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Does Love Scale?

Posted April 19, 2011
Posted in Advertising, Branding, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Trends

Image courtesy of the I Love You Blog

This week Wal-Mart announced its purchase of social media firm Kosmix to help it better manage and capitalize on its social and mobile marketing efforts.  What is clear from the announcement is that Wal-Mart recognizes the unrelenting shift to social and mobile media as an integral component of doing business and is literally buying in.  What is less clear but inferred in the move is that Wal-Mart also understands the challenges involved in scaling the real-time, personal interactions that positive social business demands across such a mammoth organization.  While Wal-Mart won’t be the first large company to engage in social media, it is nonetheless, the largest retailer on earth.

And so, that leads me to ask the questions: Can social media really be scaled beyond a certain point before it becomes mass media in disguise? Does an abundance of structure and protocols, undermine the spirit of a conversation in the first place?  Does social media lose its sense of intimacy if we feel that it’s been manufactured through an enormous infrastructure of contractors and systems?

To be honest, I don’t really have an answer to this but would be interested to hear if others think genuine and meaningful social interaction be achieved on a massive scale.

What do you think?


  • Caitlin Kelly  says:

    Interesting question. I plan to blog about this in the next week as I do not think it’s a concept that scales.

    Great connections are based in trust and intimacy. Only repeated and consistent proof that they continue to work hand in hand — we’ve all “unfriended” someone we once thought once perfectly fine to include in our social media circle — will allow us to connect effectively with one another. I agree that conversation, de facto, is private and un-scalable.

    Shoppers are already bombarded with invitations to join “conversations” that aren’t real or authentic.


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