Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Do You Really Know Why You Are Here?

The mission of social networking sites like Linkedin and Plaxo is to provide a forum where like minded people in business could share ideas and connect with each other. These sites are better known as business networking sites. Ostensibly, members join accepting TOS of the site and as such the site's mission. The real reason most members join is to promote themselves. Most time the only thing they are willing to contribute to the network is a personal business or affiliate link. So why are you here?

Was reading an NLP post recently that pushed the question on why people really do things. They explained a process to determine your real motivations which I will like to share with you. Hopefully, it will help you get to the real reason you have joined these networks. Whatever your response is to the question of why are you doing anything follow it up with the Why question. This is easier explained with an example.

Question: Why did you join Plaxo?
Answer: To meet more people online.
Question: Why?
Answer: So that I can build a network of friends
Question: Why?
Answer: So that I could build my business
Question: Why?
Answer: To maintain my life stlye and pay my bills
Question: Why?
Answer: My family, children wife is depending on me
Question: Why?
Answer: Because I love them and have a responsibility to provide

By now you must have the point. Find the real reason you do the things you do so that it could guide your actions. OK, using the Caribbean Basin Think Tank as an example.

Shortly after joining Plaxo I decided to create a Group that focused on developing the Caribbean business community. It was easy to setup and was quick approved by both Linkedin $ Plaxo. It also, just as quickly attracted member who I thought were interested in the Group's mission. Not wanting to assume why all these individuals joined, I asked the question and started a poll. The response was poor most group members did not participate.

That in and of itself was an interesting response. According to NLP esperts, the human species cannot NOT communicate, even non-participation is a response. So the question still remains: Why did you join the Caribbean Basin Think Tank?

Personally, I have no problem with lurkers, in fact, I am a lurker on many groups i.e. I read their post but do not participate. Mostly because I am absorbing and do not feel passionate enough about the subject to butt in. Thats and aside, lets get back on topic.

We have built a Group of over 160 members who, from their communication (joining) have stated that they are interested in at least learning about the Caribbean Basin and how they could expand their global reach. 90% of these individuals are lurkers and of the 10% that participate 90% of them are self promoters of products or services that are not remotely related to the Caribbean.
This again begs the question: Why did they join the Caribbean Basin Think Tank?

Our questions went unanswered. Our polls were ignored. So we postulated, deduced and rationalized the real reason for the attraction to the Caribbean Basin Think Tank. Before we share our conclusions we will like to hear from you. Why do you think that most people joined this group?

If you don't feel like sharing, just ask yourself, Really, Why am I here?