Digital Hoarders and Using the Social Media Lightsaber
Every really good conference or meeting offers up a new phrase, a moment of amusement, and a reason to ponder. Our session with Dell earlier this week was no exception. It went something like this…
During a morning session at Dell’s first CAP day (Customer Advisory Panel. Read more here.) one of the participants described herself as a “digital hoarder”. She wants to have her documents and emails available on her laptop when she wants them; not in the cloud, not on an external hard drive. Where she wants them. (On her laptop.) When she wants them.
So when she runs out of space on the hard drive, she buys a new laptop. (Hint: the next one is a Dell and it’s orange, just like the nail polish color.)
Digital hoarder. I love it. I can relate and I can understand how, to an IT person or someone more tech-savvy, this is an absurd way to use technology. I don’t know, it’s working for her. Over dinner she described a business that is expected to exceed seven figures this year…not too shabby.
Digital hoarder…the phrase amuses me and causes me to think at the same time. We are living in a world that is morphing into something new that we don’t quite know how to address. The old paradigms don’t work. Segmenting all business as either consumer, small business or enterprise may not answer the needs of today’s workforce with its home-based virtual companies. What is consumer and what is business? While there some obvious answers, the not-so-obvious grow in number–every day.
We each use technology differently. Often to the dismay of IT and tech support.
The moment of amusement came in the afternoon during a somewhat tense discussion of customer support. Another panelist jumped to his feet and said something to the effect of “I can take Dell down with my extensive social network.” We were dumbfounded for a split second and then the grinning started and the tweets flew back and forth. It was really funny to think that this one guy thought that he and his 589 Facebook fans and his 4000 Twitter followers could crush Dell. Someone muttered something about Darth Vader and the giggles started up again as we pictured him wildly waving his social media lightsaber…
And yet, I could relate to him also. I could imagine that feeling of frustration welling up as I try to make my point and grasp for something to get attention. I don’t know if he really believed what he was saying or was just trying to make a point. Raises some interesting questions though…what kind of damage can someone with a small network do to a brand? When is it appropriate to complain to your networks and when is it better to just…zip it?
I’m a vocal person and when I have a good experience with a brand I share that information happily. I enjoy connecting the people I know with people I believe they will enjoy knowing, brands they will find offer value, and solutions that will provide answers they may need.
On the other hand…when a brand disappoints, doesn’t deliver value or is just plain awful, I share that information as well. This is one of the challenges faced by brands in today’s world and it is very real. One pissed off middle-aged lady with an extensive network and a bee in her bonnet can create a lot of noise…
So our panel’s Darth Vader couldn’t actually take Dell down with his social networks but he could negatively influence potential Dell customers. Dell gets that. Its use of social media now extends to having created this panel of both dissatisfied customers and brand evangelists. May be the force be with them as they process our feedback and act on it.
We live in interesting times, don’t you think?