Text Messaging Featured Article

Break the Conversation Mold Sheldon Cooper Style

January 31, 2012

"You have to check your messages.  The leaving of a message is one half of a social construct, which is completed by the checking of the message.  If that contract breaks down, then all social contracts break down, and we descend into anarchy."

 -Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang (News - Alert) Theory

I am not sure that complete anarchy will take over if one message is left unchecked, but take this pattern of thought a little further and it has incredible merit.  The part left out, you need to participate in the conversation to keep it social; that's the whole point of being social.  When we use the tools we have to communicate with one another, then we get the whole benefit and more.

How many countless action or sci-fi movies and television broadcasts have we seen where humanity would be wiped from existence if it wasn't for the human intervention at the climax of the looming disaster.  It is the human element of conversations that makes us want to engage and be a part.

All the social platforms, including text messaging, require participation of both parties to be engaged but usually the originator of the conversation needs to make the content of the message “meaty” enough to compel the intended community to interact.  Chris Brogan made a great observation; if you use machines and automation to create the content, then how do you expect a human to interact and respond?  Social conversations are for people, not machines.

Content is the protein, the meat, of the conversation.  Our bodies require energy which they can obtain from many methods such as sugar and protein.  Sugar to our bodies provides quick boosts of energy, but sugar burns off quickly and can often have a nasty crash (we feel worse than when we started) which is why I detest energy drinks made with sugar.  Protein alas provides energy; however, it takes longer for the body to incorporate protein, so the energy from protein lasts longer with no ugly endings.

There is wisdom with Sheldon's thought that “if one contract breaks down, then all social contracts break down,” since society quite often follows the path of, “If they are doing it then why can't I do it?”  What is not realized is, yes, a thousand different consultants can offer the “numbers” proving the point that automation and blasting increase presence and awareness when it comes to mobile marketing or Facebook fan pages and Twitter (News - Alert) followers but none of them can dispute this continuous method and it's results are equal to a sugar high with an inevitable crash.

I know the majority, no matter how this is written, will still want to "Do just like they see others doing" because they want results NOW.  For those who still do, I ask you to place yourself at the receiving end of this exercise and honestly determine how you would feel when treated this way.  When using social media to announce and alert, make sure you TALK 10 times more using the same channels this way; when you talk with those who you hope are listening, you have more chance they will be listening because you will have them in a conversation instead of a lecture.

"Live Long & Prosper"


Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, happening NOW in Miami, FL. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO registration click here.

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David Vaughan is an industry veteran of telecom, now Director of Projects at TSG Global, Inc. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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