If You Could Message 1 Million People What Would You Say?

One Million Followers On Twitter

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This week on Twitter Ashton Kutcher reached 1 million followers in a dramatic race to beat CNN to this milestoneOprah Winfrey also started tweeting and in her first day amassed over 200,000 followers.

In this article I want to explore the power of influence and ask a question that on the surface seems quite  simple but when you look closer it reflects something deeper and more intriguing.  Your answers can show you your deeper motivations and  reflect  what  you are likely to give and receive from the  world

Imagine if you had the chance to send a message to 1 million people what would you say.Would you be self serving or would you use your message to benefit others

Inspired To Greatness

If I had the ability to message 1 million people I would probably send them a link to something inspirational or to something that would shift their perspective for a few moments,  I would make sure that whatever blog post or video I  sent them to had a way for them to send that same message out to all their friends and I would show people how they could send their own similar message to the world that had the potential to go  viral

The benefit of sharing something valuable and inspiring  rather than asking for something for yourself is that the good feelings that people generate will be associated with your name for  a long time into the future. If you ask for a handout or go begging for clicks like so many people seem to do on Twitter you are just acting in a self serving way. The reason Oprah Winfrey got so huge is because she is authentic and genuine and committed to helping people and serving her community,  people all over the world love her for these very reasons

Judging A Book By Its cover

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY[/youtube]

This is one of those inspirational videos that came to me in the past week, I watched it several times because it reminded me that anyone, no matter who they are or what they look like has the potential to touch the hearts of millions of people around the globe. Susan Boyle has now become the most viral video on the internet with over 40 million views.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf All The Time

On Twitter if you shout into cyberspace  with a self serving attitude some people will certainly hear you and respond. If you continue to shout all the time demanding attention, your response rate will decline and your message will be ignored just like the boy who cried wolf. You can fool people once but you can’t fool people on a long term basis.

Attention Is An Earned Privilege

Only  by building a Twitter following and adding value to your network will you earn the privilege of your followers attention. If everyone else is shouting  how can you cut through the noise. Even if you have  the right tools, you still need loyal followers who will share your message even further

Getting Your Message Out To The World

If you had 1 million Twitter followers and you could send a message to  the world what would you say ? How would you use that power of communication?

Would it be self serving or would it be a message of hope, inspiration and joy? I would love to hear your comments,  send me an @ message  on twitter @iandavidchapman or leave a comment on this blog post or on my Facebook note

Please Share Some of Your  Inspiration

Feel free to share some links to your favorite inspirational  YouTube videos and blog posts  lets make this blog post a cool resource

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Bad Customer Service

Do You Actually Like Your Customers?

This is a blog post I wrote while traveling in southern India and describes a real situation I encountered in an internet cafe,   it comes in two parts and luckily finishes with a happy ending

A Heated Argument

There was shouting and curses coming from the internet cafe. The owner was in the middle of a heated argument with a customer over the charges for a telephone call.  I wanted to use the wireless internet service and had obviously arrived just at the wrong moment. With a final curse the owner ended the battle with his latest enemy and turned to me.

“What do you want?” he said in an aggressive tone,  continuing  to curse under his breath about the foreigners who were exploiting his country.

Can I Use Your Service?

“Do you have wireless Internet?” I asked; The man nodded and pointed to a plastic garden chair that was sitting in the entrance lobby. I began to set up my computer and plugged into the electricity. The owner grabbed my plug and pulled it out.

“There’s a power cut he said so there is no electricity”, I turned and looked into the room full of computers buzzing quietly in the background  and asked how they could possibly  be running if there was no electricity.

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What Is Your Priority?

“I have batteries” he replied, (a lot of places in India have banks of batteries that are used when the normal power fails) “but the power is only for my computers, not for your computer. My business is most important and without electricity how do you think I can make money. My computers have first priority”

I asked if I could pay him for the electricity I was going to use, I thought this was a bit strange since  I was already paying for the use of his Internet facilities.

How Do You Treat Your Customers?

At this point the guy lost it and started screaming at me and repeating  his curses about foreigners, that we all want something for nothing. That all we do is come here and ruin his country and make business. He pointed aggressively to the notice board  full of colorful  posters where Westerners were advertising  their  services.

I listened patiently to his tirade of abuse and then,  asked him if he was having a difficult day?

He continued cursing and shouting but with slightly less vehemence,  my question had struck him somewhere deeply, I wasn’t playing the game that he had intended me  to play.

I  told him it was Ok, I just wanted to use the internet and promised not to  use any of his electricity.

Who Is Being Exploited?

He calmed down even more and his voice was now only slightly raised, as he started listing all the grievances he had about Western spiritual seekers coming to his town, how they are all crazy and have holes in their hearts and how many of them are exploiting his people and making money.

I apologized for any westerners who might have treated him badly in the past and explained how  sorry I was that he feels this way about all the foreign visitors.  I agreed that  he was correct, his town had turned into a spiritual supermarket, but getting angry and upset about it wasn’t really going to help anybody. His town had been a pilgrimage place a long time before all the westerners started showing up

Who Are You Really Dependent On?

I kept silent about the fact that his whole livelihood depended on these foreigners using his internet Cafe. It was obvious he hated all his customers with a passion so I didn’t want to upset him any further.

When it became time to pay I realized that my words had obviously had some impact, without me knowing he had secretly plugged me in and smiled broadly telling me  that he had given  me the electricity for free.

I had  previously decided that I would never return here but this last gesture made me change my mind.

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Do You Love Or Hate Your Customers?

This man is unconsciously ruining his business because of the way he treats his customers, He is caught in a catch 22 situation, he hates the people who he is serving but at the same time is dependent on them for his livelihood.  His anger is damaging his reputation and if he could just learn some way  to come to terms with this he would be a much happier man.

Its a good question to ask yourself whatever business you find yourself in.

If You Hate Your Customers You Only Have A Few Options

1. Get rid of them and find customers that you like

2. Change your attitude towards them

3. Change the business that you are in

4. Be miserable, suffer every day and potentially damage your health and all your relationships

Take Action And Take Responsibility

Personally I think the first three options are better than number four. If you ever feel like you are stuck always know that there are other options.  Of course  you must be  prepared to take action and shoulder the consequences. Most people only  find themselves stuck in number four because they are scared of change.

This is a post I wrote while I was traveling in India, it comes in two parts, you can read part two when I publish it in a few days

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Its Time For Collective Action – Web 3.0 Is Transforming Our Planet

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Clay Shirky – Here Comes Everybody

[youtube]http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=A_0FgRKsqqU[/youtube]

Group Network Theory

If you want to begin to understand the direction that the internet is moving and if you want to harness the power of groups in your own business then spending 42 minutes watching Clay Shirky is time well spent

Clay Shirky explains group network theory in a simple and easy to understand way  and I have begun applying his models to various situations and circumstances which I will explore in later blog posts. His basic premise is that groups go through 4 stages of development

1.  Sharing

2.  Conversation

3. Collaboration

4. Collective action

Tools To Change The World

Social Media has given us the tools to move rapidly through each of these stages and its now up to us as global internet citizens  to decide what type of future  we would like to create. The groups and networks you create today will be shaping the course of future history.  We have never had such an opportunity or such freedom for collective creative expression as we do today.

We Have A Dream

So I would like to invite you to share your own vision for our collective future. How would you like to  start this conversation , to be open to the possibility that no one person can dream it all on their own, that  it has to be a collaborative effort.  Can we look for ways to bring our collective force to bear fruit and manifest into this world, for each individual to be empowered to take actions that are coordinated towards our joint vision.

Out On The Edge

This is what I am passionate about and this is the main reason  why I got involved in Social Media in the first place. Its an exciting time to be alive to witness this moment in history and I feel we are much  further out on the edge than any of us really imagine. Those of you who I have spoken to personally will understand where I am coming from when I say this.

Circle Of Trust

Another friend Simon U Ford has been asking us to start recognizing the groups that we belong to and to begin to deepen those relationships. To think about building our circles of trust with those who we most resonate with.  Without the need for any rulebook,  allowing these natural structures to coalesce and begin forming on their own. Freely  giving our energy and attention to these people and these groups.

Sharing

Sharing with a friend is free.  Sharing with a friend adds value, Sharing with a friend shows that you care.

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Reframing The Current Financial Crisis – Will You Get Swept Away In The Storm

The World Is Going To End?

When you are bombarded with information scaring you into believing the world is going to end, are you going to accept it blindly?, do you ever question It’s source ?, can you assess the fact from the fiction? In who’s hands is the real power to change the world? Can we as global citizens bear any responsibility or are we just innocent pawns to be sacrificed in a much bigger game?

Out In The Desert

I would like to tell you a story about a time I was caught in a flash flood and witnessed a disaster turn into something beautiful

Years ago when I was on my world travels  l  attended a festival  in the Negev desert, about 100km south of the Dead sea in Israel

Deep Division And Conflict

There were maybe 1500 people there, all camping out and living in a temporary community in  an inhospitable environment. All our water came in by tanker and we all had to get used to a very different way of life. It was a spiritually oriented festival and there were people there  from all backgrounds and religions. The camp had a lot of organisational problems and there was constant  arguing and negativity and the deep divisions between the different groups of people were brought to the surface. Some of the orthodox Jews took offence when more liberal minded  people wanted to wander around naked. You can  probably  imagine the conflicts in the kitchen with everyone’s particular food issues coming out.  What was supposed to be an experiment in tolerance and religious openness turned into different groups wanting to impose their belief systems on each other.

The camp was set in the desert and the only flat land suitable to camp on was in the valley of a dry river valley. Desert Waddi’s  are notorious for violent flash floods and we were in constant communication with the National Park Rangers who were keeping us informed about potential dangers.

A Warning

A week into the camp we received a warning that it had been raining in the mountains 50 km away and that we were in potential  jeopardy. The camp organisers went around telling everyone but as it was a beautiful sunny  day no one paid any attention. Most of the people came from the city and were not aware of the risk  or thought it was just another false alarm.

Not A Cloud In Sight?

I had a prophetic  dream the night before showing me the coming  flood.   I heeded the warning and  decided to move my tent.  My nearest neighbour was laughing at me saying  that there was no chance it was going to rain, the sky was a clear blue and there was not a cloud in sight, I moved my tent anyway despite her derision.

A Raging Torrent

Half an hour later  the first  trickle of water arrived in the camp. Those who knew what was coming quickly rushed to the car park and moved their vehicles. The majority just ignored the water and carried on with their normal activities.  Another 10 minutes passed and the trickle  turned into a small stream which rapidly grew into a  raging torrent 40 metres wide ripping  through the centre of the camp sweeping  away personal belongings,   tents, sleeping bags and air mattress.

Assessing The Damage

It was a miracle that no one was killed and an hour later after the flood was  over   we began to assess the damage. This apparent disaster brought the community together. Half the kitchen was swept away and  many people had lost everything but the spirits were  high, there was a joy and lightness that spread through  the camp there was no more arguing or religious debates and everyone pulled together to clean up the mess and rebuild the camps  infrastructure.

Being  in the Holy  Land that had seen so much conflict and bloodshed and in  the very place where prophets had gone to seek their enlightenment my heart was touched by the changes that occurred.  People putting aside their beliefs and differences  to solve a collective problem.

It’s A Wonderful Life

The Current world  financial situation has some interesting  parallels,  it’s not like there haven’t been enough warnings. Anyone who has tracked the price of gold for the past year will know that the people who understand the problems have little faith in  the value of paper money.

Those who moved their vehicles out of the way or re-pitched their tents on higher ground will come out relatively unscathed but will still have to live in the same communities with those who might lose everything. If you have ever seen the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” you will remember how unstable things can be when people lose confidence in their banks and how unscrupulous people take advantage and even engineer such situations in order to profit. The moral of this story was the same, when the hero was faced with apparent disaster  the community came together to help.

Timing And Terminology

I don’t buy into the fear mongering  and panic  that is currently being propagated by the worlds media. I do  believe we are in the midst of  a massive flood but  we have a choice how we handle apparent disasters such as this.  I only have to look at the timing in regards to the American Presidential Election and the  terminology they are using to recognise there is some serious negative branding and manipulation taking place.

Market Confidence

The world’s financial system is run on market  confidence, The money we spend is not real it is just a printed promise that there is gold in the bank to back up our pieces of paper. Governments and banks  can’t keep printing more money or lending money they don’t have. The buck has to stop somewhere and  when a crisis like this is reached a rebalancing has to take place.

What Do You Focus Your Attention On

When Rome was in flames I wonder if the citizens were thinking about their once great empire or were more concerned about getting out of the current situation alive, and protecting their community and loved ones.  Did they have any  leaders they could trust and rely on or were they merely pawns in a much larger game? Are we seeing the first flames that will engulf a global economic empire that might then plunge us back into a dark age or is it a localised fluctuation,  a shift in regional balances of power?

An Environmental Perspective

Reality can sometimes be hard to face and from an environmental perspective  any country that consumes most of the world resources and blatantly  pollutes the atmosphere in order to maintain  a high standard of living for its privileged citizens is  going to face some  kind of checking mechanism at some point.

The Media Shapes Our Beliefs And Attitudes

In our modern world this  next episode  will be documented and live for all to watch on their TV and computer screens . How many people actually realise that a lot of the problems stem for mass media shaping our belief systems  and lifestyles in the first place, It’s the hedonistic  consume now pay later lifestyle that has been fuelling  much of our modern economy.  Its not a sustainable  model and the sooner people wake up to this fact the better.

Faith In Our Leaders?

I have little faith in our global leaders to handle these problems, they are like bickering children who never listen to each other  and  organised like  street gangs that defend their own neighbourhoods using fear and violence. Killing each other to have control of the black liquid  drug that keeps them from going cold turkey.

Reframe A Crisis Into An Opportunity

I think the solutions will  be found in the global communities that are now  emerging,  visionary thinkers and enlightened leaders are needed who can see beyond the immediate problems and reframe a crisis into an opportunity.

Our Survival As A Species

We have a chance to do things in the right way. One that respects the interconnectedness of our  global system on all levels and places  our   survival as a species in a more realistic framework and timescale. If we are forced to live out the Malthusian model then war and famine will be resulting checking mechanisms.

An Economic War Fought On  A Global Spreadsheet

An Economic war can be just a painful and devastating  as one fought with guns and bombs. Few places in the world won’t be touched by the resulting shock waves.  These shockwaves will  be caused by a few blips on a computer screen as the Politicians and economists  adjust the numbers on a  global economic spreadsheet so their figures match up.  When you  cook  the books eventually the  auditors will come knocking and demand you pay your taxes.

Don’t Buy Into The Panic

We don’t need to buy into the panic and amplify it any more than is necessary. The real problems are  rooted  in our minds and this is where we each have a personal responsibility to end the conflict. A world controlled and ruled by religious fanatics of whatever denomination is always going to be a poisoned world.  Some worship  money while others worship the distorted words of middle eastern prophets but all seem to want to impose their beliefs on each other  and are convinced of their own righteousness.

You Have  A Choice

I know deep  in my heart that each of us has a choice what type of world we will live in . We are all connected,  our ancestors  come from the same mother,   we all breath the same atmosphere,  we all  drink the same water , we all walk on the same earth that gets its life and energy from the same sun that shines

Please Comment

I welcome your  comments and ideas on this topic  and any visionary insights  you can offer. The reason I ask you to comment is just to acknowledge that you have read my words.  A blank and empty space is as much  appreciated  as a long reply. I hope that in this apparent disaster I have done my bit to bring the community together.

For those who would like to read some of touching comments my friends have written on Facebook you can follow this link – Click here to read the comments on my Facebook Notes

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