It has been a long while since I read sociologist Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone. At the time, I was an international student facing her first year in college and quite frankly, I did feel alone. Coming from a more communal culture, I felt that I had no hope in a country where the norm was isolation in suburbs and moving away from families for work or school. Over the years I built some wonderful friendships, but I still wonder what my life then would have been like if I had Facebook and continuous access to updates from 400+ connections I have on this site.
According to CafeMom‘s Mom Index (TM), things may not have been much different, despite the Internet. This study states that moms have an average of two true friends. Forget all the social networking, conversing online and participating in online chats. Moms are pretty isolated in their daily grind of work and family time. This finding is echoed by work published in the American Sociological Review, which states that the average American has only two close friends and a quarter do not have any.
In other words, boasting hundreds of online connections may not mean that we are in touch with them or engaged in what they have to say. Technology helps spread word faster but does not replace the human factor.
Idil has devised marketing and communication strategies for Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations for 20 years. She is the author of 'Implementing Word of Mouth Marketing: Online Strategies to Identify Influencers, Craft Stories and Draw Customers' (Wiley, 2010), as well as numerous industry briefs and articles on online communications.
Idil has been a public speaker on word-of-mouth marketing, women and ethnic minorities’ use of digital communications, and e-CRM. She has been widely quoted in trade journals and newspapers such as CNet news, CBS Market Watch, San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Sun Times, Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times and the New York Times. In 2010, she was selected ‘Digital Communicator of the Year’ by PRNews.
Idil is currently VP of Media Analytics at Nielsen, working with public sector, technology and telecom clients, gauging their advertising and brand communication effectiveness. She also serves on the Ad Council’s Research Committee.
Previously, she was a VP of Client Development at NM Incite – a Nielsen / McKinsey company, identifying and amplifying business opportunities in social media for clients. Prior to her roles at Nielsen, Cakim was a Senior Vice President in the global PR agency Golin’s digital practice and a Director of Burson-Marsteller’s think tank—the Knowledge Development group.
A native of Istanbul, she holds an M.A. in Communication from the Annenberg School at University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Sociology from Bryn Mawr College.
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