Making the web smaller by getting to know your neighbors

27 Jan

Lately I’ve been attracted to local, neighborhood online communities. They seem to be the only venues where people care passionately about drive-by posts and action happens. For example, I recently became acquainted with someone whom I’ve long admired, Steven Clift. He’s all about networking offline communities using online tools. He also happens to have the enviable twitter handle, @democracy, because he claims he was twitter user number 600 or something. So, he launched BeNeighbors.org to help local communities connect and collaborate. There are also a few other tools I’ve been playing with, along similar lines, NextDoor.com and EveryBlock.com  These all serve slightly different pruposes, but they share a goal of helping you get to know your neighbors and your neighbors’ neighbors.

Such is also the case online, and I’ve been playing around with a new network mapping tools like SocialBro Twiangulate and Tagwalk. These tools help you find adjacent tags and common followers which will help you not only map your social graph, but also will help you be more directed in your social media marketing.

For example, you may know three hashtags related to a certain topic, but not know any more and not have a firm grasp on all the most influential tweeters who are strong advocates for that topic. Knowing the neighboring tags and users will help you contact the best people to help you drive your campaign.

Similarly, if you want to find advocates in a specific interest area, go to slideshare and see who has presented on that topic, or go to Scoop.it to see who is curating the best content on the topic, because they’re expert-level candidates with already engaged networks to help you share your message.

So, as is the case with local neighbors, if you can find your virtual neighbors, who reside by you on a social network map, due to their interests, you will have stronger advocates for your cause and more efficient messaging in outbound campaign asks.

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