Friends

Friends. In these uncertain times we all need them. It used to be simple. I walked next door or picked up the phone or yelled out the window and there were my friends. We sat in my room or went to the park or packed into a booth at the local food hangout and somehow the world and its myriad issues righted themselves.

Ring a bell? Seem familiar?

Ah, but what about today?

Do you Twitter your need? Post your concerns on Facebook or My Space? Ask for help on LinkedIn or Plaxo? Scream for attention on YouTube?

Think about it. Those of my generation have a particular view of friendship – could be its outdated. –I have written about this before. We clearly have changed the connotation of the word, but has its true meaning really morphed and if yes or no what can we learn for today and the mess the world seems to be in.

So when in doubt – go to the Internet – search and ye might find.

And. Of course, if you are looking for meaning (not spiritual) as in definition – look no farther than Wikipedia where millions of your likeminded fellows have contributed their two: cents; pesos; pence; jiao – you get the currency and value metaphor…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friendship

and to make it simpler for those who didn’t click through:

Friendship is a term used to denote co-operative and supportive behavior between two or more beings. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, and affection and respect along with a degree of rendering service to friends in times of need or crisis”
I kind of liked the collaborative effort portrayed here.

Key words – supportive behavior; relationship; esteem; affection
Key phrase – rendering service in times of need or crisis

If I were to approach finding my friends as a business problem and I was pitching myself an analytical approach to not just reaching but moving and influencing a group of people – that is helping me identify my own true friends – I’d probably say that the key phrase was the contextual link to helping me find genuine; authentic; bona fide pals; comrades and allies.

Why?

Because it denotes action. Someone ready to do something for me that encompasses both the rational and emotional – not just ready to Twitter their advice or hit the return button with some lingoed response – but ready to get on a bus; take a cab; use their feet – you get the point – to come and see me.

The following sums it up:

Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren’t bad people; they’re just acquaintances. ~Jay Leno

So, as you are being driven ponder this…

What about all of the “loyalty” programs; all of the tracking we do and the analytics we provide that show propensity to engage; buy and interact. Is it a wonder that somehow we still seem to be shooting in the dark – despite all of the weekly pronouncements the industry makes as to boosts in interaction and interface – I swear if you’d ever add up all the per-centage lifts I’ve read about and sat through all the presentations about the same – we have sold the entire world – nay universe multiple times without any waste or leakage.

So there you have it.

Think about yourself and apply it to a broader perspective.

I know where I’m going if I’m in need.

One last point – the following form Sundays New York Times is a must read – its title is “Facebook in a Crowd” and I will share the last paragraph;
“The beer arrived, a British import: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. I raised my glass in a solitary toast and promised myself I’d spend less time online. Then I took a gulp: the beer was delicious but bittersweet. Seven hundred friends, and I was drinking alone.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/magazine/26lives-t.html?ref=technology
As I said – I know where I’m going….

What’s your view?

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