Silent Whispers

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Mediocrity Rules

Posted by Mrityunjay on September 17, 2010

Mediocrity rules, don’t you agree to that? Wherever you go, whomsoever you talk, the only thing that can make you connect to your circumstances/people/things is mediocrity. It’s in our DNA. Words like genius or excellence are so very revered which is also an indication of simple demand-supply mismatch. Just imagine, you being termed genius and how happy and high that makes you feel! All of a sudden, you find yourself elevated above mediocre bunch of people surrounding you!

A sociological study says, mediocre people are programmed to like mediocre stuff and mediocre stuffs are designed in a way that mediocre people have to like them! Confused? Nah, it’s simple actually. Why do you think about phenomenal success of Ghajini, Dabangg, Avatar, Chetan Bhagat etc? Huh, so much for popular choice! No, if you find people proclaiming Dabangg or Ghajini is so full of entertainment or Chetan Bhagat rocks etc, don’t find yourself dismayed. It is just the principle of mediocrity.

Let’s probe further. All humans have a common ancestor about 10,000 years ago and you must be aware of our similarity with bonobos and chimpanzees. Science says, we share about 98% of our DNA with chimpanzees and that makes us a part of biosphere. We were not designed specifically with ample dosage of intellect and blessing from your favorite God or Black Hole or whatever you prefer to call it. We just managed to evolve in a better way. We always assumed that, earth is the centre of universe and everything else rotates around us. But it needed a Galileo or Copernicus to prove this basic truth but before that churches and Pandits and Maulavis etc etc had burned/prisoned and tortured many souls for propagating this blasphemous truth.

So the fact is universe is substantially larger than humans first thought. We also took our own sweet time to realize; Milky Way Galaxy is just one of thousands of galaxies. So the final conclusion according to Copernican principle of Mediocrity was “Earth is a relatively ordinary planet orbiting a relatively ordinary star in a relatively ordinary galaxy which is one of countless others in a giant universe, possibly within an infinite multiverse”. Lest we forget to add, “Inhabited by billions of ordinary animals known as humans”!

So when everything is so mediocre about our existence then why are we so afraid about accepting our mediocrity? Intellect is a romanticized term and almost every one of us, feels like possessing it. Trust me, this is not a self-deprecatory defense mechanism employed by me to hide my own inadequacies or evoke a feeling of brotherhood or a futile attempt to assuage my perpetual self-doubt by praising me. The thought has remained with me for a while. As I mentioned while starting this topic, mediocrity is everywhere.

Some people might frown over this optimistic/pessimistic view (you see that glass half full / half empty crap). But here gain, it’s our myopic view that makes us think and popularise that glass metaphor. It’s so damn cheesy. You can be a realist or a spiritualist or a mix of both also. A realist will say, glass is half full and half empty. No more no less. Whereas a spiritualist will say, it doesn’t really matter. If finding the glass half-full makes you feel good, feel that or you can simply say, there is just a glass and some water. You refuse to bind yourself with limited notion of half full and half empty idiotic rhetoric.

Coming back to the track, I am not trying to propound a grand theory here. I am simply stating the obvious. I also accept, I have got no right to judge what is mediocre and what is not. In fact, mediocre people have got everything. I will be forced to cite examples of Chetan Bhagat, Twilight, Himesh Reshammiya, Ghajini, Shilpa Shetty, Big Boss, Roadies and should I dare to say, George Bush et al. Yes, mediocrity rules and it’s a common trait binding all of us. Else, there would always be a class chasm.

It’s illusive to find genius people. Despite trying hard, concentrating for few minutes, I couldn’t find one single person, I could term as genius, who could inspire me. So where do you look? Facebook, Orkut etc? Well, there also, a large percentage of people are mediocre and narcissists. Just like me. That’s why they connect with me and vice versa.

Honestly, I am not here to champion the cause of mediocrity nor am I asking you to forget the idea of running behind excellence. If you can reach perfection, go for it. I will love to watch your progress but yes, you can go only as far as what your society allows you to. Yes, there is always a possibility of you being the one who redefined norms and conventions but for that, you need to stretch beyond your DNA genesis.

If mediocrity rules, so be it. And if you are still reading this post, you have already made your stand clear.

Image source:- shannonstanley.wordpress.com

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Social Media Marketing Dilemma

Posted by Mrityunjay on August 9, 2010

While reading this beautiful article on Aided or forced social media engagement, I wondered over start-ups or established brick and mortar companies who are trying hard to go visible on social media radar but with inadequate success. What recourses do these firms have when their carefully or should we say, impulsively devised social media plan fails to bring the desired results?

Before venturing any further, let’s clear the basic premises. One, social media has emerged as an absolutely essential part of marketing division of an organization. It would be catastrophic to ignore this aspect of marketing and promotion that has completely redefined the way marketing strategies are being formulated and implemented. In simplest terms, the success of a business depends upon its ability to acquire new customers and retain the existing ones. However, the competition is extremely stiff and marketing avenues are limited. In that light, arrival of social media marketing has turned out to be a boon for companies that were willing to make a mark for themselves but had struggled with the need of finding new channels.

But what if, despite spending millions, so many companies, large and small are not actually able to register a satisfactory return on investment on the puzzle named, social media marketing. Some actually believe it to be a hype that has only benefited those who joined the bandwagon early on. Social media marketing tools like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc have turned out to be great money-spinners for quite a good number of companies who were smart and savvy enough to make the most of opportunities offered by these tools. But, same cannot be said for many other firms who either are struggling with their inability to unlock the vast potential offered by social media tools or who simply lack the planning and strategy blueprints.

Let’s term it Social Media Dilemma on the presumption that most of the firms, trying to take a dive in the treasure ocean named social media are expecting to come out with a handful of gold (read followers) are, actually trying to follow an oft-treaded path. Yes, Facebook and Twitter are quite influential but there is more to SMM than these two. It is not just about growing number of followers. It is also not just about making a fan page or starting a community or creating a profile and you start expecting overnight surge in numbers of clients who are looking desperately for you.

What’s the game plan here? Sending out 100’s of tweets everyday to your double digit followers and expecting your social media profile to become a cash cow in a double quick time? Social media is not rocket science that you fail to decipher. Like in an offline business plan, you think of all the relevant fundaments including 4 P’s, demography, target customers, investment, time horizon, ROI and expected results after a certain point of time. It works the same way in social media. Number of followers is nothing but a metric here that doesn’t actually define the total success or failure of your social media plan. Yes, you must try to reach out, connect and establish relationships with potential consumers but are you using the right platforms?

The idea of growth must be intentional in nature. You create a profile on Facebook (of course, its free), offer schemes/vouchers/coupons to your consumers and well, the next thing you start visualizing is bombardment of calls on your customer care service inquiring about your products and services? Wish, life could be that simple! You just can’t hope for things to happen on their own.

How about paying a bit of attention to some of other corporate that had to pour significant amounts of time and money to convert netizens into loyal followers? If you have money then spend it wisely and with purpose and intent. Order fresh cappuccinos and sit down with your social media consultant and play the game of Devil’s Advocate. What are the specific plans with regards to increasing Facebook Fans, attracting Twitter followers, creating a blog(s), focusing on newsletter subscribers and feeds, motivating your followers to influence their respective connections, investing a bit on online reputation management, hiring a team of bloggers, using keyword rich stuff, back linking, encouraging your users to discuss more on your products and services in diverse forums and interacting with consumers!

It takes time to register a significant increase in your bottom-line, whether it’s traditional media or social media marketing but you got to have a sound business plan, appropriate campaign strategies and renewed focus on diverse channels. As you start experiencing growth, you will have a far clearer roadmap of how to leverage to its optimum.

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