The Rise of "Egommunication"
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:
- Tagging someone in a photo, note or other content on Facebook so they will go and check out that content
- 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
- 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.