I’ve been thinking about how we use social media. How can we characterize what we do? I have always used Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s Social Technographics ladder for thinking about the various levels of social media participation. I want to make a simpler ladder of social engagement for use in teaching others about social media.
Perhaps there could be as few as 4 levels of involvement:
Creation. This is the creation and publication of original ideas – text, video, images. Social conversation centers around ideas. Few people make the stuff that others talk about.
Curation. Curation is the collection of other people’s ideas. This could be a collection of links or a blog post that cites some great work. Curation usually happens at some kind of dedicated spot. Selective sharing even on a real-time platform is a type of curation. Most of us curate but we don’t think about it that way.
Conversation. This is the dialog about ideas. From written or recorded commentary to a simple retweet, input about things represents the start of a conversation. Conversation or the ability to respond to what other people create is the defining element of web 2.0.
Observation. This is the consumption of ideas or conversation about those ideas. It seems that most of us watch. Historically, observation was the core element in web 1.0
These categories represent a subjective continuum and most of what we do is some combination of each. Sometimes I make stuff, other times I talk about other’s ideas. I’m definitely a curator. The vast majority of my social time is spent listening.
What’s so striking to me about the Forrester ladder: It all starts with somebody’s creation. It’s been said many times before: Ideas and their embodiment represent a type of currency in the attention economy. Good, original ideas create powerful conversation. The power of the collection and discussion of those ideas shouldn’t be underestimated, however.
Perhaps a simple sequence could be: Listen, talk, collect, and create.
This ladder of social engagement eliminates 3 levels from the original ladder and may be simpler to describe to a physician audience. What am I missing?