He even said that some had become like family ... (even if we are weird or dysfunctional -- but I think we all know who he was referring to there ;)). The meeting place for Tim's family is not the dining room table or the campfire, but his blog.
And it made me think ... I, too, have made some great friends through blogging -- many of whom I have never met. Many of them are regular readers and posters here at MarketingProfs. But does the fact that we met online change the nature of our relationship? Does this make a blog-friendship better or worse than an old-school friendship?
Furthermore, what does this mean for brands and the way that consumers engage and interact with them? And the more that I thought about this, and the more blogs I surfed to, the more traces of BSP were found ...
David Armano has a thought-provoking piece on shared experience and intimacy. David is well-loved and respected because of his willingness to push himself, ask hard questions (of himself and us all) and to bring his personal views and sense of the world into the blogosphere. And in this post, DA does so again, teasing out the flavours of a personal moment and making it applicable to us all.
John Dodds also has a very interesting post on how you get people to notice you -- and while he is talking about the "future of advertising", he ends up at the same place -- intimacy. For John, that deep connection, or an intimate relationship, is about details not about big ideas. You know, I am sensing a congregation of ideas ...
And so, serendipitously, I am trolling through my old draft article list and I find two links in the body of a post. One is this -- I found it around Christmas time when I was having a most harrowing time. It struck a chord and I thought that I would return to it at some point. Both articles deal with sincerity and authenticity -- with intimacy and engagement.
As marketers we all talk about engagement and about conversation... but perhaps we are really striving for intimacy, for details, for a way to map out the thin but vital connections between us? Perhaps this IS what we want as bloggers, but do Marketing Directors or CMOs want this? Funnily enough, I think the answer is NO... but on the other side of the coin, on the consumer side, there is little doubt that we are seeking a place to belong.
The connections we make, the conversations we participate in, the moments and memories that strengthen our bonds can occur on and offline. What I sense is a blurring of our different modes of being. For those of us who still think there are boundaries between on and offline, the implications are profound. For a younger generation, the implications have been lost in the rapid merging of adoption, expression and identity -- there simply are no questions to consider.
But what I do know is that the longer I interact, learn, play, laugh and argue with this community, the surer I feel that I have a place of belonging. Where do you belong?
Why, you belong here with me.