The Right Time and Place: Hope for the Social-Media Marketer


As I am oft to do, I found myself thinking about if my social media presence is really worth the amount of effort that I put into it. Does all this networking really amount to anything? Or, am I just spinning my wheels? There is always that sinking feeling that no matter how many people I network with, that I am forever resigned to be a small fish in a huge pond, and my work as an Author will never see a positive result from it. I’ve never given into this way of thinking, but admittedly, it’s something that has plagued me. Until recently.

As I am also oft to do, I was watching some interesting videos on Youtube. The video in this case was a speech given by one of my favourite intellects of our time: Ray Kurzweil. If you don’t know him, which is very unlikely, I’ll fill in the gap for you.

Ray is a futurist, famous for writing his incredibly successful book ‘The Singularity is Near’ wherein Ray discusses how very shortly, within the next three decades, humankind will undergo a rapid change as a result of its developing technology. He is also a famed inventor, responsible for creating the first keyboard capable of orchestral quality sound recreation. My friend, an audio engineer by trade, actually uses one of these keyboards, so I can attest to its amazing sound. In Kurzweil’s book he predicts some incredible things. Some of which are so far-reaching in their implications one might seriously consider discounting the man as a nut-job. The problem with Kurzweil is this: he is not some nut-job. His hugely successful career is a testament to that fact. The man is considered such an amazing mental power Google has seen fit in recent years to hire him as director of engineering. There is no denying, the man is on the cutting edge of what is possible in the coming future.

Introductions finished, let’s get into what exactly the man was talking about in his video that I found inspiring. He was talking about what had made him so successful in his career. Namely what gave him an edge over the competition. To do this he asked a question. He said to the audience in attendance, ‘Why do you think Facebook is so successful?’. He asked smiling, ‘Do you think it’s because Mark Zuckerberg needed to reach an age where his brilliance could be released on the world?’. One could assume from the playful way in which he suggested the idea, that this was most certainly not the case.

He went on to say that although there was no denying the brilliance of those involved with the project for recognizing the opportunity, there were far greater forces at work for its successful carrying out: right place, and right time. Kurzweil assured the audience, and I’m inclined to agree with him, that Zuckerberg and his cohorts were not the first to have this idea: interconnected social systems on the web. The important thing to realize he said, is that even if you had conceived the idea many years before, regardless of how amazing it was, you could not implement it without other technological factors catching up. Kurzweil pointed out that Facebook was impossible in a time when using the Internet meant dial-up modems and crackling interruptions to the connection as we yelled down the hall at loved ones for sabotaging our usage. And like a magician pulling the rabbit from his hat, when Kurzweil said this the audience gave an audible ‘ohhh’, myself included.

The point Kurzweil was making—if you haven’t already guessed—is that success is the result of two equal parts: knowing what technology, creation, or innovation is needed, and realizing when temporally it can be nominally utilized. Now we come to why I found this utterly inspiring. This concept is directly relateable to social-media as a tool for advertising, and whether or not it will grow in both potency and potential. This relates as well to a thought I’ve had recently: no matter the era, we are always living with the illusion that we are living in the future, or at the very least, the cutting edge of what is possible. When in reality, this could not be farther from the truth. We are no less cave-men, by technological standards, than cave-men.

From considering these two ideas: the still massive potential of social-media, and our misunderstanding of technology, I derived the true significance of what Kurzweil was saying: we have only now just reached the tip of what is possible through social-marketing. The evidence perhaps which best demonstrates this fact is the growth and progress of information technology / the Internet and its usage. Certainly it’s easy to lose ourselves, like I do so often, thinking that we’ve pretty much bottomed out. That is to say, how much faster or more interconnected could we become? The answer is simple: a lot.

I did not want to stuff this piece of writing with a bunch of figures, as it is more a philosophical rambling piece, but I’ll toss in a few for their added strength to the argument. I was looking at figures which displayed the Internet’s growth taken from the year 2000 until 2012. The stats were quite a revelation. Africa’s growth usage in the aforementioned time periods was mind-boggling, growing roughly three thousand six hundred per cent. During the same time period globally, the Internet’s usage grew five hundred and sixty-six per cent. The Internet is booming, and in the coming five years will grow yet again at a nearly inconceivable rate due to Moore’s law of exponential progress. You can see its evidence everywhere: phones, computing power, and transmission speeds. With the advent of ‘fifth generation transmission’—in which speeds achieved are thirty times faster than the current LTE—the world is going to change in a way that for lack of a better word could be described as—weird.

So for those of us worried if we’re tapped out in terms of what we stand to gain in free advertising from social-media, fear not. If you have started to throw together a ‘social media mud-hovel’ as I like to describe my current empire, you have not missed the boat. You actually stand perfectly positioned to still reap all the benefits of this rapidly changing era. Put succinctly, you have entered into the arena, at the perfect place and time.



  1. I enjoyed that. Thank you. Marketing through Social Media is part of what I do for a living – and all the courses I have been on, seminars, the videos i have watched so show, we are just at the tip of the iceberg. I also live in Africa… and have watched the boom. Statistics are that every person – regardless of social economic status owns at least one smart phone, and uses it mostly for social media, for following their favourite celebs (in whatever shape or form they come in) and for keeping up to date with the rest of the world.

    It is exciting to be involved, and also disheartening at times, as you say… because like anything else, there are methods and patterns that work, but those methods and patterns change from day to day and to keep up is quite a challenge.

    Thanks again. That was a good read.


  2. You have entered the arena. That, I believe is key. Taking the step so that you and your desires are in the traffic…in the arena. Even if the arena allows your posts to be automated and you to run your mud hovel in pajamas. As well, stepping into the arena delivers a swift blow to the twin goblins of lack and smallness. (My most hated enemies.)


    1. Ahem to that, insightful and welcomed words. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my piece. You are fantastic, and I hope you have the same kind of day.



      1. That’s sweet. Thank you! I’ve been passing along your posts and book as well…but more face to face with fellow writers. It’s nice to have supporters in the arena you know.


      2. You’re a classy woman, littlem. I would love to stay in touch with and intend to look at more of your writing the moment I get up in the land of the rising sun. As my father would say ‘my heart soars like an eagle’. Thank you so much for doing that. Face to face and word of mouth is hugely potent and to my mind, even more gratifying to hear about. Expect to hear more from me.

        Cheers, you’re one of the good ones.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sorry but I didn’t see this sooner. Technology and I aren’t always best buddies. Yes! On face to face and word of mouth. Although a pretty picture never hurts. 😉


  3. Thanks for finding my blog and encouraging me there with a simple stroke of the keyboard. Now you have encouraged me more with this post. I am dipping my toes in this rushing ocean, getting ready to dive in to whatever comes!


  4. Thanks so much for sharing the information. I too have wondered about the value of time invested in social media. This was enlightening. Also, I really like the flow of your writing. It is gentlemanly but not stuffy, a true pleasure to read.


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