I just got the latest ChangeThis newsletter and immediately read Patricia Martin’s peice on what she’s calling the Renaissance Generation (or RenGen). She has a whole book on the subject but this quick read perfectly encapsulates a lot of the social media trends we’ve been seeing or feeling around us over the last couple of years. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have a catchy word like RenGen to add to the “cool” factor.
Some of the points that resonated with me dealt with the central character of the RenGen: the Cultural Consumer. The CultCon (sorry, I couldn’t resist) isn’t satisfied with the old guard uni-directional flow of information, entertainment or opinions. Rather they relish (and seek out) avenues of creative self-expression. Engaging in more of a dialogue with their media… a conversation, if you will…. sound familiar?
Part of the beauty of a collaborative-rich environment is that phonies are eventually found out. One of Martin’s lessons of the RenGen: “The RenGen prefers products that are imperfect but authentic, over perfect products that pollute.” You see this a lot at professional networking events. You can always tell when the person you’re talking to has checked out of the conversation, and all they’re doing is doing the obligatory nodding and smiling. They don’t care about what you’re saying but they know they need to look like it. Likewise, there’s a tendency now for marketing and PR types to use blogs and social networking sites to appear to be in conversation with their customers. Sure they might be able to pour money into Interruptive marketing campaigns to convincingly appear concerned, but in the RenGEn the currency isn’t dollars but genuine attention; yours in exchange for your customers. And they’ll know when you’re not really listening. Genuine trumps polished.
I definitely recommend investing the 10 minutes it takes to read it for yourself here as well as subscribing to the ChangeThis newsletter. You get to read things like Build Your Brand in Bits and Bites: Building Your Personal Brand Online