Friday, May 25, 2012

4Square, 52 Weeks, An Asifa and Social Business

Most of you will go, what is an Asifa, more on this later.

A little over a year ago I started checking in to Shabbat on 4Square. An unusual thing to do, after all it is not a place, a company or anything tangible, it is however something which is important, to me, and something which others should know about me.

I bring this up today because although I tried to check in every week, some weeks I could not due to holidays and others I ran out of time. Huh? How do you run out of time you may ask? I point you to this post I did a while back. Still, to do something that is not work or family repeatedly is no easy task. Are there times when I wish it wasn't a holiday or Shabbat? Sure, especially when certain sports teams are playing.

But I want to focus on Social Business and what this means from a community perspective.

Last week a sect of religious people gathered, Asifa means gathering, in New York at the Mets stadium to listen to some Rabbis discuss what was to be about the downside of using the internet and social media. The descriptions going in were not against the use per se, but the way the devices and programs keep one's mind away from what is important. Namely God especially when praying and your family. He isn't wrong. Most people have a need to be wanted and desired and Social Media does this for them, in spades.

Now contrast what the Rabbis tried to express with what we try to explain to customers about "getting social". Management thinks you will just be goofing off all day, and they are partially right for early stage efforts. Maturity of the systems shows that levels out and people get their work done. Other management views are it brings more 24x7 employees, also not a great thing and a bad expectation, yet many do reply to emails or other "messages" during off hours.

What the Rabbis failed to discuss, in contrast to the better sales people I know, is the benefits that can be found from using the Internet. There are numerous websites devoted to learning, praying, education, family life and many other topics that can help everyone in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, Russian and more. This Renaissance2, so many people can learn and be part of something so much greater than before has rarely been accomplished in such a way that it is a shame to see the opportunity wasted.

Yes for every proper online webinar/class there is a Fantasy Football pool, some latest video, NSW(Not Safe for Work) sites and more. People will always push the boundaries, if not, no one could get in airplane or we would not have electricity and those were as heretical as Columbus believing the Earth was not flat.

So in my little way, by checking in on 4Squareat Shabbat or some other Holidays I try to bring that little bit more into every thing we do. It would be great to see #Shabbat trend on 4Square or Twitter but just not likely to happen. Someone suggested it could be used to encourage kids to re-engage with their religion, by mixing the gamification and religion. Very hard, given you can not use the electronics on Shabbat but just as refrigerators are now an accepted appliance used on Shabbat (it was banned) someday maybe we will have devices that allow for it.

An intriguing idea.

Here's to another year of checking in, Mayorship is nothing if no one else joins in, so if you are religious or not, think about it, you could be helping someone else in search of what it is they seek. For after all isn't Twitter and the Internet there for us to learn from and find that which we feel is unknown or hidden from us? Others may need that little push, no matter if you go to Church, Mosque or Synagogue or every SocMed conference on Earth letting people know there are other options out there is never a bad thing.

Social Business can work for everyone but you need that deeper perspective to get the most out of it for your clients and yourself.