There is a sea change afoot. In case you hadn’t noticed, Facebook is revolutionizing the way the internet is experienced and interacted with. But, more importantly, I have recently become a “Fan” of my first brand on Facebook (that I don’t already manage). I know, I know, big whoop, right, everyone is a fan of “Letting the phone ring so the person doesn’t know you’re ignoring them” and “Lady GaGa.” Not me. I even went so far as to tell all my friends years ago, via status update, that I would not ever “Fan” or “Like” any of the crappy stuff they try to shove at me. Even Jesus. So you can see how this is a big deal for me. I consider myself a pretty savvy internetter, and I am particularly conscientious about the brands, products and organizations that I connect with and promote. (Again, probably a hangover from my teen years as a punk rocker, that whole “damn the man” kind of worldview.) So, who was the lucky recipient of my social connection? A library/museum.
To be exact, it was the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. And for entirely selfish reasons, not just because I want to support them (which I do) but because I want to be them. I want to do what they do – archives and non-circulating special collections – and so I figured what better way to get “in” with the professionals already working in the area I would someday like to work in than by stalking them, i.e. connecting with them on social media. So far I am really enjoying reading about their programming, via status updates and links posted, and they have no idea I exist. Yet. But! The connection is there.
Which brings me back to the point at hand; in the complicated culture of connectivity that we are experiencing, what is the real value of the “Fan, Friend or Follow” debacle? Does it matter to Chik-Fil-A if I “like” their page? Am I a more informed consumer if I follow American Apparel on Twitter? Sure, I like the #1 Value meal, and have my fair share of the Modern 50/50 Tee, but does my select group of inter-friends need to know that, or care? Does my virtual doppelganger have to reflect every little interest or activity I enjoy IRL (in real life)?
My decision to connect with The Morgan was, as I said, primarily a professional development step, at least that’s how I justified it to myself. My real issue is that I am starting to get a sense that the social media field is getting real crowded, real fast. Do I care to contribute to that?
What brands do you support on social media? Why? Am I being an internet curmudgeon by hoarding my “like” points?