What started as fun banter (how do you sign in ASL (American Sign Language) Facebook?! Twitter?) at happy hour between myself and couple marketers has evolved into an exciting campaign on using the most important tool – yourself – to create “gestures” for your hip startups, brand or relevant social media terms (including hashtagged terms). We have practically created our own language in social media – that isn’t translated in non verbal communication and ASL yet. I don’t even know how to sign some of those terms because not all have been officially recognized in ASL (though there are regional signs, that you will note in the videos below).
I want you to note that I am careful to not say American Sign Language, because the intent of the challenge is NOT to invent American Sign Language, or make mockery of ASL, but to enhance your understanding and appreciation of non verbal communication, on top of finding out more signs (I’ll share whatever I find out!). Who knows, maybe one day a Deaf person will approach and ask you, “Where do you work?” and you can respond with, “Well, we work at ____ , we like to use this gesture that we think represents our company!” Call it “pantomime” if you insist, but some might be inspired to eventually acquire ASL like Ty Sullivan, Marketing & Social Media Director for one of New York City’s top restaurant management groups, has done! (Which is exactly one of my goals!) He’s been creating inspirational videos by teaching himself ASL & making videos here. Our English language has evolved over the years, especially with the Internet, so it makes sense that our non verbal communication should too. Did you know that it’s cultural that Deaf people personally assign name signs for individuals? I hope to do that for you when we meet and communicate non verbally & socially!
Brandie (@lttlewys) in this awesome post calls you all out here: “Ya’ll claim that you are changing social, you are doing good, you are gathering your Unicorns and Kittens and showering the world with your brilliance”. Amen. That’s all fine and dandy, so why don’t you please rise to the challenge?
I’d like invite you to:
Create a non-verbal gesture that embodies your company or you feel is representative of your start up company, brand and even social terms you like to use including hash tags…and record a quick video to post on YouTube so we can boast your work, and share on the list.ly list we are curating together, which will allow you to…
1) Get involved - yes, you, I don’t care if you’re hearing or Deaf! If you insist on being only an observer/commenter, try to sign them too (go ahead-no one’s looking!). At the next conference we meet at, it’ll be our ice breaker.
3) Bond with the founders whose brainchildren deserve a sign, as well as myself and other brave participants. I’m trying to foster a community and “social language”.
4) Tap in your right brain like never before – odds are that a number of you viewing this are already creative, marketers or artist of some form. You’re cutting edge, ahead of the curve, now why don’t you embody your cleverness in this campaign? I’m asking you to put aside your tools, your computer, or materials and use the most powerful tool of all – yourself. Use your imagination and your hands.
5) Finally, after all of this, we can decide on which signs will prevail!
I would truly love to see your face – of the ones I’ve been talking to - and new ones. I think you’d be pleasantly surprised with this activity. Please consider joining – and my blog and List.ly will keep you updated and provide examples.
And, here’s some raves about the growing challenge: