Social media is broader than just networks like Facebook and Twitter. Social media doesn’t even have to be electronic in nature, though that’s the typical reference point. This summer marks the 20 year anniversary of when I became a fan of 311. While it seems difficult to remember life before the Internet, websites were few and far between at that point. In 1993 people still talked about stuff face to face, shared music via tapes and a small part of the population even used email to send electronic messages. Websites weren’t what they are today and it would be a few years before search engines came into their own. So before there was a reliable official 311 website, one of the band members communicated to fans through their mom.
Pnut’s mom joan8904 was the conduit of all things 311. If every band had a joan8904 behind them, there’s no way a band could fail. If you had questions, needed to relay a message, wanted the inside scoop, or otherwise sought assurance that 311 consisted of real people, joan8904 was the person to reach.
She was, for all intents and purposes, the original social media guru. Her channel was email, her audience was just about every 311 fan on Earth. Her Klout score would be 1,000,000+. 🙂
She did things right. She was of course proud of her son, her son’s success and the success of the band. She was candid, open, honest and as helpful as she could be. She wasn’t a fan club President, she was a real person, engaging real people, with real questions. Within the 311 fan community, she was the godmother of 311 info. Modern social media gurus can only hope to have this kind of influence.