One of the most amazing things about social media, and blogging in particular, is the chance we have to create personal connections and very real friendships with people all over the world.

Sometimes this means you connect with people who live in your own city and sometimes it means you connect with people who are on the other side of the planet. 

And given our busy lives, this often means that our “real life” interactions happen once per year or once every couple of years. Of course, this doesn’t mean that a friend’s thoughts or writings weigh less on our minds because they are geographically close – the blogosphere, in this respect at least, has been a great leveller.

This week’s must read posts come from folks who I greatly respect, but rarely see. But they nevertheless hold a important place in my heart.

  1. Kris Hoet suggests that we should think more deeply about retail and its relationship to online transactions. Take a look at this cool infographic and you may well be surprised to see just how successful certain categories are online. What are people really buying online may well be the best proof of concept we have ever seen – with spam outperforming display, banner and social advertising. Now, let me get back to my listservers!
  2. Amber Naslund recommends that social media objectives must be chosen in accordance with overall business objectives. As Amber explains, problems aren’t always bad things – in social media they can be hugely beneficial in terms of focusing your social media efforts. Be sure to read the whole post to learn more about needs, goals and measurement.
  3. This post from Annik Skelton just sneaks in – on sheer chutzpah alone. Seven  signs that you are getting older shows just how the fog of youth can transform itself into unwelcome personal insight. Of course my personal favourite is #7 When someone offers you free drugs, you say no because you have work in the morning.  Go ahead and read the full post and see why this is just a heartbreaking turning point.
  4. Stan Johnson talks about how things come and go – with his post Bye, Bye Blockbuster. To some fifteen years seems like a lifetime, while to others it seems like a recent memory. But in the stream of life it is perhaps a blip. I wonder how many of us will be asking the same question of our current preoccupations sometime in 2025.
  5. Oscar Nicholson shares his great insight into the evolution of storytelling – over at Jye Smith’s blog. Read the post, stay for the videos.