Uppdaterat: 18 feb.
I wanna start by thanking everyone who reached out to me following my latest post about leaving the team. One of the reasons why I loved being part of the community is because of the caliber of people, the diversity and the unique qualities of every individual who made the team whole, not the brand itself, not the events, not the flash but really it's about the exchange of experiences and knowledge between the entities in the team. The social interactions and relationships built around the mutual passion for movement and running are going to be among the things I will forever cherish and most certainly miss in the future.
So the previous article caused some mixed reactions obviously, and a large quantity of the readers were eager and curious about “when part 2 is coming out?” (without being dramatic). So let's dive into part 2 and talk about some of the topics that laid the foundation for me to mainly seek answers within which at a later stage made me question and impugn the whole deal with the communications on social media and the role we play as ambassadors/influencers/content creators and how that affects us personally and the people around us.
What happens when being a part of that community is no longer aligned with your authentic self, and it comes at the cost of your self-value? Let's explore these thoughts a little bit.
Authenticity is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what does it really mean? In essence, authenticity is about being true to yourself. Like mentioned in my last post from the perspective of a runner, being a part of a running community can be a great way to stay motivated and achieve your goals. However it is a fine line between feeling motivated by pushing yourself to be a better runner, building a stronger community, based on genuine and authentic interactions together with other like-minded people and by the presence of constantly feeling pressured to participate in social media campaigns, branding and online marketing. I was starting to have thoughts and questions like what is the real focus here? What is the main goal? What is the future vision? What's my role in all of this? Where do I see myself in a couple of years? Whatever the reasons behind those thoughts may be, I knew the core values are grounded in noble intentions, but I soon became aware that there was much more that goes behind the scenes than what is known to the public. I realized that in the obscurity of the amazing group dynamic that the ASICS FrontRunner community have, there is a social media marketing machine and communication strategies that capitalize on the authenticity message and genuine stories of the 700 runners from all over the world to reach out to the target group and gain exposure by using their platform to communicate and market the brand.
Still with me? Hang in there
When you have a community that has two factions, one based on the group dynamic and
so forth and a second that is not obvious to the public which is related to the marketing side. In that case, it is really important to keep the balance between the two of them. One of the main issues that I have is that I don't consider the ASICS FrontRunner community to carry the same dynamics as before. Like i said not because they don’t want to, on the contrary, as a community they work really hard to make it stronger, but it's becoming harder to do so as a marketing program, because of the pressure from their taskmaster and with all the social media bottleneck and algorithm changes, which in turn put the pressure on us the individuals to produce all the content, create own initiatives, be creative, generate ideas, engage in different projects, plan, setup, produce, compose, form, establish, initiate,..., with very little in return, Google the term crowdsourcing you will know what im talking about. While I'm taking a dig at it, I should also mention that based on my own observations that it is not fair either that only 20% of the 700 registered FrontRunners is doing the heavy lifting while the rest is just sliding along on what other does, its not sustainable that there is a large majority of the ASICS FrontRunners that are still in the team just because they have been members a longer time but not contributing anything to making the community stronger.
Realizing where I'm going with this?
Then you need to tune in for part 3 where I dive more into the topic of the false sense of community that is created by the bubble-effect of social media and how it's becoming harder to find connections due to both geographical, economical and technical issues, also major structural problems in the organisation.
Thank you for reading all the way down here.
Remember, my words are intended to give you information and a personal perspective on different topics to help you reflect, nothing more nothing less.
All love // M