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Monday, July 21, 2008

The Rise of "Egommunication"

Istock_000005768901xsmall_4 There is a magic power that a growing number of people are starting to have. It's happening all around us with social media and yet most of the time it is going without notice. I can now communicate with someone without communicating with them. I can tell them something without talking to them. And I can virtually guarantee that my message gets through to them no matter how flooded their inbox. Welcome to the world of something I would call egommunication.

Egommunication is a form of communication where you can share a message or piece of content with someone based on their own consistent habit of checking mentions of themselves and their content online ... in other words, relying on their ego as a channel for your message to get through. It is a tacit form of communication. In effect, you take advantage of the fact that just about everyone in social media is self-googling on a frequent basis.

Here are a few examples of what I would call egommunication:

  1. Tagging someone in a photo, note or other content on Facebook so they will go and check out that content
  2. Writing a blog post mentioning someone's blog post and counting on the fact that they will check their Google alerts to see that mention
  3. Writing a tweet on twitter mentioning someone or something so that you can reach the audience of people that are doing searches for those terms

The nicest thing about egommunication is that the more popular the person you are trying to reach, the more likely it is that this form of communication will work because they often have the biggest egos (and I don't mean that in a negative way). It's the only communication form I can think of where ease of connection is inversely proportional to the internet fame of the person you are trying to connect with. Think Guy Kawasaki is unreachable? Send a tweet mentioning his name and see what happens. Dream of capturing the attention of Robert Scoble? Write a blog post mentioning him and link to his blog. Of course, it's not a substitute for direct communication and any of the examples above are people you could also email. 

Yet as volume of email goes up for us all, sometimes egommunication becomes a much more efficient way to communicate. Instead of emailing Guy and Robert about this post, I'm linking to both of their blogs - as well as Jeremiah Owyang, John Bell, Ann Handley, David Vinjamuri, Andy Sernovitz, Virginia Miracle and Doc Searls (all people I respect that I want to read this post and possibly comment on the idea).  I suspect it won't take any of them long to see this post and read it. They may or may not comment, but I'm just about 100% sure that the idea of egommunication won't be lost in their inbox ... and at the end of the day, that's a really interesting phenomenon to watch.

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» Influential Marketing Blog: Rohit Bhargava Coins Term 'Egommunication' from ToneHall
This excerpt from Rohit Bhargava may hit the spot or not. His new term, egommunication, is something we've all experienced. It matches much of our thinking and behavior as we fly around the Internet and interact with one another. Yes, [Read More]

Comments

I wrote an post about this kind of behavior that I called "A new kind of Spamming: artificial attention spamming"

http://nico.maisonneuve.free.fr/blog/index.php/2008/04/22/a-new-kind-of-spamming-with-mybloglog-presence-spamming/

Awesome post Rohit (rubbign your ego :D). In fact websites like alltop are also rubbing egos of people.

And this appeals to people even if they are not egomaniacs. Things like membership cards, loyalty cards etc.

Nicolas - great point about the potential danger of this technique turning into a form of spam and a good caution to marketers. I made the link to the URL in your comment active so people can find and read your post more easily.

oooh - that worked!

Congrats on putting a name on a very true phenomenon.

Very nice insight on this one and so true.

On the spam topic from Nicolas--I think the only thing I'd add is that your link to the "ego target" needs to be relevant and value-added, showing you understand the person's point.

Otherwise, people realize that you are just linkbaiting and you are ignored.

For example, I often link to you, Rohit, but usually in the topic of Personality Included, see your name here:
http://www.jer979.com/igniting-the-revolution/personality-delivered-by-drop-down-box/

and here
http://www.jer979.com/igniting-the-revolution/personality-included/

and here
http://www.jer979.com/igniting-the-revolution/does-your-company-have-its-mojo/

How's that for ego-munnication? ;-)

This is an excellent post of the dynamics in communication online -- by way of new media (social media and such). Social media and it's technology has certainly opened doors to the "gurus" and others like never before.

Thank you :-)
Maria Reyes-McDavis

This is an excellent post of the dynamics in communication online -- by way of new media (social media and such). Social media and it's technology has certainly opened doors to the "gurus" and others like never before.

Thank you :-)
Maria Reyes-McDavis

Terrific, thought provoking post Rohit. I have mixed feelings about the concept, which I've posted on my blog.

Hi Rohit,

I'm not Jeremiah Owyang or John Bell, but this post got all my attention, actually is the term "Egommunication" which grab my attention.

I get what you are supporting as a concept here, but I think such people or personas aren't fool and can make the distinction between a spontaneous communication coming from a fan/admirer or one that isn't or a spam. Here there is some differences: behind spamming there is always bad intentions.
I do think that behind any communication or relationship there is intersts for both or multiple parties, it's the notion of win-to-win.
These famous people affirm their notoriety and increase more and more their credibility in some way thanks to viral marketing, and in this case it's still a good intention behind "Egommunication". Where's the bad thing if someone want to establish a relationship with an internet marketing guru and learn from him.

Finally, while I'm writing this comment,do you thing I'm using the "Egommunication" to reach you? I think to left a comment on a blog is also a form of this new concept.
And to answer this question, honestly yes I'll be glad to communicate with you through this post, it would be an honor.

(I hope I was clear, I use to write in French, and I'm practicing my English a little by little).

Take care Rohit.

Rohit, it is comforting to me how many notable people still respond personally to emails. I'd rather not list them here because I don't want them deluged with emails.

Authors, university professors, large pharmaceutical company CEOs, and many famed bloggers answer emails. Hope this continues without having to depend on egocommunication.

best,
bonnie

Yes - it worked for me. I like the concept of egommunication (just had to check the spelling on that...), in that you've put an amusing name to a very real phenomenon!

That said, folks don't really need to mention my name in a blog post or tweet to get in touch with me... my email address is readily available. (And I try to respond to as much of it as I can.)

(BTW - half the time, my Google alert delivers results for Senator Mary Ann Handley (D-Conn.). She gets mentioned way more than I do, which keeps me humble!)

Yes the net has made this dynamic possible. And Golly Gosh, are we the little folk happy. It accentuates the exercise of democracy, should one feel inclined to participate.

It certainly grabbed my attention! Like Ann, I have a lot of Google Alert misfires - mostly for Mark Warner who is abstractly considered "the Virginia Miracle" - but I definitely check them.

As long as we're talking about effective techniques, giving the phenomenon a remarkable name like "Egomunication" is a great lesson in link baiting!

Okay, I noticed this on teh 21st when posted. I resisted commenting feeling like a red cape had been dangled in front of me - the dumb bull in the ring. I pictured myself the cartoon bull who sits by doing his nails oblivious while the bullfighter goes through his gyrations.

I resisted....but something....pulled at me. I could not....ignore the....magnetic pull. I could not sleep.

And as we (those of us who are Star Trek fans, at least) all know, resistance is futile....

The ego is strong.

What a great idea. Thinking about it, the person doesn't have to be famous. Say I'm trying to get the attention of a CEO of a company. Using his name and a write up would surely grab his or her attention. Nice one, thanks.

Brilliant insight and coinage, Rohit. I've found myself both victim and perp of egommunication several times and am delighted to see you've named it.

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