Last summer at Walnut Creek I heard what I thought was Jimmy Buffett's best concert ever. The weather was great, the night sky was clear, and the place was absolutely packed.
I'm not a Parrot Head, but Jimmy is just about my favorite story teller. I've bought enough of his music, books, and gone to enough of his concerts over the years to fund at least one of his expeditions. He is the master in finding a story, living it, and then sharing it with others.
If you've never listened to or read any of his work, you should. When you do you begin to understand what makes him tick. Stories. Sure, he makes them up, but I'll be darned if they don't start with some life experiences.
Chasing a Story
When he wrote about Autour de Rocher, an obscure little bar he used to own on a small island in the Caribbean, my wife and I set off to find it. We went to St. Bart's (again), found Andy (who's Andy?), and found the hilltop in Lorient. It was magic.
Sorry, back to my point: I've never thought about Margaritaville being a community and the Parrot Head contingent being it's citizens. A crazy group of fans? You bet. But a community, hmm ...
So that got me to thinking about social media and Jimmy Buffett. The whole point with social media is creating a community of interest and sharing stories and experiences within that community. How? You find a channel (or channels) for the stories and chatter that connect the community. You gather and immerse yourself in the experience of enjoying both the storyteller and the community. We look at blogs, Youtube, slideshare, twitter ... all as social media tools. Really they are just different channels for getting our stories out. If you can do it in 140 characters, great, use Twitter. Need more space? Fine, make it a blog post. Video? Youtube works.
Stories Take You Away
But think about Jimmy. As a master storyteller, he really does have something interesting that his community wants to hear about. When he sings Stephen Still's The Southern Cross, he really has been "... all around the world." He had fun, and I think he has even more fun retelling his stories of travel and adventure through his songs. And if you haven't been there, he takes you there. If you have, he takes you back. We just returned from Antigua a few weeks ago. I NEVER paid attention to the words in his song Fins "... sailed off to Antigua ..." until last night. Zap ... I was back on the island at Devil's Bridge.
So you have a community (Margarittaville), a dedicated set of followers (Parrot Heads & fans), you have a great storyteller (Jimmy), he has a brand (tropical paradise), and he uses a channel to convey not only his story but his passions (music & travel). If that's not Social Media, then I don't know what is.