Because it is easier than ever to connect, and anyone can wrap messages in words of aloha, be smart about who you hire and why.
On the other hand, because it is easier than ever to connect, it makes strategic sense to list verified credentials and facts when you are reaching out to someone, versus dropping names and over-stating your case. It may work on the short term but over time you are hurting your credibility by trying to make your self, your brand, your idea, more than it actually is at this moment in time.
What tips do you use to make it easy for people to tell you apart from the blowhards and scammers who make a lot of noise on the social web? Contact me if you’d like to see an anonymous copy of the email response I sent “Sammy.” I don’t believe in being rude tho I do believe in calling out the facts.
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