Do we have a “conversation versus publication” problem?

If you and I were having lunch and I did all the talking, what would you think?

Even if what I was saying was interesting to you, at best you’d think I had something to say. What you wouldn’t think, however, is that I got to know you one iota. At worst you’d think of me as an unselfish, if not egotistical boob.

And if my goal was to really connect with you, I be failing in my mission. In context, the expectation would be conversation. In conversation, listening, not talking, is how I connect and learn and make you feel valued.

The world we live in is different technologically, but not socially. I could be talking to you on the phone — a real time modality — and accomplish the same failure by doing all the talking.

The problem with a lot of social media is that it’s not exactly social. A host of gurus want to tell you how to put social media on auto-pilot.

Except that we’ve already established the conversation, not publication, is the more powerful means to connectorship.

Except that we’ve already established that since the world is noisier than it’s ever been, it’s dang near impossible to “talk” in enough to cut through the noise.

Except that we already know, because we all live it every day, that being interrupted is a terribly low efficiency way to get attention, let alone build trust.

There is a time to publish information. There’s a time to write a book or blog post or post something on LinkedIn. There’s a time to publish a stream of (hopefully) useful tidbits into a social media stream. Let’s just be honest for a second, though: if shouting more stuff more loudly is not a workable strategy in a post-information age world, then what is the higher-odds thing that every one of us can do?

Talk with, people, not at them. Including on social media.

Especially on social media.