Social Media’s Connectivity and Evolution: Bruce Lee to The UFC

Carnac Johnny Carson

Courtesy Carnac the Magnificent Wiki

Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent could not have framed it better: “Social Media, Bruce Lee, the UFC.  .  . What’s a revolution, an institution, and a evolution.” Social Media is the revolutionary byproduct of Web 2.0 and blogging. It is a collaborative paradigm shift in communication and connectivity characterized, by Tim O’Reilly, as an “architecture of participation.” Yet what does it have in common with Mixed Martial Arts of the UFC and martial arts legend Bruce Lee? A: Connectivity and evolution.

Bruce Lee

Courtesy BruceLeeDivineWind.com

Bruce Lee and The UFC

Bruce Lee description of his fighting philosophy: “Be formless… shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle; it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot; it becomes the teapot. Water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend…”  It was Bruce Lee’s creation of Jeet Kune Do that was the roots of Mixed Martial Arts. Jeet Kune Do relies upon multiple (mixed) styles no one more important than the other. Lee’s philosophy was that the opponent and circumstances dictated which discipline within Jeet Kune Do be used against an opponent. It is not fixed or rigidly patterned like traditional martial arts but rather it is a philosophy with guiding thoughts. Nearly 40 years later, the UFC represents the evolution of Jeet Kune Do by becoming the fastest growing sport on the planet.

Social Media and Blogging

Like Bruce Lee’s role in the creation of mixed martial arts,  blogging is the forefather or foundation on which Social Media was built. The connectivity that blogging brought to the masses is the basis for the Web 2.0 revolution that ushered in our current era where individuals have the power to create brands, mass media styled messages, and connect on a world wide basis with their targeted audience(s).

5 Things We Are Learning About Social Media

  1. Social Media was built upon blogging as a platform
  2. Social Media’s blogging platform is evolving with the explosion of micro-blogging
  3. Social Media’s evolution is based on philosophies that allow for the malleable change and growth of social networks
  4. Social Media’s evolution and continued growth relies upon adoption of social networks
  5. Social Media’s growth depends upon participation and contributions by new adopters within social networks

Twitter: Web 2.0 Definition of Architecture of Participation

tim-oreilly

Tim O’Reilly the 2005 architect of the now famous definition of Web 2.0 foreshadowed the coming of the paradigm shift in media we are now seeing. The idea that individuals and companies could participate, collaborate, connect, and create is now in full swing–online.

Twitter: Micro Scale Example

Twitter’s social network is a solid example of an architecture of participation on a micro scale. Although it is not yet as functional as a blog, Twitter’s microblogging platform supports the architecture of participation:

  • Sharing links to resources
  • Developers creating open source tools for the Twitter community
  • Audio and Video links shared within the community
  • Collaboration between Twitterers in business, social, and political circles
  • Subculture of vernacular, semantics, and Twitter speak

O’Reilly’s mantra within his Web 2.0 definition should be the rallying cry manifesto for every entrepreneur, small business, and corporation: Creating network effects through an “architecture of participation.”

Us vs. Them

For companies like Intel, American Express, Clorox, and HP the power of microblogging, blogging and social networks produces:

  • Brand recognition
  • User participation
  • Measurement of message, products, and services
  • Viral opportunities
  • Reputation management
  • Breaking news opportunities
  • Communication and engagement with their audience
  • Crowdsourcing for new ideas

Conclusion: The Have “Nots” a Warning

For companies without a social media strategy, with no participation in social networks, and for those companies that do not publish a blog your time is coming. Your De-Evolution will take place as your competitors that are social media Web 2.0 first adopters and the second wave of adopters will fill the vacuum and void left by your lack of participation.

Worse yet, the consumer population looking for your brand online, within these social networks, will assume you don’t care about them or their concerns.

These consumers, made up of your current audience-clients and potential consumers, will hold conversations about your products and services. Some will compliment and evangelize your company-but you will never know it. Some will slam your brand, tell stories of dissatisfaction, and rant about your lack of participation-but you will never know it.

McKinsey Global Survey: Web 2.0 “Spurring Change” in Corporate Management and Organization

Web 2.0 tools are “spurring change” with corporate management and organization according to respected consulting giant McKinsey’s “Building the Web 2.0 Enterprise: McKinsey Global Survey Results.” The results of this report point to interesting trends that every corporation must analyze moving forward starting today. According to McKinsey “as Web 2.0 gains traction, it could transform the way companies organize and manage themselves, leading to what some have dubbed Enterprise 2.0.”

4 Reasons for Corporations to Consider Web 2.0 Tools:

1.  Interaction: 26% have reported Web 2.0 tools have “changed interactions with customers and suppliers”

2. Roles and Functions: 33% reported that new Web 2.0 technologies have “created new roles or functions inside their organizations”

3. Corporate Structure: 33% feel that Web 2.0 tools “are changing their corporate structure”

4.  Hiring and Talent Retention: 27% report Web 2.0 tools have changed the method that their company hires and retains employees.”

See Exhibit 6 “Spurring change”  for matrix