I’ve uploaded the deck so far to here:
If you want to join in, there are TWO things you can do now…
- add another principle – have a read at the ones below, and suggest one of your own in comments section at the bottom of the post
- add an example – if you can think of examples of where companies have put this into practice
I’m also thinking that we could try and get together in a room somewhere, and each of the originators can present their principle. Why? Apart from sounding like it might be fun, sharing it in a live forum might help everyone come up with even better ideas… leave that one with me.
Anyway, the first ten in full…
If you pick up a single block, it’s a not a very interesting thing. Even a few of them together just look like a vaguely similar collection of objects. The really cool stuff starts when you have enough blocks available to start building something meaningful.
Which is why it’s hard to understand what the fuss is with something like Twitter by just looking at one person’s account, or looking at individual tweets. The more blocks you connect together, the more interesting things become.
No kid in the world has ever sat down with a box of Lego for the first time and built a scale replica of the Death Star. It takes a while to figure out what blocks go together, what looks good, what works, how many of each type of block you’ll find.
Building something in social media takes time and practice. The more small things you learn to create along the way, the more tips and tricks you’ll pick up for the future. If you build a person, then a car, then a house and a street, soon you’ll have a good idea how to build a town.
Everyone in the world owns a unique Lego set. It’s made up of the models they own, the pieces they’ve lost and the ones they’ve acquired. They also like putting things together in their own unique, creative, individual way. As a result, if you ask everyone to build a car, each car will look different.
Coming from the mass media age where everything looked the same, worked along the same rules, this is a big change to get your head around. Controlled consistency is out, homogeneous case studies pointless; embrace the wonder of differentiation.
From David Wilding…
DW: “It’s all well and good having a safari set and a motorway set or whatever, [but] it actually gets really fun when you merge the sets together to create bigger “uber-lego”; the sort of lego hybrid that the people who designed the sets hadn’t imagined you would make when they created it… point I’m making here is about how social networks and apps all crunch together to create something quite cool“
Think about the boxes of Lego you were given as a kid. When they all found themselves in the big central bucket, that’s when things really got interesting. Equally, when Twitter links to a blog or to Facebook or to Google Maps… wonderful things can happen; better than anything any one social media tool can do on its own.
From Carrie Morley…
CM: “When I was little, my cousin and my brother used to spend hours at my grannies making battle ships out of lego. They would then put them in the hallway at the bottom of the stairs and drop ‘bombs’ (also make from lego…) and break them to pieces… perhaps what gets constructed quickly is so thrilling because of the speed and ease by which it can be deconstructed, pulled to pieces, and (perhaps) then made better the next time around…”
Get small, fast projects started, refine and improve on the hoof, learn new tips and tricks and quickly make the next version just that bit better than the last. ‘Always In Beta’, as Russell Davies would say.
From Justin Gibbons @ Work…
JG: “get kids involved and it takes on a new dimension, things you’d never think of like making a cake from lego, really raw creativity”
From Mat Riches…
MR: “I also love the fact that there was Duplo for beginners and Lego and then Lego Technics. You could get as involved and as deep into it as you wanted, and as you got more and more dextrous or nimble fingered…”
Lego have successfully realised with the extension of the main blocks into a simpler form for toddlers, and a more complex form for teens. There are a raft of different capabilities around social media, both for companies and the people they wish to connect with.
If you’re connecting to a really web savvy, passionate audience you could build a Ning site to set up your own social network. If you’re connecting to my mum, you may be better off with a simple Facebook group. But bear in mind technology is just the means to an end… unless there’s something there that people actually want to do, no matter how suitable the technology they won’t join in.
From Clare de Burca…
CdB: “No kid I know has the patience / skills to do lego on their own. As such it gets used as a joint activity – eg a friend of mine recently gave his 7 year old a model of the death star for xmas and spent a few hours each weekend working through it with him. They finished it in march. Its a very cool thing but 90% of the point was the time spent together doing it.”
Collaboration is a huge lesson from Lego. If you build things together, you all learn faster. You all believe in the models and projects you build, so don’t tear each other’s stuff down. And the more you do together, the faster and more impressive it gets. And if one person gets too dominant and controlling, it damages the project, and everyone starts to drift away…
From Katy Lindemann…
KL: “how about ‘throw away the rulebook’ – Lego often comes
with instructions, but the most creative stuff comes when you throw
away the rulebook and you start trying new things and trying things
own way, instead of the way you’ve been told to…..”
Sure, you might follow the rules as laid out by someone else first. But things get really interesting when you build things that help your community do exactly what it is they want to do. Copy the instructions first time out by all means, but the best stuff you build will be utterly and wonderfully your own.
VS: “I would add “Give the younger ones a free hand.” I’d just come across this post by Pushkar Sane Global Head of Social Marketing Practice at Starcom MediaVest Group:
“Rishad Tobaccowala and I got around talking about Talent and Rishad said: “there is always a new wave behind us” – that made me think about the way we manage people in our industry.
In most cases we put people with skills-of-the-past in-charge of managing people who are actually bringing in skills-of-the-future… rather than thinking about managing talent we need to think about enabling talent and setting them free so that they can win”
If you think you should be operating in
social, but aren’t sure how, but you know you have someone under you
who can… then your job is to run ‘aircover’ for that person.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN… Add a new principle, suggest improvements to any of the existing ones, or add an example of a company which helps bring a principle to life…