This post makes me hungry. And happy! You can't make up stuff like this - what connections are all are about. :) More powerful than Klout.
We bloggers like badges. Right here on WUL, there are a few that I’m proud of (you’ll remember how thrilled I was when we finally got the Alltop badge).
But today I’m exceptionally proud to unveil my newest badge and, perhaps, my favorite of all: the Baconator.
And it came along with honorary membership into what I believe must be one of the most exclusive clubs in the world: the Bacon Association and Culinary Order of Nommers.
All dreamed up in what has to have been a genius moment by Erin Feldman.
It all started when we were joking around on Twitter, and then Facebook, about how much we love bacon. Remember how Klout tagged me as a bacon “influencer”?
Well, Erin decided to take that a step further. So for all of us who had been joking around, she created, of her own volition, both the society and a special badge for each of us.
Check them out:
Erin uploaded these to Facebook, and tagged each one of us in our own badges, so you can’t tell which one is for who from this image. But here’s a game for you, if you’d like to play; guess which of these go together (you already know mine)… the badges are not as listed below, I mixed them up. I’m even including links to their blogs where I can and, needless to say, if you’re one of ‘em you can’t play because that would be cheating:
|Bacon Trendsetter||Kaarina Dillabough|
|Bacon Artist||Ken Mueller|
|Canadian Bacon||Craig McBreen|
|Will Play for Bacon||Gini Dietrich|
|Oh No! Bacon||Erica Allison|
|Everything’s Better With Bacon||Erin Feldman|
|The Creature From the Bacon Lagoon||Brian Meeks|
|First Rate Bacon||Nancy Davis|
|Bacon Zombie||Joe Hackman|
(There aren’t any prizes as of now for guessing them all correctly, by the way, but maybe Erin will come up with something for you if you impress her.)
So what’s the big deal about a bacon badge?
To me, this is what social media and, ultimately, human interaction, is all about.
It’s not about racking up huge numbers of followers and fans.
It’s not about being deemed “influential” on something.
It’s not about mindlessly “networking” so that we can say, “Oh, I have X number of people in my network from all over the world.”
Maybe one, or all, of those things will happen. But they shouldn’t be, in my opinion, the goals.
It’s about meeting people we might otherwise never have come into contact with.
Of all the badge-bearers, I have met only one in person – Gini – but I’ve come to know Joe, Brian, Kaarina, Ken and Erica well enough that we talk “off” social media, and I feel comfortable turning to them with questions and asking for help, and I’m slowly getting to know Nancy and Erin, and looking forward to getting to know Craig better.
It’s about getting to know these people we might otherwise never have come into contact with.
It’s about enriching our lives – personally and professionally – by learning from, and sharing with, these people we might otherwise never have come into contact with.
Since I started working independently three years ago, there is not a single piece of business I have worked on that has come to me in any way other than people feeling they know me.
One of my early clients was a client from a former life, and they came to me because they knew me. And since then, all the newer clients and speaking engagements that have come my way – I have not cold-pitched for any of them – have come to fruition because, through social media, people get to know me (or keep tabs on me). And then, when an opportunity arises, they call, or email, or DM, or send me a Facebook message.
Please know I’m not saying that you, particularly those of you who are business owners or managing social media for your organizations, should not consider the business potential of social media. It’s huge. Or, at least, it can be.
But before anything else, you have to go back to what makes us all tick. And that’s people meeting people, talking to people, working with people.
That’s what social media is all about.
So if you’re one of those people who’s constantly getting push back on using social media – and I know that still happens, much more often than we’d like – point the naysayers to this post. Just tell ‘em The Baconator said so.
That’s what I think; what do you think? Do share, I’d love to know. And Erin, thank you so much for my badge. I’ll wear it proud and sing it loud!
I'm not in the bacon fan club, sniff, however, I recognize honest to goodness, pure and genuine social media when I see it. I absolutely applaud you guys...Ms. Erin...for this initiative.
Earlier this year, Beatriz Alemar and I @balemar were on to something somewhat similar -- the PR Justice League with a cartoon character that was going to be a badge. But, hell, bacon tops PR any day.
@Shonali@Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Not sure what happened to that. Sounds like there's interest. Maybe make it fun like the baconator badges instead of hugely serious from the get go. It can slowly grow into something bigger, but for now, let's make it fun and the least stressful as possible just so it gets done! What do y'all think?
Social media is about the people. I'm incredibly grateful for the people I've met and look forward to getting to know them better.
@Erin F. Ditto and TRITTO. And if ever you want to guest post here at WUL, I would LOVE it.
@Shonali I would love it, too! I'll have to spend some more time reading the blog posts on your site in order to think of something wonderfully pithy to say.
@Erin F. There you go!
@Shonali I now have three new bacon badges to draw. Maybe I should write a sequel for your post about the power of social media and bacon. I could even write about the friends I've been making via social media, especially after a day like today. I'll think about it and send a pitch to the address on the "Pitching WUL" page.
@Erin F. I can't wait!
@Shonali Maybe I should write about thinking too much. I've been accused of it several times in the past few months. ;) I just would want a guest post to fit with the general themes you have on Waxing UnLyrical.
@Erin F. Don't think too much. I think some of the best posts are written when we don't do that, LOL.
Love it! And by the way...I'm "Everything Goes Better with Bacon"...you'll never hear me say "Oh NO! Bacon" unless it's burning and I can't get to it. ;)
People. It's where it's at.
Well said, @Shonali. You've given me plenty of "ammo" that I can take into my classes at @currycollege as I beg, cajole, wheedle, and harangue my public relations students to do more with social media than collect "friends" and show off party photos. While they love to boast of 1,000s of "friends," very few can point to a connection with whom they have a legitimate professional relationship.
And we won't go down the road of my long-running and very secret romance with that marvelous pork product known as "bacon"!
@Shonali I couldn't agree more: it's all about people. And this bacon badge phenomenon came to fruition simply because we all chatted and commented and tagged onto one another's ideas, and then @erinmfeldman became the brilliant artist, with @KenMueller 's title to pull off an unexpected, delightful tribute to all that we'd been talking about. So much fun!
And @HowieG , why would Canadian bacon be round? ;) Cheers! Kaarina
It cracks me up because I'm a vegetarian, but thanks to the liks of you, Nancy, Ken, Erin, and a few others, I'm suddenly playing for bacon. LOL!
I am the bacon trendsetter my dear! Because I was the first! Don't you notice the resemblance between me and the bacon trendsetter badge? :)
When you get a G+ page for the club count me in!
@Shonali the biggest misnomer about social media when it comes to marketing is that it is brands talking to people. The fact is that is a lie. It is people who work at Brands talking to people. If the people change and their personality change we could easily go from high engagement to zero engagement.
There really needs to be a division for businesses when it comes to social media. Observing and Participation.
Observe: They all need to watch, listen, respond. Respond does not mean via Social Media! It means product and service improvement.
Participation: Not all brands or business have to participate. I am sure they all have employees who do on their own whether for the job or personal enjoyment. Should they decide to participate as Brands they have to remember I am not talking to Chobani. I am talking with Emily at Chobani. Or Katy at McDonalds.
Just curious though. @kmueller62 is a bacon artist? Is that what you call the grease splatter behind his stove?
Absolutely @Shonali ! Can't begin to tell you about how interacting with SM has introduced me to so many more people and possibilities - particularly in the past 12 months. More importantly, I consider these people among my close friends, and am constantly surprised at how much I miss sharing their company and look forward to seeing them again in person to continue our friendship. As an aside, I think I heard in the latest For Immediate Release podcast (ep 624) that Jason Falls was giving out free shots of his home-made bacon-infused Makers Mark whiskey at BlogWorld LA - true story! If so, does that qualify him for a baconator budge?? :)
Just to clarify, you don't do shots of bourbon. You sip, roll and taste it. Shooting it means it tastes so bad you can't stand to have it in your mouth. You shoot Jack Daniels. You sip bourbon. And yes, I was providing a free tasting to anyone who wanted to try bacon-infused bourbon at BlogWorld. The bacon taste sneaks up on you. It's kind of an aftertaste thing. Which means you're left with a lingering feeling of having just had bacon. That is my gift to the world. Heh.
@Shonali There are indeed countless stories like that - and how glad I am that we came to meet. As for that bacon badge - if bacon-infused bourbon doesn;t qualify, I'm not sure what does hehe. I'm sure Erin will have a great time designing the badge for this one :)