back to the small town: values amid acceleration

The interesting thing about Social Media, and the way in which businesses have been scrambling to decode and harness the new ways of people to connect and stand out, is the way in which American business culture has had to bend back to the small town business model. Websites became as important as storefronts that town folks would stroll by on their way to visit someone or do something, and business itself depended on the lasting trust of who you know, and what everyone you deal with thinks about you.

You get this kind of truism often repeated, and for very good reason:

Relationships are the lifeblood of a human business. If you’re not looking for ways to keep up connections with people you think matter, then they will deteriorate and fall away. Not only will you lose a few friends just due to the crush of it all, but you’ll lose some potential business relationships this way, as well. Keeping connections alive is a great deal of why we’re doing all this.

from Chris Brogan, Making a Human Business CRM today

Of course it is more complicated than that. There is no one town with one main street that everyone strolls down. And the search network makes nasty glitches like the DecorMyEyes scandal not only possible, but perhaps even persist like a shadow to the system. But social historians will talk of this time in a 100 years as the return of the small town. Not the Sims town of virtual freedoms, but the small town of ethics and relationships, the way that small town values ground transactions that otherwise occur too fast and fleetingly.

Small town values do also have small town social effects, including backlash.


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