Mandy Vavrinak is a public relations and integrated marketing professional, wife, mother, Apple fan girl, and owner of Crossroads Communications, LLC. She spoke at the 2012 Social Media Tulsa Conference about the Relevance Revolution: How Social Media Functions As Life’s Big Filter. I live plussed her talk on my personal Google+. This is a consolidation of my notes there, Mandy’s slides from Slide Share, and her own writeup on her blog. Even those don’t quite capture the experience as Mandy is an energetic speaker and had a fun interaction with the crowd. All pictures from Captured Charms Photography.
In The Beginning…
In the misty past people filtered the information needed to make a decision or choice through the people they knew who were geographically close to them. Some of this was intentional (such as who you decided to ask about a dentist) and some of it was already filtered for you (you wouldn’t inquire about a business two towns over because you wouldn’t know about it and couldn’t use it conveniently.)
And then came the interwebz!
The internet is a firehose of information making filters even more important. Our networks have been digitized and platforms compete for the best algorithim features to make their content most relevant.
Google has just implemented Search Plus Your World designed to make search results more personalized, and what’s that key word? RELEVANT! Facebook filters your stream according to who you interact with most. Pinterest is a little backwards in that its filtering has to be done manually by you choosing which boards to follow. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Twitter just acquired Posterous. Mandy predicts that Twitter will apply the feel and UI of Spaces to Twitter lists, which currently suck in her (and mine) opinion.
Basically, all of this boils down to the consumners saying “I want relevant information from a trusted source about a topic I care about in a way I can hear it and when I want it.”
Websites learn what’s relevant to you as a user by tracking the following.
- Web history–what did you search for? Which sites did you visit?
- Actions taken–what did you interact with?
- Time spent–what held your interest and for how long?
A big lesson for us content creators is don’t create content just to say you posted it. Crappy content is still crap and makes for a crappy king! Create relevant content!
To guide you in creating that relevant content ask yourself The New 5 Ws!
- Who is going to care about this?
- Where do those people hangout online?
- What do they do on that network? What are their goals on that site?
- When are they looking for it on that network?
- Why should they choose you?
- Once you’ve considered all of the above ask how are you going to share this content?
If you do not follow the path of The New 5 Ws and create relevant content you will be a time suck! No one wants to have their time sucked away by having to wade through irrelevant material! If you have your social networks linked together and synced up spewing out the same content at the same time GO HOME AND CHANGE THAT! (didn’t I blog about this once?)