Of course, social change and social media is not 'all about the numbers'. One of the defining qualities of the web2.0 world is its power to break free from the dehumanizing numbers game of one-way communications and embrace a genuine dialogue between you and your audience.
That aside, anyone who has fought the hard battle of culture change that's often necessary with open communications knows that the process can be much easier when you can show that the numbers work in your favour.
Here's a snapshot view of what the Web of Change numbers have meant to my work at What If:
- WOC conferences attended: 1
- WOCers I'm in monthly contact with: 9
- Percentage of WOC list serve messages I actually read: 100 (this is the only one I always read)
- Times I've reached out to WOC community for help: 3
- Average number of replies from WOCers to each of my requests: 3
- Work gigs received from WOC: 2
- New connections from those work gigs: 85
- Trips planned to India: 1
- New things to do with peanut butter: 5
Beyond the remarkable level of value, the quality of these numbers is even more telling. Like web2.0 itself, the opportunities and openings created through Web of Change break free from the traditional bottom line and into the interpersonal, the relational, and yes, even the humorous.
Unlike your usual static numbers, these ones continue to develop - building connections, meaning and opportunities that grow through time and beyond the event that helped create them. They're nourishing, like the work of social change itself, proving that the real numbers will always work in your favour, so long as you're doing the right work.
Marty Avery is the Chief Catalyst for What If? Consulting —a consultancy that connects people and processes to create flourishing enterprise and fulfilled lives.