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@Alessandra - you make a really good point about cheating v. earning. Whenever I look at purchasing followers and friends in social media I see the disconnect with mass media. The fact we call it mass is also an apt description, isn't it? It would be -- it is -- like cheating. As for the women bit, there is a lot of room for improvement, for women starting to promote other women instead of being queen bees ;-)

@Sean - what I see happening is everyone looking up to one or two examples of early wins, say Godin, Brogan, for example, and looking to "be like them". You cannot be like them without being a "me, too" and the place in that category is already taken. To emerge, you need to create a new category and build enough appeal into it to draw others to it so they elevate you to the top as creator and first example. That's how brands do it, that's how people have been doing it. You may also want to revisit your goals and rebalance the ratio of your activities or tighten your content's focus based upon yield or income. I don't see a leader for internal communications only, for example. There are several in the measurement camp, so could you be more specific on the application of measurement and claim that industry/field? Years ago, when I started in business, there were a few women who made it to the top and they were especially good at keeping all others to the bottom... we're seeing that with social networks. Scarcity mindset at work. As a former radio broadcaster, you have the opportunity to develop an amazing podcast, how can we assist in making it happen?

Valeria - your post resonated with me (as did Eric's comment) because I've been wondering what exactly I get as a result of blogging and Tweeting. I started my business just 18 months ago and continue to schlep my way along the road to building it.

My hope with my "social media experiment" was to experience the tools first hand, perhaps build some awareness and even meet potential clients. It seems like I'm succeeding in 2/3 -- but the actual revenue part lags my expectations (perhaps unreasonably).

I've noticed the phenomenon of writing a screed or rant or controversial post that leads to RT's, comments, and reprinting on Ragan -- and the gaining of followers from participating on chats. It seems the less academic I am, the better. Yet, at this stage I'm most passionate about the potential education value -- especially on measurement topics and internal comms.

As for the obvious gender imbalance, I don't know what to think. @jgombita is a passionate advocate of calling organizers out in these matters -- particularly egregious given the continued female domination of the communication profession.

I'm a total podcast #fail, though -- that's a medium I should be much more involved in (as a former radio broadcaster), and somehow have to catch into it.

Thanks for a thoughtful post (and good comments.)

Valeria thanks a lot for the interesting post and conversation. I've been thinking a lot about useful and purposeful content, and how it is difficult to drive traditional companies out of their blah-blah-blah of market-leading solution-providing young-and-innovative companies, and let them start to talk to their customers with the same passion they use when they are at work.
As a communication consultant, I do not always succeed in this, and the last time my customer's goals, strategy and style were so radically different from mine that I ended up making clear the distance, and stating that we were no longer compatible.
But nonetheless I firmly believe that the road you outline is the most effectve one, and moreover the only one that gives you the feeling you are not cheating, but rather building something of value.

About women: I'm a strong supporter of re-balancing the sex ratio, and I always speak loud when I see those 5 guys - 1 girl panels around. I must also admit that I have no difficulties in believing @Bob when he says that women decline invitations more often than men do, so we must make our part (as you brilliantly do) reclaming, accepting and self-promoting.

see you :-)

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