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Eleven absolutely unbreakable commandments for connecting with people, online and off.

Picture credit:  MontyPython


11 Social Content Commandments to Paint on Every Wall in Your Home and Work Place.


I could write a fancy introduction to ease us into these, but never mind that, Iíll just jump right in.


1)  Weíve gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta, gotta care.

Itís the foundation for every kind of success in dealing with people (and everything else!). Weíve got to work out exactly what caring means for the people we want to connect with.

Caring.  Caring.  Caring. 

Figure out how to care for others, meet their needs, and say hello to a world of amazing possibilities. These exclusive treasures are closed to our non-caring counterparts. 

Warning:  we can't fake it for long.  We'll be exposed faster than a string vest dries on a windy washing line.

And remember, thereís an unbelievable return on caring. 

Reboot the world?  Caring will do it!  Ask Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams of MacroWikinomics!

Financial rewards?  Absolutely.  (Who isn't gonna want to deal with people who care about their customers, employer, co-workers, products, services, and the bigger picture, while making things great?)

I call the relationship between caring and its results ďgiveacrapanomicsĒ.

Picture credit:  QThomasBower

2)  Know youíre not the centre of the universe.

Youíre one of 6,845,609,960 people on our planet today (Iím so popular more than 0.001% of them follow me on Twitter tha knows!).

Think how many are outstandingly talented, geniuses even.  Thatís a heck of a lot of people who are more talented than you or I!

And though we're but a speck of dust, and the universe doesn't revolve around us or depend on us, I still choose to believe we matter (even when we produce rubbish blog posts or talk crap!).

3)  Realise if we want to get attention we have lots and lots of competition.

Nearly two billion people use the internet.  Thatís almost a third of the worldís population. Everyone can produce content, and itís getting easier.

Do the maths. 

If just a minuscule percentage produce web content in our area of interest (unless itís Stray Shopping Carts (Trolleys!) of the Eastern United States), that means thousands, possibly millions of new items appear daily.  Weíve got to work smart, and hard, to produce outstanding stuff that stands out.

Why does the world need another crappy website saying the same things as 17,309,215 others? 

Ordinary, average, OK are not good enough.  Figure out how to be remarkable, or forget it. 

4)  Never forget we have to earn the right to have anyone take notice of us.

Note to most people:  No one cares about you or your website.  Thereís no interest in your videos.  People arenít bothered how desperate you are to get traffic or to be popular.  It makes no difference to them what happens to you.

If what weíre doing doesnít appeal to people, we havenít earned the right to their attention and we wonít get it.

Picture credit:  Adam Pniak

5)  If just one person cares about us enough to look at our stuff, be incredibly grateful.

Attention is the rarest thing. 

Why would anyone want to spend time with us when thereís a world of infinite possibilities, with unlimited opportunities, to access free, outstanding quality content on every imaginable topic? (Even if youíve to wade through loadza rubbish to find it!)

So if just one reader likes and benefits from our stuff, be thankful, weíre doing something right for at least one person, thatís a start!  Letís build on it. 

Anyway, who said it was about numbers?  I'm one of the most followed, most listed, and probably one of the most attractive and charismatic people online but do ya hear me going on about it?  No ya don't! (For the hard of thinking, that was a little humour right? ha ha!)

Itís about real connectedness. 

Itís about being thankful.

It's about using what weíve already got to make a difference. 

6)  Have something to say or do that matters.

Is there something you think is so important the world needs to know about it?  Decide what that thing (or things) is, and build everything you do around it. 

We have one life. 

Everything we do should somehow connect to that ďbig ideaĒ.

Yes, be a fanatic. 

Or be ordinary, beige, unremarkable, and be forgotten faster than this morningís burnt toast.

We get to choose.

Picture credit:  Karynsig

7)  Make an impact. 

Do you want to?  Then do stuff that matters.  Forget the rest.

What does it mean to make an impact? 

I donít know, you have to figure it out. 

It might be doing something massive, or just making someone laugh or baking them a pie (I totally love pies, all kinds, my fave is rhubarb, and for pudding, a gooseberry tart - send me one of each through the inter-web....oh no, best wait Ďtill I see you in person).

8)  Strive to bring massive value to everyone we meet or connect with. 

Our value is measured only in relation to the amount of value we bring to others.  You may have a different measure, but thatís mine.  And yes, youíre still a valuable human being, no matter what!  But ya get my drift. 

Ask yourself ďwhat can I do thatíll make everyone I encounter better off than they were before?Ē.

People donít care about you or I or what we want.  They care about themselves and what they want.  Letís be less selfish.  Letís help others and most will love us back.  Can you see how that kind of thinkingís gonna get us what we want anyway, and make life a whole lot better?

9)  Be fantastically generous with our time, money, and kindness.

Much of the stuff thatís come into our life came despite our best efforts, or lack of them.  Lots of blessings and opportunities we already enjoy appeared at random. 

Most reading this post were not born on a rubbish dump in some hell hole. 

Good health, intelligence, a loving family, didnít come to us because we deserved them but because we were lucky.  If weíre making the most of things, thatís great but donít forget, our basic working materials could have been a lot less favourable.

Be generous.  Be kind.  Give and we will receive.  Always.

Picture credit:  vramak

10)  Be outrageously committed to making the world better.

Decide where you can apply your strengths in the service of something bigger than yourself.  Find a compelling way to engage your energies in solving problems, helping people, and making a difference.

Look at all the stuff that needs doing. 

Your boring blog isnít worth the time.  Pick something massive to do instead, and share that. 

The world absolutely needs us to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in.

11)  Relationships.  Relationships.  Relationships.  Take care to build and nurture them.

Thatís it, the whole social web, the whole everything.

Summed up in three words;  Relationships.  Relationships.  Relationships.

Thereís nothing more.  Our relationship to each other, to the planet, and to the spiritual dimension.

We can do nowt on our own.  We need each other. 

Online, and off.


Cheers for reading. I totally love your comments.  What commandments did I miss?  Do tell, it's always great to hear from you.  Much love, Ian.

 Think Better.  Feel Better.  Take an Aspin.

Your comments:

Simon Yates says:
26/11/2012 13:59:08

Love the philosophy behind these ideas. I am spotting more and more people in business who share these values :)
Christine Dawson says:
10/11/2012 22:00:45

What a lovely insightful post. Thank-you.
Crystalee says:
28/08/2012 17:13:25

You live what you preach, Ian. Thank you for reaching out and spreading your cheer to me. Glad the Internet brought us together!
jane binnion says:
07/03/2012 16:15:17

Love this post, thank you Ian. So glad you live in Lancaster! :) I will think about my list now, but one of my main ones is - They are not some one else's children, they are OUR children
MichaelRunner says:
23/01/2012 19:28:27

This is an awesome and insightful post. I wish I could get away with painting these on my walls at home. Perhaps you could lend your persuasiveness...
marcus says:
05/12/2011 19:17:21

Nice one Ian always a pleasure to see your cool beans scro;l down my browser window :)
tim says:
11/11/2011 18:19:51

I am so very grateful to have the pleasure of being in that 0.001%. I just started tweeting again and found something you posted interesting, and clicked the link, which brought me to this article! WOW. Love it man! Great advice. I hope you don't read too much into the "It's All About Me" thing, or at least check out the explanations. I just wanted to say thank you for putting this together, and writing. I may be spending some time revamping my website as a result. @tsmcauley http://isitallaboutme.com
louise says:
15/10/2011 19:43:42

I'm new to Social Media, so this comes at a great time for me. thanks for an invaluable blog
Milliver's Travels says:
23/09/2011 20:25:22

I already practice some of the points in this (excellent) article - which causes me to be lucky to have so many wonderful writers and friends to work with. But I do still feel like a loser when I don't get many comments. #5 just changed all that. You're right, I do feel grateful (and thrilled and excited) when even one person gets something from what I've written and leaves me a note to let me know. I'll remember your #5 when comments are scarce - and then get on with the other fascinating stuff I'm here to do. Thanks for writing this keeper. :~) ~ Milli
Milliver's Travels says:
22/09/2011 22:36:00

I already practice some of the points in this (excellent) article and that causes me to be lucky to have so many wonderful writers and friends to work with. However, I do still feel like a loser when I don't get many comments. But #5 just changed all that. I do feel grateful (and thrilled and excited) when even one person gets something from what I've written and leaves me a note to let me know. So I'll just remember that when comments are scarce - and then get on with the other fascinating stuff I'm here to do. Thanks for writing this keeper. :~) ~ Milli
KRIS says:
11/07/2011 20:34:54

abSOlutely trU! i send U lOve, lotS of ENERgY, lAUghter, and hAAApineSS! KRIS
Roger - The Castle Man says:
14/05/2011 05:41:09

Great post. Caring and thinking of others is so important, start with your neighbour. I would add listening to others Ian. People who make and take time to question, speculate and learn more about the world tend to be more creative. It is up to us as individuals to carve out time for creative thinking because it is good for us and it is good for others. Reading, new experiences, talking to strangers, travelling and living abroad and so on, even the odd mid-life crisis, is good for you. By get involved with helping others and taking a big step outside our comfort zones, can be both scary and really exciting. However, by listening to those on the journey, it can allow us to offer so much more. Enjoy the wonderment it will create. Just listen, you will be surprised what you hear.
Christian Hollingsworth says:
24/04/2011 08:10:12

I really, really enjoy this post. Caring is important. Plain and simple. Others have been more important than self from the beginning of time - and it's always going to stay that way.
Jenny Inchbald says:
08/11/2010 22:34:18

Always love to come and read your blog if i'm not having the best day, always sends me off inspired! cheers Ian!
Vanessa Warwick says:
31/10/2010 20:34:27

Hi Ian, I love reading your blogs!. You express things so simply and engagingly never losing sight of core values that are important to all of us as humans. May I be so bold as to add ... "Be Social". It's called "social" media for a reason. People who talk about themselves all the time, or their product or service, never get any traction in social situations - either on or off-line. I think it is important to "be" and "do" rather than just "say". We can all endeavour to lead by example and practice what we preach. Authenticity and consistency are vital and the transparency, sharing and nurturing nature of the web rewards those that behave in this manner and allows other people to get to know them and get a true measure of them, the same as they would off-line. This can lead to the building of trust and community, which is definitely what the world can do with more of in these challenging times. Ian, you are someone who leads by example and exemplify the traits above. I regard it as a privilege to be able to get to know you through your blogs and through twitter. I always learn so much from the insights you share so generously. Keep up the good work. x
joe says:
31/10/2010 18:04:03

great stuff. good to ponder,relationships,relationships,relationships
Bex Lewis says:
24/10/2010 13:30:58

Great list, hoping to add to @bigbible as think more people need to know these! Definitely 'authenticity FTW!' Interesting comment by John, and I guess those commandments will be echoed out through the way we all live!
John Hamilton says:
23/10/2010 10:34:08

Very though provoking, Ian, but you did miss these. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."
Richard Littledale says:
23/10/2010 06:20:55

SOOO helpful, and so necessary to say. Thank you. Authenticity is what it is all about - online or offline.


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  • Ian AspinLocation: Lancaster Lake District, UK
  • Bio: I’m passionate about my work:TV journalist, producer, presenter, business ideas person. I care about: family, friends, helping people, finding meaning, running