Trust Agents

Social Media

This book has radically changed the way I work, and the way we find and use information to do with our business environment. If your business (or life) is in a changing environment, then I’d suggest you either adopt the ostrich position or work through this book.

I heard another speaker say ‘Behave in life as if everything you will ever do will appear on YouTube – because it probably will’. The authors expand on this by showing how much of our life can be dragged out from Social Media sites.

The book starts with the story of Joe Pistone – and how his undercover sting against the Mafia could never happen today. The rip off performed by a Stanley Kubrick impersonator also set the scene.

The single biggest change I have experienced in 30 years in work, came as a result of following their advice to ‘build a listening station’ – have twitter and blogsearching tell YOU what’s happening, relevant and about to become hot in your environment.

Be a go-giver rather than a go-getter, and sharing a joke can be compared with the activity in social networks.

Whilst reading the book I attended a reasonably large conference and spotted an awful lot of ‘those guys’ – the ones with 5 mouths and half an ear rather than the correct 1:2 ratio. Also at the conference I was reminded of a quote from Douglas Adams – everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal”. With this quote in mind I continued through the book.

I’ve followed their advice regarding answering expertise questions on my blog rather than a simple email. I’ve modified the advice slightly – I say to my contacts that if the information is valuable to them, then it’s also valuable to the other people like them, who we currently work with. More importantly it’s also valuable to the vast number of people in their environment who we don’t currently work with.

The book has a wide range of references to other material that looks very powerful, and Chris brings his enjoyment of computer gaming to this book. (Disclosure – I can’t abide computer games and I’m not about to start – but that does not reduce the relevancy of the content).

Actions are suggested throughout the book, the most powerful being the listening station, and they recommend a ‘Just do it’ type approach. You don’t have a blog? Neither did I until I read this book.

The style of writing is very informative and sometimes quite irreverent ‘How not to be scummy’ and how it’s important to be seen by leaving comments (useful, thoughtful ones) on blog posts of the up and coming diamonds in your arena.

Examples of powerful, effective ‘showing up’ on social networks has had huge benefits to massive organisations. These benefits prove that social networks aren’t just for the kids. (Kids is anyone younger than me – so that’s most of you!).

Striving to be Agent Zero looks like hard work – but they show how important it can be to be the hub of a network. That begs a question – how many agent zeros is there space for?

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