beyondthemaple is currently unavailable. The writer is on a listening spree.

In my attempt at penning this entry, I kept getting carried away by the massive amounts of knowledge and information currently available through social media content, all of which has been hitting me at speeds that would give race car drivers a run for their money.

Social media has definitely hit an all time high – from tweeting to facebook updates, from gbuzz to blogging, the average social media junkie has his or her hands full up, all in a bid to tell all.  A little late for me to be singing the glories of the internet and social media, I agree, and what’s the new story there anyway,right ?

Well, I’m just curious – if everyone’s talking, who’s doing the listening?

I reckon that with the mass of information being spun onto the worldwide web, it’s time marketeers,branding gurus and even passionate crusaders need to move into receiving mode every now and then. From telling, to listening. From blogging, to following other blogs. From tweeting, to retweeting . From posting pictures to flickr, to taking time to view the world through some one else’s lens. From jazzing up one’s own profile page, to taking time to read what Alison from New Jersey is listening to these days.

Simple case in point, when I chose to follow MiamiAdSchool on twitter, it felt nice when MiamiAdSchool requested to follow me.  I would say this thought translates into the offline medium too – case in point – Primus. While Bell and Rogers (Canadian telecom giants) leave you to talk to a command recognition prompter when you call the helpline, Primus has a person that comes on the line, talks to you unscripted, and even cracks a little joke with you! (Just makes you feel like they’re truly listening).

Anyway returning to social media branding and its shout out loud approach to things – in an attempt to be present at all the right places and say all the right things, brands need to ensure they aren’t blowing their own trumpet to an audience that’s long gone because no one heard their side of the story.

I chanced upon an inspiring talk by Mat Zucker, on listening, thought it worthwhile to link to as it’s so relevant to this post.