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I will soon cancel this site in the face of the legistation that comes into play on 25 May 2018.

It isn't worth the hassle of getting this site compliant to be frank - so I'll move the content to another site and that one will be GDPR compliant from the outset.

I'll move the blogs, photos, forum items in due course and meantime I will delete all the membership entries from the site so that no personal data is being held.

Long live Privacy and Security, eh? :-)

I can't get my head around this Social Network thing ....

It's something many of my friends and business associates have often said and are still saying to me. It's never been a problem to me - I understand it as if it was part of my own BIOS!

I never have believed that the right way to address the market is by spending willy-nilly on advertising in "broadcast mode"
I'm developing a piece of IPR called "Making Business Sense of Social Media". I'm hoping to follow it with "Making Business Sense of IT Security" and from there the series will maybe roll on ...

I have already come up with my way own of explaining what this is all about to people who ask, (and it seems to work) and I'm going to expand this blog piece as the basis of authoring the Intellectual Property that I'm developing.

The first Chapter is entitled "The Five Zones of Social Media". If you want a chat about the matter and maybe help me to test out my approach to this - drop me a line and let me know.

Work in progress ....

The Five Zones of Social Media and Web 2.0

One way to look at the new paradigm with which we are confronted and in which we exist, all of of us to some degree, is as a 5zone Model.

These can be described as High Traffic (detection zone), Low Traffic (attraction Zone), Qualification (getting to know you zone), Engagement (lets talk business zone), and Intimacy (lets do business zone).

An analogical way (topological) of looking at this would be Motorway, High Street, Café Bar, Club and Walled Garden

Broadly speaking there is not a single Social Media platform that is good for all five of these factors and in order to establish the “map” of layered environments that becomes one’s Social Media Eco-System, one first needs to decide what the base components, (available to us all), are capable of; where their USP’s are and how they should be mapped on to the requirement that we set out as thinking that we have.

This is expressed this way, because whatever we think we wanted at the outset will almost certainly change as we develop our eco-system.

Back to the analogy; On the Motorway the traffic speeds by, though because of Twitter and Real Time Search we have the privilege of analysing (if we're quick) what the occupants in that traffic are talking about and thinking ...

in the High Street the pace is slower and we see what happens, we spot incidents, we see who knows who, we capture attention, we stop for a chat, we say hello to some old friends, we nod at acquaintances, we buy a newspaper and so on ….

Now – we wouldn’t generally expect to do business or have meaningful multiple conversations in that environment really would we?

We might invite the person to with whom we were conversing for a cup of coffee or a beer perhaps .. . So it is with Social Media.

Where will you have your qualification conversations? Does this person like me? Do I like them? Do we have something in common? What can I do for them? What can they do for me? What common acquaintances do we have? Where have they worked? What are they looking to do next … These are the fundamental aspects of Social Media.

Those who think that social media is all about simply turning “broadcast media” into “narrowcast” media will soon change their minds or risk failure.

Having had the coffee, what happens next? If you want to pursue serious conversations with the person, them you need to engage with them in a discreet place. By this time you need somewhere well out of the traffic zone, or even the Café Bar, so how about they come to your office, your favourite restaurant or the IOD, or your Club?

Here you can get down to business and properly develop that business relationship you are seeking.

Now – after all of that, how do you build a long lasting relationship that is mutually beneficial, without the whole of the social media world looking on? Lets say that’s where the “garden” comes into it. In fact let’s make it a Walled Garden.

So as you start to design you eco-system, think about these five elements of the requirement.

An example of which platforms belong where in your Social Media/Web 2.0 eco-system.

High Traffic Zone (Motorway) Lower Traffic Zone/(High Street)

Real Time Search, Twitter, Facebook, maybe some of LinkedIn 

Qualification/The Café Bar

Twitter Direct Messaging, maybe Facebook, definitely aspects of LinkedIn 

Engagement/ The Club

Absolutely LinkedIN, some private networks on NING and things like that

Intimacy/The Walled Garden

NING, LinkedIn and some comparable platforms or privately constructed network platforms.

Remember – Social Media is bi-directional at the very least and multi laterally bi and cross directional at its very best. Broadcast = disaster. Single direction Narrowcast = still disaster. Engagement is everything.

My personal Eco-System looks like this:

Both Traffic Zones/ Motorway and High Street - Twitter and Google RTS

The Café Bar - Twitter and some LinkedIn 

The Club - LinkedIn and some NING

Walled Garden - Mainly NING, some aspects of LinkedIn


The tools with which all this can be managed are many and varied. I have 2 19” Screens with a desktop spread across them both and a 17” Laptop constantly cruising Real Time Search (RTS).

I use a number of presentation-layer tools, though my main desktop is Hootsuite. On here I can see all my Twitter Channels (20+ identities) and my LinkedIn update columns, and if I chose to monitor Facebook and G+ (and other stuff) from that same dashboard I could do that too.

Choosing the search tools is fairly easy, though the scene is always changing. Twitter in itself in this sense is a realtime keyword search mechanism. There are many aggregation and filtering and analytical solutions that offer themselves too. 

The Key Messages of this brief paper are:

Multi-directional and spontaneous interaction is fundamental to using this medium.

Broadcast is passé and one way Narrowcast is not likely to work well at all.

No one platform is good for everything.

Just like a computer needs all the elements of hardware, op sys, RDBMS and App working in a network environment and connected to the web, with all the options there are at every level of that model, so it is with social media.

So - Putting this into action:

When building a social net - identify perhaps 10 individuals in each geography and in each platform who are already "heavy hitters". In LinkedIn that's people with more than 500 first line connections. In Twitter that's people with more than 2000. Spend time with them, they are your "mavens" and "connectors". They are capable if gving you a large net reach very quickly.

Next point:
Control is a second or third phase action. Abandon all hope of keeping it "close" except at the Walled Garden Level.

When you have 10000 followers/connectors it's easy to weed a few hundred out, but when you only have a few hundred, you shouldn't be ultra choosy.

Identifying mavens who are multiply-networked is key. I have my four key nets and I readily share data from one with connections on another often acting as a gatekeeper. For instance I often select snippets from chosen people on LinkedIn and retweet them on Twitter - then I sometimes find the person who was active on LinkedIn is also on Twitter but not as active.

End of draft 2



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Comment by Mike Briercliffe on July 10, 2010 at 14:35
Cheeky old bird.

Course I live in the real world, which thankfully is not in a sleepy village loitering somewhere around St. Albans.

Should think I visit the real world more than you do anyway :-)

Comment by Claire Gajeckyj on July 10, 2010 at 12:13
Do you live in the real world any more Mike, or just on line?
Comment by Mike Briercliffe on June 18, 2010 at 10:44
Julian - I don't pretend to have this thing all sewn up by any means and contributions like this one are very welcome. It is a good approach to do social media amongst more than one's self :-) Thanks for the good words ....
Comment by Julian Summerhayes on June 13, 2010 at 15:05

I like this piece A LOT and now appreciate your 5 interwoven layers. Jumping to the *end* (just slightly), I don't think people appreciate nor understand that the final part of the hierarchy (which looks like a play or could be play on Maslow's hierarchy of needs) doesn't mean some ethereal process of engagement. It means some old fashioned face time. It doesn’t mean hose piping (as I like to say) where people jump from the motorway and then start scrumping (a good old fashioned Devon pastime) in your garden or at least banging on your window with a load of noise. There is a lot more work to be done around the strategy as well as the metrics of Social Media. I like the work of Hubspot and Radian 6 and if more people would read and listen to their excellent material they would quickly realise that they have to - no they have NO choice - but to set out their strategy in the same as planning for any new business (development) idea or market penetration. I would love to give you some traction with your model and I would also recommend people like Scott Gould, Chris Brogan and Brian Solis who talk very eloquently about social media.

Best wishes
Comment by Glenn Le Santo on April 1, 2010 at 18:27
another thought:

Excellent Social Media integration and rationalisation tools are destined to have a very bright future. Just like Sentiment Analysis.
Comment by Glenn Le Santo on April 1, 2010 at 18:25
Margit voices a point many make, about time (or lack of it).

Networked Marketing has always been a process that required plenty of time to be invested in it to make it work. However, these new tools can sometimes save time. A 15 second tweet can be just as effective as a 15 minute phone call. And a tweet can hit thousands, not just one person. I'd also rather spend an hour each morning tweeting and building a network than leaving home to attend the local business breakfast clubs (only to see the same people week in week out)

Furthermore, as things evolve, so will the tools. There will be much more integration of disparate platforms, via tools such as Tweetdeck's integrated desktop. There already are many such tools around, and gradually the effective ones will gain a foothold.

Like many things that take time in business, like filling in your VAT returns, time-consuming or not - it still remains essential to network thoroughly.

There's another angle to the time complaint. I've found that many technology driven Social Networking processes that took lots of time when I started with them are now far less time consuming as I've developed my skills and strategies to use them.

Where I do think there is trouble ahead is when companies underestimate the amount of time they will need to invest here to do things properly. This is usually because of poor advice, low skill levels or sheer lack of experience. But again, even the slow moving mega-corps will eventually all get used to using these new tools just as they had to learn how to use a telephone way back in 1877.

(BTW: I'd love to help you with this Mike and would offer my skills as a writer, editor and someone who also has Social Media pre-programmed at BIOS level.)
Comment by Mike Briercliffe on March 24, 2010 at 11:16
Hi Margit - good points that you raise. I think there is a significant requirement for a) a "joined-up" presentation layer, which aggregates and filters the streams of content and actions that are coming at you. And b) a business process toolset that deals with matters arising and routes them to and through the various other tools that you already use (like diary, to-do list, email and contact management).

Today - I manage the key interfaces of Twitter and LinkedIN (and Facebook in a minor way), through my Tweetdeck desktop, so it's all in view at the same time and therefore "one" system. If I could get my NING notifications onto Tweetdeck I would be completely integrated. I'm working on that.

The point comes also when one's current location becomes key to what level of interaction you can sustain with your "Social Eco System". As you remarked yesterday while I was on the rail journey, my activity level changed recognisably.

These are early days for the social media landscape and application tools that help make sense of it all are being developed all the time.

I am something of a leader in these matters so I'll keep you in touch :-)


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All your links in one place - simple but really nicely done AND including some analytics. Come and have a look at my links?

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