FOMO

The “Fear Of Missing Out”. I don’t know who coined this term (it may have been Caterina.net) but it sums up, for me, much of the reasoning behind the rise of and obsession with “social media”.

It’s a common enough phenomena in normal “offline” life. Should I stay in on a Saturday night? Or is it worth going to the Joneses party? Or maybe the Krempler’s will be better? Should I attend that conference? Is it worth signing up that networking event? Worth flying to LA for Billy Bob and Mary Beth’s wedding?

(Let alone the “paranoia” that afflicts those who feverishly check the Facebook pages of those who DID do those things we either didn’t do or weren’t invited to, whether they were enjoying it and what they were wearing.)

We have kinda become more focused with
measurement than generating the thing
to be measured

These channels (the Facebooks, Twitters, Stumbledupons et al) are kinda there as trawl nets to pick up the things we may have not caught first time. A video. A connection. An event. They function as a double-negative. They may not necessarily give us anything of any value, but at least we have all our antenna out, functioning, hoping to catch something “cool” we missed. Helping us mitigate the sense that we may be “missing out.”

I wonder if it’s the same for Marketing Directors.

Given the plethora of channels, the guilt-factor associated with NOT being in all and every one of these over-populated forums must be huge. And keeping up with them, keeping the content fresh, monitoring the content and contact, must be akin to feeding the 5,000.

The sense that you can’t NOT do it. You “have” to.

But what, I wonder, is the alternative? After all, they are all just secondary (or tertiary) channels. An excuse for not managing your own brand well and having a great connection with your customers.

My sense is that there’s a huge chunk of energy wasted on worrying about the activity on the channel than generating great content to put ON the channel. We have kinda become more focused with measurement than generating the thing to be measured.

The smartest companies get their core right and produce products, content and an “ethos” out to the market that ATTRACTS followers. The dumber ones are furiously playing a losing, expensive game of catch up.

The smart, pretty girl is staying home, not concerned about the Joneses, nor the Kremplers, killing herself laughing watching a re-run of the Revenge of the Pink Panther in her jim-jams while her catty competitors are bouncing from crap party to crap party, trying to figure out where she is.

“Build it. They will come.”  Or “BITWC”.

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