It’s not the setup to an off-color joke (though, to be frank, it certainly could be at this point), its a way of thinking about how different types of people think about technology.

If I set up a lemonade stand-type thing in a grassy suburb and had a sign that read “Social Media for Health Can Professionals, Five Cents” in all cutsie backwards-S fashion, there would be no busy waiting room. If I was lucky, there would be a single HCP talking and listening and asking questions over and over and probably walking out not using it.

The next day, I decide that HCPs are the wrong market. So I change the sign to Social Media for Politicians, five cents” and wait. And wait. And wait. Instead of being deluged by politicians looking to get a leg up on connecting with people, they’ve already jumped headlong into the new technology. They don’t want lessons. They know exactly how to text, facebook and twitter (dear world: you *can’t* direct message a photo on twitter the way you can an MMS. Please remember that fact so we can get back to dealing with more important things, okay? *sigh*). And it doesn’t matter how many of them get caught doing something illegal and/or dumb, they just keep going, knowing full well that they are *much* smarter than the rest of those people… until they end up on CNN.

To some extent, the difference is that HCPs want to know the rules (the why and how and the step-by-step instructions of how to do this thing exactly right), and politicians just want to skip to the end without ever learning why (paging Senator Ted “The Internet is Tubes” Stevens). Both of these ideas are gross generalizations, but you understand my point.

But there’s a middle ground. A ground where we learn as we go, but show a real willingness to understand in order to find new ways to leverage the technology (isn’t that what marketers are good at?). I don’t want to wait until someone else has made all the rules and I just follow them, but I don’t want to do things just to do them — I want to have a reason for doing them and understand how it affects things.

It’s crazy hot in Chicago, as it is in much of the country, so I’m gonna cut this short here. Comments: open. Twitter: please (@digital_pharma)