Social Media Chat

The Power of Social Media

Q24: Are focused communication and serendipity at odds, or can they occur together? How?

Several times in #smchat discussions the topic has turned to the powerful role social media tools can play in fostering serendipity. This week we will explore the concept of how this occurs, why it's good (or not), and the interplay between focused communication and serendipity. Is one better than the other? If not, do they work together? If they do, how does that happen and how can the process be harnessed to create value?

Here's some background reading on the directions the chat could potentially go:

I just wrote a blog wrap-up of the Business Innovation Factory (#BIF5) conference, focusing on the talks that seemed to have something to say about serendipity:

Here's a great blog post by a librarian who studies KM, on the emerging discussion of how Serendipity 2.0 leads to Innovation 2.0 -

We've circled around this topic on #smchat before, and several people including me have brought up the research Rob Cross has done on network analysis, including the theory that social media fosters weak ties that lead to serendipity:

Innosight's Scott Anthony wrote in his book 'The Silver Lining' that reinventing yourself is necessary in order to reinvent your company (he's not the first to make this point, either). One of the ways in which people can and should reinvent themselves, he says, is to be open to opposing points of view and be willing to look far afield for new ideas. Both of these concepts require as well as foster serendipity: and

There's evidence that nonsense and chance encounters with the odd and the unusual actually allow the brain to "jump the tracks" on its usual patterns, therefore allowing new ideas to happen: ; for more on this, see Edward deBono's theories of "Serious Creativity" -

And finally, I've also been looking at psychological studies of luck and whether or not people make their own luck, which to me has the same cognitive structure as serendipity. Here are of couple of articles on that topic (from popular media, but citing psychologists):

Thanks! Hope to see you there!

Tags: co-creation, creativity, serendipity

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Here's my break-down of Renee's excellent topic for today's SMCHAT. I've divided it up into 4 basic areas for discussion:

Q24a) What essential characteristic/aspect of serendipity is the most important or useful?

Q24b) How does social medial amplify/detract from that characteristic?

Q24c) Does social media offer more or less chance of serendipity than other forms of media (digital & otherwise)?

Q24d) If you believe you can make your own luck, how can you individually & collectively make your own serendipity moments through normal social media interactions?

We'll see how that works, but feel free to offer alternatives as we go! :)


Thanks to everyone for a great SMCHAT today. Over the tweet limit, so wanted to thank everyone here instead.

See you next week!


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