Hugh Macleod made an interesting post today on “social objects for beginners“. He referred to social objects as the reason why people talk to each other. Learning and reflecting about it made me realize that social objects have played an important role in my growth.
Here are some social objects that got me talking to other people:
- e-commerce – the desire of people to learn and make it work in the Philippines have allowed me to pursue an advocacy, have a deep conversation, work with legislators to develop additional implementation guidelines, build relationships and contacts, that eventually led to book projects,subscriptions, speaking invites, and community creation.
- CMMI – the challenge in making the Philippines be competitively known in the field of software development requires embracing global methodology standards. It inspired me to contribute in making the country CMMI self-sufficient, conduct affordable trainings in tha area, participate in the creation of an industry game plan, and develop a friendly loans program for information technology projects build-up.
- blogs – in the process of helping a community member, I got involved in the organization of iBlog: the 1st Philippine Blogging Summit in 2005 and every year thereafter, including the mini ones. In understanding the needs of this segment, I explored tinkering with program ideas such as those that seeks to recognize the new blogs, generate income opportunities and content writing for those who are entrepreneurial, and start establishing a connection with bloggers based in Australia. It prompted me to support theme writing, provincial blogging, youth blogging advocacy, and push using blogs as a tool for election transparency. All of this has created new market conversation opportunities.
- search engine – the common need of entrepreneurs to gain visibility in search engines has sparked numerous opportunities from both advertisers and service providers. It spurred the growth of communities and even conferences just for it. In my case, I experienced joining a search engine keyword optimization contest, organized the Filipina writing project, and currently sponsoring one. Of course, my interest on this topic also made me suffer.
- Warbook – it is amazing how a simple game created an opportunity for me to build a relationship with the boys in our family. Sharing tips and aiding a clan member who got heavily attacked, made this game an interesting social object at home.
- Beads and crystals – the appreciation of Filipinos on lucky charms made beads and crystals an interesting social object with my female friends and family members. As a hobby, I create jewelry based on one’s birth sign (Chinese and Western) and casually give advise whenever asked. My daughter also got me something in relation to it that allowed us to collaborate on this blog that despite being low profile gets high traffic during this season.
Whenever I got asked about possible opportunities in e-commerce, I normally advise the entrepreneur to focus on things where he or she finds a need and has expertise in it. Need arises during our “conversation” with people who tells us that they are interested in availing in case it becomes available.
If the product or service delivers and customers are actively using it, then it becomes a powerful social object where users, if they know each other, are able to build a relationship with each other because of it. An example of this are some of my community members who end up working together, partner in a business, provide business support, or even develop a personal relationship.
I believe that those who eventually fail are the ones who were unable to sustain and further build that “conversation or relationship” or its premise is based on one’s greed (such as some quick-rich schemes) where some of its participants have hurt their credibility in the process.
So if you have a product or service idea to offer and want to assess its viability, whether it has the potential of becoming a powerful social object or not, can give it an initial assessment using this tool. This has served me well.