Social Media in Action

On Thursday, January 1st, 2009 at 3:02 pm, I made a post about a client who didn’t pay me the money he owed me. Here is the Recent Visitor Map for just that one article, ~38 hours later (approximately a day and a half):

Bill Cammack Recent Visitors Map Click here to view 1048 x 857 image

This is Social Media in Action. “Reach” is now determined by how much time and effort you’re willing to put in to maintain your internet presence.

When it comes to determining “Reach”, the days of “who lives next to that person?” are OVER. The days of “Is he a radio personality or performer or some other type of celebrity?” are *OVER*. Connections are made and maintained virtually.

People are aligning themselves by values, aptitude & beliefs now, instead of by local territory and “Accident of Birth”. The “lines” are being re-drawn as people get to sample other people’s mentalities through reading their blogs, listening to their podcasts, watching their videos and selecting to find out more about people they feel in-tune with.

Jeff Pulver, Kathryn Jones, Kfir Pravda & Keren DaganJeff Pulver called it his “Social Media Living Room”. He was absolutely right. The people that you know live wherever they live, but we all come together, in various locations… virtual locations.

Sometimes, we meet up IRL, like @ PodCamps or BarCamps or SXSW or TweetUps or meetup.com or Gary’s Guide events. In the meantime, in between time, we’re reading each other’s blogs and communicating with other through social media sites like Twitter, Ning, Facebook, MySpace, etc etc etc. Continue reading “Social Media in Action”

Who Are You?

I’ve had some really interesting experiences as of late, which all revolve around the question “Who Are You?”. Not the absolutely unknowing question, as in “Who IS that over there?”, but the arrogant question “Who are YOU?”.

Let’s get it straight off the bat. “Who you are” is relative and completely subjective.

Am I an Emmy Award-Winning video editor? Yes I am. Have I been a National *and* International Emmy Awards Judge for several years? Yes I have. Does that have *ANYTHING* to do with how I interact with people? No, it does not.

2007 International Emmy Award JudgingBill Cammack & Elizabeth Hummer 1999-2000 New York Emmy Award WinnersDave & Bill @ NYNATAS - Emmy Judging

This is because what I’ve accomplished is NOT “who I am”. Similarly, what other people have NOT accomplished is NOT “who they are”, either. To take that one level further… Not knowing that someone’s accomplished something does not make them NOBODY or INFERIOR. Learning that someone HAS accomplished something doesn’t automatically make them SOMEBODY or SUPERIOR, either.

I touched on this topic peripherally in “HowÒ€ℒs your logo working for you?” when I mentioned meeting Nathan Freitas. To expand… We had just come from a great frisbee game, and a bunch of us headed out to celebrate and socialize afterwards. I had played against Nate, and I thought he did well, and I hadn’t met him before, so I introduced myself to him. He didn’t recognize my name, and I didn’t recognize his, but he knew of ReelSolid.TV, and he and I had actually had text-based interaction way before meeting IRL because he had commented on a video I did about men’s suits. Interestingly enough, even though I knew NOTHING about Cruxy.com at the time, I knew I had a picture with Mike Hudack while he was wearing a Cruxy shirt. Nate immediately and adamantly informed me that I was mistaken, at which time I turned on my camera and produced said picture:

Bill & Mike

The point that’s relevant to this particular post is that I didn’t go from “nobody” to “somebody” when Nate figured out “who I was”. I went from “a person” to “a person that Nate had heard of, and whose work he had seen”. Same thing with me. For me, Nate went from “a frisbee opponent” to “someone I’ve met who runs a site where artists can upload their work and get paid for it”.

Most people who meet me have no idea “who I am”, and I like it that way. They have no idea that I’m an MIT graduate. They have no idea that I’m DatingGenius.

Limor, Phil & Bill
Brass Rats: Phil, Limor, Bill

I like it that way, because people are REAL when they don’t have a reason to sweat you. I love being “judged” by what people see when they look at me. πŸ˜€ I love it when people play themselves, because there’s no returning from that. It’s like “Before you knew who you were talking to, you acted totally differently towards me”.

Anyway… I’ve had several interesting interactions over the last three weeks, revolving around the question “Who are YOU?”

I ended up at this party, and I saw this random chick hanging out with three of my homegirls. Out of the goodness of my heart, I decided to introduce myself to her. What I intended to do was say hello to her and move on to hanging out with my actual friends. So I say “Hi. I’m Bill”, and her response is “You sent me a friends request on Facebook, and I declined it”. HAHAHA So I’m like ?????? because this is a totally new situation for me. Usually, when chicks don’t accept you on Facebook, that’s because they don’t want to talk to you AT ALL, so when they’re around you, they don’t say jack to you. So I’m like “Wait a minute… Let me get this straight. You just informed me that I friended you on Facebook so you could tell me that you didn’t accept it? :D” and she’s like “Yeah… Who the hell are YOU?”

So, this was really funny, considering that I have over 500 Facebook contacts and over 280 Linkedin contacts and over 650 Twitter contacts and over 600 MySpace contacts, not to mention people that know “who I am” all over the planet, from Hawaii to the U.K. to Tokyo to The Netherlands to California to NYC. Meanwhile, I introduced myself to this chick “cold”, not recognizing her face or body from anywhere, and not recognizing her as someone that I sent a Facebook friends invite to. In the future, when I figured out “who she was”, I realized that I had friended her because I saw that we had 17 mutual friends. There was nothing interesting or appealing about her. Similar to what happened IRL, I was extending the hand of friendship to someone who was friends with friends of mine.

So I found the question “Who the hell are YOU?” to be ridiculous, because it was as if she was requesting for me to audition to be her Facebook friend when I didn’t give a damn about her in the first place. It was like *I* had something to gain from it. Meanwhile, I could have ignored her completely and interacted with my actual friends and my day would have been exactly the same, except for a funny story to tell about how people get souped up and think they’re worth knowing for some odd reason. πŸ™‚

Another interesting reaction I got recently was at a party. At some point, I took a picture with some chick that I had met that night. About 22 hours after I posted the picture to my flickr stream, I got an email from her with some sob story about the reason why she was asking me to take it down. I didn’t believe a word she said, but I gladly made it private, because every picture I take and post is with people that want to take pictures with me. Just the fact that she was asking me to remove it was grounds for removal. The question here is… Why the hell are you taking pictures with people and not expecting those pictures to arrive on the net? The only uneducated guess I can come up with is that because she had never seen me before, she didn’t figure that a picture she took with me would end up anywhere of note. According to her sob story, she didn’t want certain people to see her partying. The question becomes a) Why were you partying in the first place, and b) Why were you taking pictures with people if you didn’t want to be spotted partying?

Last week, I approached this chick who’s active in social media and is always asking her ‘fans’ for things. When she sends out mass emails, she’s all friendly and acting like she knows who it is that she’s interacting with and cares about them. However, when I arrived, not only was she completely disinterested in who I might be, but she failed to even state what her name was. I didn’t bother asking her because I already knew her name and what she does. I found it funny how someone could be such a beggar in social media, yet totally didn’t promote herself IRL. What sense does it make to make contacts with people via computer and then alienate them in person?

OTOH… There are lots of people that I met during PodCampNYC or at various Twitter Meetups or Meetup Meetups that are either AS GENUINE as they appear online or even MORE SO. πŸ˜€ A lot of what we experience of people on the net is merely the characters they’re portraying in their “shows”. When the cameras aren’t rolling, and it’s down to one-on-one communication and interaction, that’s where people really shine or they don’t. That’s where you get to see how people act when there’s nothing in it for them. No audience. No revenue-sharing. No business deals. Just you and them. Person to Person. Face to Face. What’s it like for you to be around them? What’s it like for them to be around you?

Bill & PhilAnnie, Patty, Joe, Roxanne & ChristineKathryn, Christian & Bill

Ultimately, the question “Who are you?” is unimportant. What’s important is how you carry yourself and interact with others. On the spur of the moment, when you meet someone, how do you react to them? How do you interact with them? Do you act differently based on their accomplishments or who they know? Can you have a good time with people that are willing to have a good time with you? What’s the threshold above which you’re willing to interact with someone standing next to you? Someone that sends you a social media ‘friends request’? Someone that’s a friend of a friend of yours, but you haven’t had personal contact with yet?

Is social media merely a networking tool for you, or are you looking to enrich your life by meeting interesting and intelligent people and cultivating relationships with them?

Do NOT Let This Happen To You! :/

Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances (all of my own creation), this video was filmed by Annie Boccio and uploaded to the internet. We are going to discuss the errors I made that led to this and how YOU can avoid this from happening to YOU in the future. πŸ˜€


Permalink: http://pixelcurrents.tv/post/33454768

Error #1: Do NOT hang out with people who post pictures and videos to the internet. πŸ™‚

I wasn’t paying attention and started doing my usual bar routines that I do to people who never record it. I always leave the situations feeling like I had fun messing with people’s minds, and that by the next morning, it would all fade away and I can forget about it or do it again the next night if I so choose. πŸ™‚

What I wasn’t paying attention to was that we were @ PodCampNYC and I was literally SURROUNDED by media-makers. I’m used to being the only one in the room interested in documenting hangouts, and since I had no intention of recording anything, I was just flowing and enjoying some mental recreation… Next thing I know, I notice a small red camera in Annie’s hands, and as Roxanne CoughBenedictArnoldCough Darling mentioned, it was time to change my tune! πŸ˜€

Error #2: Make sure you have a feasible and smooth-sounding counter-statement to what you were saying before the camera was turned on. πŸ™‚

When I saw Annie’s camera, I blanked. πŸ™‚ Whatever I had been talking about completely left my mind, and I had the choices of either saying something opposite or saying nothing at all. I really wanted to say NOTHING, but I decided to “go big or go home”. I decided to challenge myself to come off smooth and convincing at the drop of a hat on a topic that I never talk about = EPIC FAIL! πŸ˜€

If you’ve read any of the DatingGenius series, you know that the basic premise is that people suck in general and that the sooner you realize this, the better you’ll be able to handle the curveballs that relationships throw at you. The opposite of “people suck” is “people are good”, and I realized practically immediately after accepting my own challenge to GO FOR IT that I have no rolodex of GOOD things to say about people in general.

To go off on that tangent for a second… I believe that people SHOULD be “good” to begin with. I hardly see ‘doing the right thing’ as a reason to give someone props. It’s like Chris Rock said… Don’t brag about taking care of your kids… You’re SUPPOSED to take care of your kids! πŸ˜€ (for the reading-impaired, CoughTymeCough, I am making an example. I do NOT have any kids! :D) So, naturally, what’s wrong with your relationship or your perception of reality is that you fail to recognize how wack people can really be. Without that recognition, you can’t solve the problems of your own relationship because you never look in the right places. So, when things are right about a relationship, they’re SUPPOSED to be right, so there’s no reason to talk about them or have them readily mentally available. This is why I was suddenly at a loss when I ordered myself to “say nice things”.

Unfortunately for me, as I scanned backwards through history for something nice to say about women, I initially slid back to the 1960’s and Women’s Lib (apparently known as Second-Wave Feminism), but quickly landed on the rocky bottom of Women’s Suffrage. I then produced some drivel about equal pay and women driving tanks in the military. Pathetic. πŸ™‚ My mind was racing too fast to notice the look on Rox’s face, but that brings us to error #3.

Error #3: Do not try this 180-degree style with someone with whom you’ve already had intelligent conversations. πŸ™‚

In another split-second, spur-of-the-moment calculation that occurred at the same time I decided to try to talk my way out… I had been counting on Rox to back my play. Unfortunately for me, I’ve had hours of genuine, intelligent conversation with her over the time we’ve known each other, so it was clear to her that I was merely spewing propaganda and poorly-prepared propaganda at that! πŸ™‚ The look on her face is “I don’t even BELIEVE that he’s saying this stuff! :/” So that backfired as well, and she mentions on tape that I was saying something completely different before Annie pressed REC.

Error #4: Do not hope that the fliming is over and go back to what you were talking about. πŸ™‚

Clearly, by clip #2 in Annie’s video, I was no longer thinking about the camera, which is why a) I’m back to my regular mode of conversation and b) I’m suddenly wearing glasses. I’m clearly restarting the “on camera” mental functions because I speak ambiguously and appear to make an error. I say

“Dating and women in New York City? (stalling) Well… (stalling) um… (stalling) Women… should be, uh… (thinking) nice as possible to guys in New York City because… they’re outnumbered…”

Jonny Goldstein calls me on this “error” before I get to continue my statement, and I end up agreeing with him about the mistake, making myself look worse! πŸ™‚ The “they” that are outnumbered are the men. The proper continuation of the sentence is “Women should be as nice as possible to guys in New York City, because they’re outnumbered and can choose any women they want out of the 210,820 surplus single females in this town. BUT… Of Course… That didn’t work out for me either, because I was winging it.

Having said all that… How many preparations have I made in case this ever happens again?

None.

This was a complete anomaly. We were at a social media gathering. We all knew of each other to some degree because of blogging and videoblogging. There were cameras all over the place. I don’t think I’ve ever shown up in so much random media at one time. I got lax and stared entertaining our little group of Rox, Joe, Annie and Jonny with some DatingGenius shenanigans and received a visual lesson in how poorly I play things off when I’m trying to talk about things I never think about.

Hmm…

Maybe I should practice filming telling a chick I love her… In case I ever mean it! πŸ˜€

Live Streaming From PodCampNYC

Bill Cammack, streaming live from PodCampNYC.