Where’s your wagon buttered?

April 19, 2009

Granted, many of the post titles here are a lot more descriptive than this one, but I’m sure you’ll get the imagery or the intent by the time you’re a little ways through the post. So, onward…

In a conversation I had with my GF the other day, she said, “You should definitely hitch your wagon to him.”

She was talking about a friend of mine. A guy who is fairly well-known in the social-media sphere and who has contacts elsewhere in business communities and the technology world.

Preliminarily I agreed. It’s never bad to know more people. It helps you maintain perspective – both personal and professional. It helps you reach new communities and audiences – fairly important when creating content for a variety of consumers. And having a variety of wagons around you – circa the old West – means that you’re ensconced in a protective and nurturing shield of like-minded and similarly driven entities.

But where does the fishbowl effect come in? When does each wagon start to look like the next one?

If you’re focused on the Boston social-media scene, you might ascribe any one of a dozen names to the person my girlfriend suggested. You’d likely be wrong. The person we were talking about was someone I got to know recently and someone who has far less influence than the recognized old-guard rockstars.

This guy has ideas about services and how to deliver them via the Web. He knows how to use and enjoy social media and is looking for partners in his quest.

It’s like watching the start of Lord of the Rings – or any film where a merry band of people gather together to take on the odds as a team.

Now let’s get to the butter.

For a while I’ve been an evangelist of social media tools. I’ve used most of them and have even taught individuals, businesses and educational institutions how to Tweet, Link and ‘Book. That’s not changing, but the thing that is – ever-so-slightly – is my focus on the future.

As Ashton Kutcher and Oprah delve into social media and drag it to the masses, there’s going to be a wave of demand for the skills I’ve built over the past five years.

Instead of being the scribe or content creator, I’ve shifted to the role of content coordinator. I’m now advising people about the content they should have and where they should have it. There’s a greater opportunity in that role – both for financial return and for sharing.

You see, if I just hitch my wagon to the superstars and feed Remora-like off their conquests nobody wins. If I ride alongside them and offer to pull people with my wagon, then the bread gets buttered on both sides for everyone.

The only reason I’m able to pull – and never lose sight of this – is that the rockstars have shared themselves and this is just my way to pay it forward…errr backward.

Look at your vehicle. Is it a wagon? If so, I urge you to offer someone a ride, too. You’ll both get where you’re going a little faster. Trust me.

Keep reading!