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How one is adding value comes from good old corporate America - are you familiar with "what have you done for me lately?" The good news with social media is that it's like the telephone - you make of the call/conversation what you want. That's why it's so important to be yourself.

Yes, the temptation is there to copy others (bandwagon effect), getting out of your center is never a good idea. You stated exactly why :) I know you do that. Wish more people did it - make sure you let those people know how much you appreciate them.

Also, value is in the eye of the beholder, so to speak. What works for someone, may not work for someone else.

Some great points brought up here. The only thing I feel hasn't been mentioned that deserves to be considered is how in social media, someone's worth is determined by if they're "adding value." It's something that I don't have an answer to and I'm at flaw in that aspect too, simply because of the scarcity of time and excess of noise. Some hold the same philosophy when it comes to life in general, but I strongly disagree. I feel everyone plays a role in the big picture and that individuals shouldn't be disregarded simply because they don't "add value" on paper. There's also those who could potentially add massive amounts of value to the community, but have an inability to communicate effectively via social media. This comes back to your point and points others have brought up about personal perspectives on life and how we view others and relationships. Some of my close friends add massive amounts of intangible value to my life that would be ignored via social media because their lack of tangible value and that's something I really struggle with. That's where my dichotomy of consistency comes in via virtual -> real life.

Thanks for bringing up this conversation and I look forward to seeing if anyone has been able to mend this gap of "value."

@Alan - you bring about a great point. This is a whole beta thing that smart companies are using to learn about potential marketing utilization. The next implementations will be much more commercial.

@Beth - spot on. Social media brings the problems to light where often in other kinds of communities or organizations they are buried by politics, circles of influence or old school networks. Ah, if only companies paid more attention to their organic communities - employees. They could learn so much about how people get stuff done and who is really influential and has real credibility. As for the personal level, I remember the first time I met CK and Toby Diva. We looked at each other and said - wow, you are really like you are in the blog :)

@Jane - you make a great point of how we reconcile the community with the personal. I struggle with the "great post" comments, how, why was it great? Feedback allows us to learn and to further the dialogue for the whole community. There's a lot of me and my personal experiences in every post.

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