If you stopped using one of your main social media platforms for a couple of weeks, how many people would notice?
Ten, twenty – Maybe a hundred?
OK, what if you were Leo Laporte, one of the best known and most respected people in your field with hundreds of thousands of followers and fans?
The answer might surprise you!
Leo Laporte & Google Buzz: It’s complicated
Yesterday, Leo Laporte was checking his Google Buzz account when he noticed that a recent post had not been published. He looked again and saw that in fact, not one of his posts for the past 2 weeks had been published. Moreover, according to Leo, no one even noticed he wasn’t posting to Buzz!
Now, Leo has hundreds of thousands of listeners and viewers to his various Internet TV shows and his nationwide radio show. He also has a following on Twitter (at time of writing), of almost a quarter of a million people (including me.) Ironically, he is also one of the most followed people on Google Buzz, with over 17,000 followers there.
Leo’s missing. Why didn’t anyone notice?
The general belief is that Leo primarily uses social media to broadcast, so there was a complete communication breakdown. The suggestion seems to be that he either wasn’t listening or when people saw he wasn’t posting, they assumed there was no point telling him, as he’d be highly unlikely to respond to them. This, by the way, is based on an incorrect assumption – Leo DOES connect (more on that in a moment.)
However, I can understand where this suggestion comes from.
It did, after all, take Leo 2 weeks before he realised that 50% of his “communication” stream was broken (the broadcast part). Had he been listening, he would have heard the defining silence and immediately noticed the drop in conversations with him on Buzz. Ironically, Leo does communicate a great deal with his followers. His challenge is that he is active on a number of social networks and between them all, he has hundreds of thousands of people sending messages to him, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In other words, I believe his error was that he spread himself too thinly, across too many networks, to effectively communicate.
Is it even possible to communicate with that many followers?
I only have 16,000 followers on Twitter, but hundreds of thousands of followers must make 2-way communication almost impossible. I have personally “chatted” many times with Leo on Friendfeed and equally, I have also had many messages ignored! However, the same can be said of any “tech celeb” with a large following. I’m guessing Leo’s Twitter stream looks like The Matrix, because HE IS seen by his followers as approachable and interested.
Clearly, if you follow someone with a massive following like Leo (or Veronica Belmont, Pete Cashmore etc), you need to accept that the way they connect via social networks will be very different from the average user, with a more manageable network of contacts. If you are looking forward to translate this content, contact Translation Agencies UK