And so another platform has stolen our hearts, for the time-being anyway, having become the hit of the moment. Connect.me is showing much promise, in allowing those with a personal brand to stroke, to become known for their specialism or area of expertise. It promises to connect you with the go-to person you require, in any given field. Gone is the “Like” … welcome the “Vouch”!
But at this early stage, and with the platform functioning in the way it does, are we adhering to the ideals that the founders had in mind, or are we again mis-using a social network, whilst we await further guidance or remedy?
It strikes me that 2 areas of connect.me are worryingly flowing in a direction that I think may be at odds with the intention of the platform:
Since I signed up a week ago, I have been vouching like a good’un! Anyone and everyone in my networks have been considered and chosen, where appropriate, to receive a vouch for the area of expertise I recognise them for. I question though, of myself, the train of thought, and my motive for vouching. If I’m completely honest, and if you are too, the first thing that occurred to me was my own desire to receive as many vouches in return, and to unlock the increasingly important levels of status on the site. How often in life do we give, not unconditionally, but with the desire and outright aim of receiving in return. Shame on me! Shame on you! Shame on Connect.me for making it so!
I would like to think that I am most recognised for being vocal on the topics of social media monitoring, and the help I provide business owners and brands, in lending an ear to their existing and prospective customers. I do this via my blog, which often takes the form of a video. My business name is “Influence Agents”, which is borne out of the intention to help my clients to reach a larger audience via fewer relationships – efficiency in social networking.
But it seems that my Vouchers see me as an “Influencer” and a “Vlogger”. I’m not complaining. If anything, this kind of validation and feedback is invaluable in ensuring that I know how I’m being perceived. It is, in itself, a form of brand management. But my suspicion is that the vast majority of Vouchers were driven by the fact that the first 2 vouches occurred under these headings, and the temptation when vouching is to add to the topics others have already chosen. After all, I suspect no-one wants a single vouch for each of a growing number of topics! It shows a certain lack of consideration on the part of Vouchers, but again, I think this can be attributed to the functionality and direction of Connect.me as a whole.
So, what’s my point? I think it is thus … sometimes we toe the line. We take the road most-travelled, and follow in others footsteps. New social media platforms arise each day, and many want to be early adopters. Many more want to join the herds, when they happen upon something that is “trending”. But if you’re going to join a new platform, with the intention of forming a valuable network, let’s consider the purpose and benefit to those we seek to network with. In Connect.me’s case, I’m taking a new approach … do you deserve my vouch, and am I vouching to improve your status for the right topic? Forget the badges, or ribbons of honour. Let’s network right!