networks

Do you build the bar or be the bar fly?

This week I was reminded of an interesting social media analogy from my friend Chris Brogan: do you build the bar or do you go bar hopping? In other words, do you build the place where people come to hangout, share ideas, and learn new things? Or, do you visit the cool places with others to have interesting conversations and move on when the time comes?

If you build the bar you need to keep it interesting on a regular basis. Bringing in the cool bands, recruiting the funny people, and putting in great design are just some of the actions you must do. Then you need to promote your bar by getting the word out through friends and family, "regulars", and other channels likely to be frequented by your potential customers. Building the bar is probably the easiest part; maintaining, growing the bar is the hard part. In bar building all your energy and resources are spent on the bar.

If you bar hop (or be the bar fly), you get to discover the interesting places and meet new people. You can move when it's not fun anymore. Your time and energy is spent on the interaction, discovery, and sharing. And you get to stay home when the weather is bad.

The analogy to social media? Do you want to have the next Facebook (bar) or Twitter (another bar)?
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