Friday, October 24, 2014

The Social Network Phenom - The Circle

Life is crazy - full of change and prediction.

Within that simple sentence everything rings true. Life. Our lives. Our essence. Our souls. The energy that emanates out of our skin and bones, that makes each and every person important and unique, is mind boggling crazy.

Life is ever changing, evolving, and growing. You are not the same person you were 10 years ago OR even 10 minutes ago. Thoughts that have come into your mind have created new opinions of things. the same time life is very predictive. We know tomorrow is Saturday and we are going to do whatever it is we usually do on Saturday; and the next day, and the next.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go to the juggernaut of marketing conferences. Dreamforce. This marketing and sales conference in San Francisco is put on by the company who created Salesforce. Salesfoce is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. Salesforce is headquartered out of San Francisco. Salesforce is a cloud based tool used to organize a company's sales leads and lead information. Dreamforce is BIG. I mean BIG. There were 130,000 people who signed up and attended this conference. I was able to sign up for sessions to learn more about social media, marketing, Pardot (Salesforces's marketing automation tool), and network. Here are some photos:

Branding. Branding. Branding. Oh yeah...that is Tony Robbins giving a keynote on the big screen in the background.

Some attendees playing ping-pong and bags on "campus"

Yeah...I got to hear Hillary Clinton speak. On the left is Marc Benioff CEO of Salesforce. On the far right is Klaus Schwab Chairman of the World Economic Forum...Freaking COOL!

Attendees were asked to bring can goods. The goal was to provide 1,000,000 meals to San Francisco needy people.
I also got to attend a Bruno Mars concert. I am not a fan, so thank gosh there was CAKE in the venue next door! YES! To say the least, it was a super wicked cool opportunity and great educational conference.

I was reading THIS the entire time.

Life was imitating art. I was thoroughly freaked out. In a nutshell, The Circle is about 1 company that manages ALL social media. 1 company. No more Facebook. No more Twitter. No more anything, ONLY The Circle. There was a "campus," people playing games on said campus, great influential speakers doting pearls of wisdom on the "Circlers," and the common goal to make the world "better." With most good plot lines there is a problem. The problem with The Cirlce is there is a monopoly and everyone thinks the growing reach of The Circle is great -- anyone who thinks differently, suspiciously gets their lives turned upside down (digitally speaking), and finds themselves in jail. 


I love my job. I love being in marketing. I love feeling like I am learning new things, new ideas, growing, and obtaining knowledge at every turn. Social media allows us to learn and be so close to people emotionally when they are so far away physically. OR does it? Do we use social media to merely obtain more friends/followers? Do we think we are actually learning things coming through our news-feed? 

This experience has not made me turn away from social media, but given me pause to evaluate why I use social media and the power I hold in the palm of my hand. My goal is to value life and all the change and invariably predictive annoying things that come with it. 

I don't know...maybe we should all be super freaked out by The Circle, current social media, and the losing battle between privacy and policing those who need to be watched. Maybe we should throw out our laptops, tablets, phones, and go live off the grid...but then again if you read The Circle we all know how Mercer ends up.


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