The Next Big Thing in Social Media Is Small

The next big thing is social media is small.

The next big thing in social media is small.

As my friend and mastermind buddy Sarah Bray puts it, it’s the difference between big box stores and small shops:

When I was growing up, Wal-Mart was inevitable. It was just this place you had to go to get basic stuff. You needed it, and you didn’t think twice about how horrible it was. It was cheap and it was there.

But now, we have all these other options. We can shop locally. We can shop online. We can shop at Target. We don’t have to go to Wal-Mart anymore.

I hope this is what is happening with the web right now. That more of us are deciding that the Wal-Marts of the Internet aren’t really what we need, and that we can do better.

Wal-Mart, of course, is Facebook. Or maybe it’s Twitter. Really, it’s wherever you don’t want to be but feel like you have to for the sake of “getting the word out” about your business.

Social media–as a behemoth ready to send you tons of free traffic if only you can crack the code–is all but dead. 

And yet…

Long live social media!

Social media is getting smaller, more organized and less algorithmic, more people-focused and less startup-focused.

What this means for you is that you have a lot of control. Now, you no longer only have control over your content, you have control over the platform because the platform is yours.

You create the space, invite the people, and play in it together as you see fit.

You don’t “go on” social, you  are social.

Sarah is doing this with her own community and virtual co-working space, Gathered. I do this with The Lab.

But you don’t have to go rogue to make this new wave of social work for you and your community.

Live video is also working to create these spaces–within big boxes like Facebook or in small, private spaces like on Crowdcast (my new favorite thing).

With live video, each post becomes a gathering spot. 

It’s fleeting, yes. But it’s also incredibly powerful. When you make an eyeball-to-eyeball connection with 5, 100, or 10,000 people for 5 minutes, you’re doing more good for your business in that time than a lifetime on Twitter.

Live video isn’t the next big thing because it’s new technology or a new tactic for connecting with your audience. Live video is big because of how small it makes our world for a few powerful moments. 

I suspect that more technology will come along and mimic this small world environment soon. 

I spoke with one of the pioneers of online business and social media marketing, Joel Comm, for this week’s episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit.

Joel told me that he sees live video as the thing we’ll be talking about with social for quite some time to come.

If you want to hear more about how live video creates small gathering spots for your community–and how Joel approaches new technology, platforms, and trends in social media, check out this week’s episode.

Click here to read the transcript or listen in to our conversation.

[smart_track_player url=”″ title=”Navigating Social Media & Beyond with Joel Comm” social=”true” social_twitter=”true” social_facebook=”true” social_gplus=”true” ]

How to found nations & find bliss: an interview with Sarah J Bray

I’ve been following Sarah J. Bray since January 2010. Yes, I know the exact month because finding Sarah marked a huge shift in my business.

For me, Sarah represents the pinnacle of both digital honesty and unflinching ambition. It’s a beautiful combination and really points to the promise of the You Economy. If you can be both truly yourself and full of the passion required to make big, big things happen, how could you call yourself anything but a success?

I spoke with Sarah about her two latest projects, A Small Nation and Tour de Bliss. Both represent the elegant, iterative process that Sarah uses to generate work that is meaningful to her team and transformative for her clients.

Her ever-evolving process of finding work that meets that criteria is something I really wanted to dive into. Her advice was to “treat it like an experiment” and to not pretend that this is going to be what you’re doing for the rest of your life.

We often get so wrapped up in getting things perfect that we forget that learning is our chief job as entrepreneurs. Perfection teaches us nothing. Striving for permanence is foolhardy. Embrace a legacy of authentic, purposeful experimentation.

We want to find out bliss, our ideal life, but we always want to reach for greatness. The thing is we’re never quite sure about what either of those things are. Our ideal life & our great work, they are unknowable. We have to purposefully experiment to come closer & closer to knowing.

What’s truly beautiful about Sarah’s process is that its goal is always moving towards her ideal instead of moving away from what is unappealing. Move toward what compels you, not away from what repels you.

Find Sarah at A Small Nation, Tour De Bliss, and her own site. Follow her on Twitter.