Are relationships memetic?

Here is a quote from one of my forum discussions:

Michael, you state,”Of course relationships can be controlled by third parties and varying environmental contexts. Ask any pair of siblings who have been separated by the border between North and South Korea or the Berlin Wall. Ask Facebook, who at first did not let you in unless you were a student. Or Google, who knows what they are up to?”
That’s true for “physical restraints/boundaries” but not “mental/motivational states” which are the essence of relationships.

So I agree. Perhaps “influence” is a better word to use than control when it comes to describing relationships. But I am not trying to be politically correct here. I am concerned that the potential exists for corporations to get so far ahead in managing and exploiting social networks that their “influence” will amount to “control” for many.

In any event, this exchange provoked some new thinking for me. Perhaps the “memetic brand” idea is worth exploring for a reason that I have not previously directly addressed?

Relationships are memetic.

Broadband powered individuals are the emerging dominant media platform.

What makes relationships evolve or become extinct?  We all have a well developed instinct for that ..

This basic instinct can move us a great distance towards understanding how brands live or die beyond the broadcast era.

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2 Responses to “Are relationships memetic?”

  1. Andy Strote Says:

    I’d be interested to hear where you think the boundaries are between corporations “influence” and “control”. Any examples?

  2. Michael Cayley Says:

    As you know, “privacy” is usually the buzz word that marks this discussion with corps who are just starting to examine social media. It is a common sense concern that is often flagged, particularly here in Canada. Fair enough.

    Twitter and Google are practical examples of influence extending to the point of control. Geosigns, a Canadian company raised $180-million based upon a business model dependent on Google’s infrastructure which is ultimately socially driven. Google changed how that infrastructure works and Geosigns was practically driven to extinction. Twitter has a number of companies that have developed around the service that suffer from its service levels.

    It is easy to get more Orwellian about it. I think establishing the link between social capital and corporate value, which will bring market forces to bear is the best guard against corporate abuse of this knowledge.

    But, the most important point from the post above for corps who are still considering how to ease into social media is that they do not need to be afraid. Their instincts about how to manage relationships are well developed and they will serve them well in this new media paradigm.

    Their own relationships are a good compass as they consider how to develop memetic brands.

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