Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pebbles In The Pond

What happens when you throw a pebble into a pond? Well first of all, it makes a splash, right? Then the waves start flowing away from the initial splash. The waves either continue until they reach a surface or obstacle or else it will eventually dissipate.

A pond so still that you can see your reflection in it, that's the stillness and calmness that I like to get my inner thoughts to. It has been a visualization of mine for some time, the canoe in the still water. Lately though, that visualization has me sitting in the canoe with cargo pants filled with pebbles and stones. Throwing them out in the still water watching how the water is displaced with random splashes and droplets popping up into the sky in slow motion and taking what seems like twice as long to return to the main body of water. What happens next are the waves flow outwards from the epicenter. Some pebbles or rocks cause bigger splashes than others, some create longer waves, others not. Enough of these pebbles and rocks cause the waves to meet, a moving venn diagram.

Does any of this sound familiar? If you use the tools of the Social Online Space, then this would be analogous to tweeting (pebbles) and how they are distributed, or how they resonate outwards with waves. I'll use the example of Alyssa Milano since Dan Zarella has run all the analytics on particular 'heavyweights' and their click through rates. Alyssa has a big following, yet there are others that have more. Difference is the size of the stone that she throws out. Those that have up to five times as many followers don't have as big a splash as she does, they are still throwing pebbles which result in small waves. She's tossing them boulders out there.

The one thing that I have noticed personally is that when there are so many pebbles being thrown out into the water, no longer can you see the reflection of your self, just a ripple filled version of you... distorted. Think of all those pebbles tossed into the big pool on a daily basis. That translates into a weak signal and a large amount of noise. It takes even more effort now to hear the signal and curate what resonates with you, or so it is with me. To each their own, but it is a bit difficult when everyone has a soapbox and is regurgitating the same rhetoric to everyone.

p.s. I have a soapbox for sale, great condition. Leave me a comment if you're interested

Image stolen from here

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