Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Control: maybe; Domination: No

Today a few of the great people I follow in Twitter independently repeated one of the many “mantras” we have in Social Media; quoting just one of them to make the point (translated):

@jesus_hoyos: “#sfdcmx #mx0609 there is no control in social networks; just conversations”

I want to offer a counterpoint; not to challenge the concept completely but instead to “fine tune it”:

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary one of the valid definitions of Control is: “to exercise restraining or directing influence over”; and a valid definition of Domination is: “supremacy or preeminence over another”.

So here the bait for Brands: Yes, you can have control…. (now comes the switch) however you can’t dominate in Social Networks.

How do you have control, you ask?

You listen, you engage, you participate and you do it open to exercise control as much as have control exercised on you (by those others that participate in the social network as you do). You create the opportunities and spaces for engagement as much as you seek for for and willfully join those opportunities and engagement spaces others have created and chosen to gather around. You control by collaborating and understanding, you control by being open to be controlled.

So Brands: be happy, you can control.

What do you think?

Filiberto Selvas


ScorpFromHell said...

Nice post Filiberto! :)

Unfortunately, Control has many connotations to it. The definition you picked up from Merriam-Webster is for the aspect where Control is used to mean Regulate. The same page you referenced also points to another aspect where its used - Rule - which defines it as: to have power over.

Though I agree with what you ask of us to do - influence, not dictate - the word Control is still a bad choice due to the ambiguities in it. Look at this page to see the various meanings of the word. :)

Prem [@prem_k]

Filiberto Selvas said...

I don't disagree with your comment; I wanted to use the word as bait :) so Brands that insist in "domination" (or Control) would take the time to read it.


Unknown said...

Mulling over the idea a friend recently proposed that social media is a more feminine principal of leadership through engagement. Domination and control both have more of a masculine sound. Not sure where to go with the analogy, but believe there is something there to chew on.

Filiberto Selvas said...

I guess then those of us in touch with our feminine side (regardless of gender) are in luck these days :)