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September 04, 2009

Why I Learned All I Needed To Know About Social Media In 1989, Not 2009

It's Friday night, time to put aside the CRM and get into the #fridaynitemix.... That's how I typically start my Friday evenings on Twitter, but more on that later.

I'm sitting in a very nice hotel resort in Orlando after doing a social media session for American Express at this year's Black Enterprise magazine Golf & Tennis Challenge event. And next Tuesday I'm headed to Buenos Aires to do my first international keynote at this year's International Direct Marketing Association conference. And I even somehow found myself labeled as a Rock Star.... of Social CRM - which would be the only way anyone would call me that. So for me this is pretty cool stuff here!

I've learned a tremendous amount over the last 4+ years I've been using social media to share my experiences, opinions and what little expertise I may have on various subjects. I can honestly say it's brought me WAY MORE than I've been able to offer up - great relationships, great information and great opportunities, to say the least.

And as much as I've learned over the past few years about Facebook, Twttier, YouTube and all of the other social media/social networking stuff, I learned the most important social lessons when I was a college DJ back in the mid to late '80s. I know what you're asking right now - my DJ name was Brenton C... it rhymed with "in the place to be". Yeah, I know....

Anyways, being a college DJ meant having to listen to a lot of different music, and loving every minute if it. It meant learning which songs worked together well enough to create a 30-45 minute mix of non-stop music that people would dance to, nod their head to and basically lose their minds to... oh yeah and give that look that let you know that you were really "doing something". And sometimes you'd also get that that other look that let you know that you had really done something...wrong.  And when you inspired that kind of look, Moses couldn't have parted the dance floor faster than a DJ playing a jacked-up mix.

But that instant communication was present even back then. So was the collaboration, like when the crowd shouts out to hear a song that you weren't really ready to play - but you played it because the community, I mean the crowd was dying to hear it! No diggs or tweets were required to understand that communications were a two way street in order for everybody to feel fulfilled. And although the word today can spread worldwide in a blink of an eye, the word spread pretty well in my little world back then as well.

So from a really meaningful standpoint, I owe a great deal of my understanding of social media (whatever that may be) to my years of DJ-ing back in the day. And my love of the music from that in my life led me to start tweeting out those great songs on Friday nights. And these past Fridays tweeting out "the good stuff" made me realize that the spirit of today's social media age had been introduced to me more than 20 years ago. Because that weekly tweeting has turned into another one of the accidental communities I've become involved with - the #FridayNiteMix hashtag community. The other one I'm involved in is the #scrm accidental community. And I know for a fact these communities have collided, as many of my #scrm folks send me requests to play on Friday night!!!

Now here's where today's social tools have amplified and empowered the lessons of 1989. This week I had the opportunity to record a conversation with a gentleman by the name of Glenn Bolton. He's probably better known by his stage name, Daddy-O of the hip-hop group Stetsasonic. Stetsasonic was an enormously popular group when I was in school, and I was thrilled to connect with Daddy-O on Twitter, where he goes by @ProfessorDaddyO. And it's because of Twitter that I was able to meet him, and record a conversation with him about how Stetsasonic got together, who their influences were, and what he's up to today. In fact Daddy-O is very knowledgeable of what's going on in the social media space, having a new media production company, and even working on a white paper on how the social media industry has been influenced by hip-hop culture. And he's getting ready to launch what he's calling the first open source hip-hop record company.

So I'm glad to share with you my first #FridayNiteMix conversation featuring Daddy-O. It truly is a conversion of Old Skool -Nu Skool social media purpose and practice. Let's face it, social media is as old as the hills, it's the tools we have at our disposal today that allows us to reach more hills...quickly.

Click the player below to hear our conversation, or click here to download it. A big thanks goes to Daddy-O for reaching out and sharing a part of his story.  See you guys later tonight on the #FridayNiteMix! 

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