The Home Building Guide to Making Connections


What's the most important lesson in home building?

Measure twice, cut once.

Two reasons why when we replace windows, roofs, and external doors in our homes and apartments we're more likely to call in someone to measure the spaces, especially if we know we need to have something custom-built.

  1. we want the job done quickly
  2. we want it done right

Which is why we choose people who have the most practice. Who wants to have to deal with a wide opening overnight or spend twice as much redoing it? If you've ever gotten it wrong, you know the time suck and pain of fixing it. Not to mention the cost.

It's easy to see the wisdom of the popular saying.

You don't have to apply it across the board. For example, you can experiment with some things where getting it wrong is okay — maybe you can take something back by planning to save for a later upgrade. Or you don't mind living with the imperfection of hardwood floors that are not as smooth as they could be.

Starting from the foundations is also a good idea.

Measure twice, cut once

When we talk about measurement in social, we transfer it to digital actions, like downloads, backlinks, high search ranking, and key performance indicators like fans, followers, and number of comments. If your goal is to spread something, those are all good ways to track and quantify, of course.

They are, however, just the beginning in digital when social is triggered. Why? Because social technologies are more complex to track and measure due to the network effect. Complex, not as in impossible. Complex as in we need to measure twice.

Take for example this data point from Seth Godin's post two days ago, which we discussed on Google+:

Monday's publication of Stop Stealing Dreams has exceeded my expecations for feedback and impact. While a typical bestseller might sell 2,000 copies a day, this free manifesto was downloaded and shared more than 60,000 times since yesterday.

We should take into consideration the multiplier effect, especially on Facebook. If a dozen influencers posted it to their Facebook wall, and each got several shares and likes, you may have people who downloaded the manifesto and reposted it on their blogs, or Tumblr accounts. 

It is not unusal to find a paper reposted to Scribd or Slideshare, for example. Comments on the Squidoo post poured in. I bookmarked and shared many links of people and organizations building something alternative. So the manifesto was also a catalyst for learning about other/existing initiatives.

In addition to potential email shares as attachments and reposts, there may be people who are still catching up with their feed readers and download it at a later date. Mack Collier had raised the question about 60k downloads compared to potentially 1 million views (feed and email subscrivers).

The number is still impressive, even when we attempt to contextualize it. People have so many hours in a day and the manifesto required an action of some kind that signaled attention. The comments, links and shares were (and are) forms of engagement.

My final consideration for this very quick example: if only 1 person does something with it it was worth writing the manifesto.


It's Friday, and I wanted to a take a moment to thank you for reading and thinking about what we share here.

Looking for more practical tipcs on making connections?

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