Bloggers like traffic, readers, followers, comments and being quoted by others. People like to be followed on Twitter, Friendfeed, Social Median and the host of other “social media” conduits appearing in the space. All of this related activity helps individuals and companies “rise to the top of the heap” which becomes an important position in a world where anyone can connect to someone and learn about something and anything.
People and businesses like to be at the top of a “heap“. Why? Because no one likes to come in last in anything and being at the “top of the heap” has connotations of importance, relevance and worth. Microsoft, Yahoo and Google are currently competing to stay on top of the “heap” of on line activity. Comcast, Verizon, AT&T and others are competing to stay on top of the heap of communications and broadcasting. Every business niche is vying to either stay on top of the heap or replace the one that is there currently. Individuals are chasing connections, readers, communities and technology to leverage their positions in the “heap“.
How Do You Get to the Top of a Heap?
In computer science, a heap is a specialized tree-based data structure that satisfies the heap property: A Heap implies that an element with the greatest key is always in the root node, and so such a heap is sometimes called a max heap. (Alternatively, if the comparison is reversed, the smallest element is always in the root node, which results in a min heap.) This is why heaps are used to implement priority queues. The efficiency of heap operations is crucial in several graph algorithms. The “social graph” is a visualization of the “heap” of connections, conversations and the emerging marketplace of relationships.
The emerging marketplace differs from past marketplace behaviors. In a marketplace of relations getting to the top of the “heap” has a set of new rules which facilitate relational dynamics driven by relevant conversations. It is from the relevant conversations that one builds relations that are more likely to create transactions (See Doc Searls, Cluetrain Manifesto and VRM)
The new rules to get to the top of the heap are centic to the “factors of competitive relevance“. These factors include:
- Learning “how to” use relevant technologies
- Understanding the dynamics of relevant conversations
- Applying Social Media as a means for creating relational value
- Becoming the relevant few vs. the irrelevant many
- Never becoming so BIG that you forget how to relate to the small, the market of many
Competing is the Social Era is more about being the best at relating with relevance that adds value to the many including those you may perceive as competition. Competing on relevance is driven by knowledge, learning and relations and all three are shared openly and freely. Doing so simply raises the bar for everyone to gain rather than using your bar to beat on your competitors. The Emergence of The Relationship Economy is fueled by competitive relevance and the winners will be the few that raise the many to a new level of learning, understanding, applying and becoming more relevant to others.
The top of the “heap” has lots of room so no one person or organization will be the sole occupant rather it will be a community of revolving players who learn how to get there through competitive relevance. Think about it. The social thing to do is to help your relations raise their relevance to anyone, everyone or someone.
What say you?