Like all of us in the business of marketing, I’ve been using social media for a while now. It’s been a great experience. It’s a tool to amplify my thoughts, to have a dialogue with others, and, to curate and discover content. But it’s really nothing new. Being in the media business all of my career I’ve always looked for tools that could accomplish those goals.
I recently crossed a cognitive line. I started using the cycling social network, Strava. I’m addicted. I’ve ridden for a long time, racing, doing long epic adventures and anything else that pushed my own limits. One thing that I’ve struggled with is training and the tools to train. In cycling the tools can overwhelm you, from heart rate monitors to cyclometers measuring speed, cadence and distance and even power meters. All in you can spend a couple of grand on these tools. The tools aren’t the hassle but, for me, it’s been the recording and analyzing of the training were I’ve fallen down. It’s just too much time.
Strava solves the problem for me. It takes all of the data I collect, whether it’s from the devices on my bike or even my iPhone, and is easily uploadable. Sure, lots of digital tools do that. What’s so cool is that it layers on a social network. For example, I rode from Copper Mountain to Boulder the other day. It’s a fairly long ride of 110 miles. In the ride there are 12 or so climbs. Once I upload my stats it gives me the ability to compare my time, speed, heart rate and power on every climb to everyone else that’s done that climb. I can compare myself to Pros or folks of different ages. I can also compare myself to other people by weight.
People can make comments on your ride or segment. They can give you Kudos.
The combination of all of this data with a social layer has me even more addicted to cycling. It’s made it more fun and effective.
I am addicted.
My sense is the future of social media is the seamless collection of our behavioral data with options to share it, compare ourselves to others and build communities around our specific interests and goals. Every aspect of our life will give us the ability to get the feedback we want (or not) as we try to improve what we do.
At Victors & Spoils, we’ve been thinking a lot about this when it comes to work performance and reputation. We believe that all of us will have a quantifiable and reputation based on our personal work.
But, that’s another post.