Context-specific (how people and places increase personal relevance)

It occurred to me as I moved to Denver that despite all the tools we can use to bridge the communication gap, physical location and personal communication still plays a role in our behaviour and preferences.

When I attended my first Mile High Social Media Club meeting, I was shocked at the number of people who had heard of or were using sponsor Filtrbox. As it turns out, it’s a Boulder startup, so more likely than not the brand awareness was a result of personal recommendation and trust.

I had another experience with this recently, when I found out that dynamic panel moderator Micah Baldwin at the Thin Air Summit works for Lijit (another Boulder-based company.. sense a pattern here?) I had installed Lijit months ago, and then removed it. All the kindly worded emails inquiring about my dissatisfaction from their.. sales? support?… staff went unanswered. Yet just that association of brand with a real person standing in front of me caused me to take another look at their product, and it’s now back on my blog.

We speak of social media and marketing being about trust and reputation. I recognize that I instinctively place more trust in people I’ve met in person – my A-List on google reader illustrates this clearly – I have met almost everyone on my A-List in person. Their opinions mean more to me because we have some shared context beyond the words they write. Arguably, too, the fact that I would feel comfortable asking any of them for clarification on something they wrote means that I am more actively engaged and more capable of understanding them.

So what? Do we focus on local dominance, or strategize as to how to increase our personal and professional reach? Are we all unwittingly “acting locally”, even in the online space?

2 thoughts on “Context-specific (how people and places increase personal relevance)

  • Wow…thats the first time that meeting me has been a positive! I should wear my pink hat more often. 😉

    I do think that people like people, and because of that, want to be helpful to people that they like. I know that sounds basic, but its really true.

    Because of my job, I have met hundreds of companies and people running those companies. I use the products of the companies who have people that I like. If the people were difficult to work with or just not friendly, I tend to not use their services.

    Given that the Boulder/Denver tech scene is so open, and each of us have the opportunity to meet so many of the companies and the people behind the companies as various events, I think “act locally” is definitely in effect here. Less so in SF/NYC, where the desire to collaborate is less, and the competition is heightened.

    Glad to see Lijit back on your blog! Of course, if you have any questions/needs drop me a line at micah [at] lijit [dot] com.

    Micah Baldwin’s last blog post..Even Douchebags Are Thankful

  • Hi Andrea,

    Local grown produce is important, and it is interesting to connect this in the blog environment.

    Though P.U.B. is not happy with the Lijit option due to their decision to attack the blogger’s union instead of come clean with what they make and what % Publishers get, its certainly valid to try a product when you meet a representative.

    Keep us posted on your 2nd experience with Lijit, we look at Publisher’s experiences with vendors as we navigate what issues need to be addressed for Publishers.

    Barney Moran
    Founder, P.U.B.

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