Anthropology and Social Media: Like PB & J

The Similarities Between Anthropology and Social Media

I was recently in a position to meet with many local business owners from around Rhode Island, as I taught an introductory class on Organic Online Marketing, with an emphasis on Social Media.  I had met a few of the owners before at networking events, or had simply spoken to them on the phone in a different context; others were new to me.  For that reason, I spent a few minutes introducing myself, and sharing how I had come to be with them.  Now, I’d like to share it with you.

I first learned about social networks during a family vacation in Aruba about three and a half years ago.  My sister was extolling the virtues of Facebook.  I had just started my own business, so I was interested in cool, innovative ways to market businesses aside from the traditional, and typically expensive means, such as print.

It took me some time to grasp the message she had for me.  I signed up right away when I returned home, so that I could stay in touch with her in Massachusetts, but I still didn’t get it.  I was so focused on me and what I wanted to use Facebook for, that I wasn’t looking at the big picture.  And then one night, about six months later, I was watching the movie Apocolypto, an awesome adventure flick about the Maya people of Mexico.  While I found serious issues with the ending, I couldn’t help but enjoy it, and it took me right back to my college days, where I had focused all of my energies and degree on that very subject:  Anthropology and Meso-American prehistory.

I was so inspired by that movie, that I decided to flip through some old text books that I couldn’t bare to get rid of.  And then it hit me, like a ton of bricks.  Social networks were my research and studies of cultural and social connections times…millions!  Observation, evolution, research, the difference between qualitative and quantitative results from the relationships that are formed online.  I just needed to put it into perspective.

So in the end, I was hooked.  I found my niche in a huge industry where it’s so very difficult to stand out.  A lot of people call themselves experts in their chosen field…and there are many people who claim to be experts in Social Media Marketing.  But I’ll be honest with you…I’m not one of them.  There’s no way I can be.  It changes and evolves so quickly, that I’m able to learn something new everyday.  While the hottest sites to place your business information are more or less stable, how to work with them and use them in an advantageous, yet thoughtful, conscious, and sensitive manner can be tricky.

I’m reading and researching every day, so that you don’t have to.  I’m here to take what I see and read and use, and present the most helpful and valid information that I can.  I’ve been handling marketing in every way, shape and form for over twenty years.  You’ll find lots of marketing and ad companies out there with similar experiences, but I have what I consider to be a HUGE advantage.  What makes me so special?  My anthropological background, and my ever-present interest in how people act and react with each other in social, online forums.  Those people become clients of yours and mine, and that keeps my work VERY interesting.

It takes a special person to convey what they know to others in a cohesive and exciting fashion.  I wanted participants to know that I cared, indeed was passionate about what I was about to tell them.  I truly wanted them to be as excited about their online adventure as I was, and that I wanted their business to grow from their time spent with me.  I’m positive that I succeeded.

Until next time,