The Fedaykin

  • Posted on: 3 June 2014
  • By: Shawn DeWolfe
“Fedaykin was originally a word used to describe the Fremen's guerilla fighters, and was later used in reference to Muad'Dib's personal guard—his death commandos. By the time Leto and Ghanima Atreides were born, the term Fedaykin had become synonymous with the elite of Muad'dib's Jihad army.” - The Dune Wikia

The Fedaykin is based on the concept of the Fedayeen or “Arab commandos.” Frank Herbert wrote his SF series in the 1960s in a decidedly pre-9/11 world. For almost 20 years the concept of elite soldiers with Arabic origins packed no additional baggage, so the concept solidified as what it looked like in Dune: hand picked soldiers who would act in the interest of their leader and who themselves would pass on their knowledge and fervency to others.

You need the Fedaykin.

Mass marketing is about putting out enough advertising to stick to consumers like flypaper. Social media marketing is about putting out content to people who trust you. Friends and friends of friends will combine to give something traction when it is pushed through social media. At the start of this social traction, you may have to give an idea a bit of a push. You can post content via your own social channels, but that’s going to keep your work inside of your vertical of friends. If you’re lucky, this could get to your friends of friends.You can pay for love via Fiverr, but I swear that must smell from 10 miles away. I did experiment, and the cost is always greater than the reward. You need to find a group of people who are willing to help you from time to time. They have to be a lean mean machine operated by benevolent souls. You need to be able to ask them for aid to share stuff, speak well of you, and bird dog opportunities.

Key People

One way is to get to know popular people. With six degrees of separation, any famous person online is less than six relationships away. Likely, with one or two strategic hops, you can get to someone influential. If you can use some sprinkler marketing and a bit of luck, you can reach those key people.

How do you discover “key people”? One way is to mix with them. You can’t just go up and give Katy Perry a hug (I know: the restraining order was very explicit on that point), but you may be close to near celebrities who can propel your thing. These people make public appearances and you can likely strike up a conversation with them. This post, has some good stuff about breaking the ice. Ironically, you don’t want to do #6 until later. I would argue that you should treat all people like famous people. People have awesome histories and awesome views. Consider yourself lucky if you get to connect with new people. Key people are people who are willing to help you out.

Where do you find people? There are technical ways to find people who will follow and share your stuff. A number of sites come to mind. Followerwonk allows you to search for people based on their popularity especially in a given topic. It does require membership, so you have to be prepared to pay a little to get something out of this service. I have used the hosted blogging platform called NationBuilder. It does a lot to track users, measure their Klout score, the number of Twitter followers and figure out what is considered their political capital. Why didn't I mention Klout as a benchmark? Klout is really out of whack and will often misread the popularity of people by their social media presence.

Seek out people through these services, strike up conversations with them and see where it goes. If you have something relevant to share, share it with them via a direct or private message. If you share with them, be prepared to share things on their behalf.

Don’t Be Stingy

Popularity online is not a horse race. It’s a million horse races where the horses are the hearts, minds and attention span of other users. You can work to win, place or show in your own horse race while simultaneously helping someone else win their horse race. You should look for a way to help them as that may serve to make them more prominent and, as a side effect, extend the reach of what they share for you. Follow the tenet of collaboration while competing. It both makes you look like a ‘good guy’ and more importantly, you don’t waste energy working to outflank your competition. It’s easier to invent opportunity than it is to defeat competition.

Detach and Grow

The Fedyakin of Dune were supposed to take what they learned to other to turn them into effective fighters in their own right. In line with the idea of sharing and working on behalf of others, be willing to share the strategies you have found to work. Social media marketing looks a lot like guerilla marketing. Just as the Fedaykin are guerillas who run below the radar to spark change, you too must get your Fedyakin to do the same. Break off, grow and repeat.

Last updated date

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 01:40