Social Media — Lethal Generosity ? Your thoughts?

August 3, 2009

I just read this very interesting article on lethal generosity!  

“Lethal generosity,” is the concept that the most generous members of any social media company are the most credible and influential and as such, they can compete more effectively! 

In short, the company whose representative posts the most tips, links, advice, case studies, best practices that followers find useful will always rises to the top, not just in influence but also in search results.”

This is exactly what we observe in open source communities…. the communities that ‘scratch the most itches’ win.  Hibernate is a good example of a project with GOOD social traction. OpenJPA  is technically strong, but the project has very limited social traction. The open source projects that attract just a few passionate subject matter experts who like to talk/blog/tweet are generally much more successful than the others.



So relating this to your business and mine!  Every single time a question is answered about your product, the original problem/question and the answer needs to be findable (via google, twitter, or…). No exceptions.

There is too much good information get lost inside internal email chains. Although the customer is made whole, but the experience only lives in archived internal emails and in participants heads.

You need to start thinking about you get your best information to the public!



  1. Interesting! And guess it goes both ways. I was just watching this video from SalesForce.com and they are talking about how they are integrating answers found in twitter conversations into a company’s knowledge base and then making them publicly available.

  2. Oops. Here’s the link to the video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y5S9S5-G18

  3. Great points! We are moving our customer communications to our online community site so the detail is captured for all to see and leverage for broader awareness everytime something of value is communicated from inside the walls of our organization to our customers.

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