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6 Pounds for Milo – Old Wisdom for New Media?

January 2, 2010

Greece

QUOTE: … an expert in any art avoids excess and deficiency …

These are Aristotle’s words from a discourse on virtue, right after he describes how much food a trainer would prescribe for an elite athlete (Milo) as opposed to the ration that would be appropriate for someone new to athletics.  What might be just right amount of food for the average weekend warrior would be just an appetizer for the wrestler Milo.

He reminds us that, if 10 lbs of food is too much for anyone, but 2 lbs of food is not enough for anyone, it does NOT stand to reason that 6 lbs (the “mean”) is just right for everyone. (Why am I thinking the Goldilocks fairy tale may have been based on Aristotle’s Milo story?)  When it comes to food, what will be right for the individual will depend on health, size and goals.

Can We Learn From Milo?

Though Aristotle’s “Doctrine of the Mean” (which makes for a good controversy in philosophical circles, by the way) is concerned with teaching people about excellence and virtue, I think there is a good principle in his illustration about Milo for those of us who are exploring the role of Social Media in our lives, either for business use or personal use.  The story reminds us that, with most things, we have to work to find a balance that makes sense.  To veer to far to the left or right of that “mean” is to lose effectiveness due to either excess or deficiency.

Here’s The Question

If you’re using Social Media, how do you determine your balance?  I’m especially curious about those of you who own your own businesses (or are independent contractors) or who use Social Media to promote a non-profit or a cause that is special to you.  Is there an excess or a deficiency that you are looking for ways to address in the new year?  What are some roadblocks that keep you from getting where you want to be?

New to Social Media?

If you’re thinking about exploring Social Media as a business tool and need ideas for getting started,  I recommend Mashable’s Social Media Guide for Small Businesses as a resource.

(Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Book II – Want to read about Milo? Scroll down to Section 6, middle of Paragraph 2.)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Sandi Child permalink
    January 3, 2010 8:30 pm

    Social Media Guide for Small Businesses…thank you for sharing. So much to read and very interesting. Am taking web design classes and …the Guide will help..

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