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Social Media: Me or We?

Geoff Wood

Last week a friend of mine, Steve Hershberger of ComBlu, posted the following question to his contacts on LinkedIn:

I am thinking about something that came out of a meeting in Redmond this here it goes.

Is Social Media more 'Me' or 'We'? Or is it both? 

What drives meaningful outcomes from social media? Is it the 'Power of Me' or the 

"Power of We' or both? 

'Me' seems to be driven by Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. 

'We' seems to be driven by a combination of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs along with the need to participate in the social graph. Are they separate or inter-dependent?

The following was my response:

Great question, Steve.

I think it has to be both –“me” and “we”. One way to think of it is that the "value" of social media is the connection and interaction with others whereas the "power" of social media is how you utilize it. 

Look at the great things that MediaSauce has been doing this week with their “Pledge to End Hunger”. In three days they were able to reach their goal of getting 1000+ people to sign up for their cause primarily through Twitter. That’s an example of the social media being used for the power of “we”. 

However, in this day and age of personal branding almost anyone who is aware is using social media to control and promote their brand (including me), which I consider to be using social media for the power of “me”.

The fact that it’s not discernibly one or the other is what is exciting to me about social media – its so many different things to so many different people. Several people have written about this in terms of defining Twitter (like Rick Klau and the other bloggers mentioned in this post), but that conversation can really applied to the entire “industry”.

What are your thoughts on social media and "me" versus "we"?
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