Today I read two more blogs on strategy and approach for successful social media launch. I thought to myself sure plan and track--nothing new there. Just more program managers stating the obvious. Except then I thought "viral" Nothing is more the antithesis of planning than viral adoption. Viral adoption is like chaos theory and like chaos theory; it eventually evolves into a state of equilibrium (organization). Who is to say what makes the most sense? Who is to say you must launch it like this or it will fail? What is failure but missing the mark. Viral creates the mark; moves the mark; restates the obvious and underscore the point where we are. Who is to say that realizing where you is not just as important as tracking where you want to go?
I am writing this as more of an ah-ha moment for myself. Having come up through analytics and being by default someone who likes the order of process, I have always been in the camp of you can't get there if you don't know where there is. Right now I am experience the slow creaking of a rusty old pin being dragged reluctantly off center. Being willing to take a stand and say there is no wrong way to launch. Whether Plan or unplanned, either way you have what you have once people start the engagement. Can you influence that? Sure, but the baseline is the starting point in either case.
I think that the baseline may be more of the key in social networks. The baseline may be the ground zero of understanding for the evolution-- highly planned or completely viral. Both offer value. The telling is in how the network builds its connectors and how communities group or are drawn to group given the company’s needs.
I saw a great movie this weekend. In the end the narrator reflects on his life and his work and how initial reason for what he was doing, studying and hoping to get to was not what all his process has ended up being about. Somewhere in the process itself was the reason-- so there was / is no there, there. It’s all the “there.”