Enough With The Social Media Guru Attacks
Enough With The Social Media Guru Attacks
by

Yesterday I read this call to action from Jennifer Leggio (whom I have an intellectual crush on, by the way) on Brian Solis’s blog. Then I saw the first video below on both Ad Contrarian and Ad Broad, both of which I love when I have time to read them. With apologies to all aforementioned and others who have complained about this topic, can we please get off the ego-driven, high-horse pedestal and shut the hell up about “social media gurus?”

I was asked about the advent of the social media expert (something I don’t believe exists) a few months ago. As a result, I recorded this video:

While the harsh tone then and now will be interpreted incorrectly by some, I still feel that way. However, my frustration has turned more toward those whining about the 20-something trying to make his or her way in the social media world, hoping to ride the wave like other digital natives and put food on their table. I don’t fault the uninformed for claiming to be something they aren’t. We’ve all spit-shined our resume a bit much at one point in time, I’d bet. I hope brands and companies are smart enough to see through that.

But attacking these enterprising young folks does two things that the “experts” doing the whining aren’t seeing:

  1. For potential clients, it makes them doubt all of us as there is little apparent distinction between the experienced and the not in a field so young.
  2. It can make you look like an elitist ass who’s afraid Johnny Icrediblog is going to take clients away from you.

While I do agree with Leggio’s assessment that your social media “expert” should have case studies, proof points and successes that point to integrated wins with an overall marketing campaign, the truth is that limits the pool to about 3-4 dozen folks in the world. No one has been doing it that long and that successfully. We’re all learning as we go. Yeah, there are a few with some good proof points, but this world, as we know it, is 4-5 years old at best.

I don’t like Leggio’s invitation for the “gurus” to jump in the comments to prove their worth. The gurus need to prove their worth to their clients, not Solis’s audience, or any of us for that matter. If they don’t, they won’t get paid much longer.

And while the video (produced on pretty damn cool software by the way) was cleverly done by Markham Nolan and is a funny, playful look at the whole guru phenomenon, it undermines the credibility of anyone in the social media business by implying anyone can do this and do it well.

(I can take a joke. It is funny. It’s just the dog pile that’s bugging me.)

The truth is that every social media manager, strategist, director, lackey, person or thingy at one point didn’t have a clue what they were doing. My first social media plan for a client was simply a PR guy connecting the dots between a communications need and a social tool that provided a solution. It didn’t make me smart. It didn’t make me an expert. But it made my client very happy and a career path emerged.

Since then, I make my clients happy or I get fired. I don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks of me. And yes, I know there are some experienced social media players out there who think I’m one of those “gurus.” I’m not going to defend my reputation or credibility to them just because I don’t live in Silicon Valley. Call my clients if you wanna know.

For them to make fun of the youngster trying to sell themselves is to make fun of each one of us at some point in our career.

My former agency colleagues rolled their eyes at me when I pitched social media ideas. Some of them still do. The ad blogs pointed to above are snickering about social media because of the funny video like it’s a fad and anyone selling it is a used car salesman in t-shirts and jeans.

And there are some in the social media world wanting to fan the flames of these character attacks because there’s some annoying dipshit with no provable reputation who criticizes their blog on Twitter.

It hurts us all in the long run. Please stop.

Sorry for the rant. You may return to your regularly scheduled programming. Or call me names in the comments. Enjoy.

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  • I'm one of the guys that has called BS on the “social media expert” title in the past, but I have to say I found myself nodding at some of what you're saying here. Specifically:
    – The people we need to convince are clients and potential clients, not just fellow fishbowlers.
    – Results matter.

    Perhaps things have changed in the last year – perhaps the market has matured (or maybe even I have), but I think your take adds something to the discussion that makes me pause and consider how I've approached this (I'd add something about having an intellectual crush on you, but that may be a little creepy).

    Thanks for making me stop and think again about this.

    • Thanks, Dave. Glad to have hit home with so many folks.

  • BryanPerson

    I'm a bit late chiming in here (waaaay behind on my Googe Reader reading), but my take is similar to yours. I see *far* more people complaining/whining/making sarcastic remarks about so-called experts than I do people calling themselves experts. It makes my stomach turn sometimes. Enough, enough, enough! Some of us know more or less than others but we all have to work with the knowledge and experience we do have. And in the meantime, we strive to learn more and improve.

    • Thanks Bryan. We're on the same page on this one, for sure. Good to
      see you in Las Vegas.

  • You tell'em Jason! It's not about what you know, but what you are actually able to accomplish based on that wealth of knowledge.

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  • Thank you Jason, for telling it like it is.

    I've thought along these lines ever since I kept seeing the “how to spot if your social media expert is walking you down the garden path” or “ten ways to spot a fake social media guru/expert” posts everywhere. Enough already. For many of the reasons you've mentioned they do no credit to the social media industry whatsoever. All the whiners do is present like a bunch of spoilt, squabbling children, scared of losing the spotlight.

    Once more, social media is still a new game – certainly to our clients. If there was ever a time for enterprising people to “go for it and deliver value,” this is it. Everyone has to begin somewhere, and what's paramount is “Are we helping our clients achieve their business goals with this fast-moving media?” It's either yes or no. If we are, we will be a hero or heroine to our clients and that's all that matters.

    • Thanks for the feedback Nicky. Appreciate the comments.

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  • “Dress for the job you want, not for the one you have.” That attitude is a key ingredient for MANY successful people.

    Sadly, these “attacks” have come off as condescending when that probably wasn't the intention.

  • Jason, I heart you. This rocks. I, too, am tired of all the social media guru and non-guru crapola and squabbling out there. Every single profession has its good and bad apples so why would this career path be any different? There's always gonna be sleaze buckets in the social media strategy arena but it's up to the prospective client to do their homework and make sure the strategist, consultant, guru, etc. is making legitimate claims and can back up hoopla and hype with solid case studies and referenceable work. And a good social media-anything will be sure to differentiate from those that don't have credible references, quality work, measurable metrics, etc. It takes *two* to make any relationship fruitful and productive. Clients need to understand that social media folks are not magicians and social media “gurus” need to understand that much of what a client needs is solid marketing and PR and that the tools are secondary to the strategy.

    • Thanks Mayra. I heart you back. Love the comment. Great points.

  • One of the best things about this 'rant' from you, Jason, is the fact that it required a certain amount of soul-searching to do a number of things, namely:
    1. admit that we've all 'spit-shined' our resumes to make oursleves look better
    – some more than others; but, nonetheless, we've all done it in one form
    or another.
    2. look at this 'dogpiling' from a 1000-ft view instead jumping in while the
    water's warm.
    3. calling out some very smart people in this rant – mad respect for that!
    – even got some nice 'shared love' from Jennifer herself on this.

    Beyond that, you've brought up some things that have made me a bit aware of the fact that more people look at you when you're not necessarily the squeaky wheel, but the guy who's dependable, confident and savvy enough to know that he doesn't have to jump up and down to get some attention.

    If you bring the goods and deliver some quality services, folks will begin to notice.

    Keep on Rockin, Jason!

    Narciso Tovar
    Big Noise Communications
    @Narciso17

    • Oh, pshaw. Thank you for saying that. I appreciate the compliments an
      feedback.

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  • Very nice and amazing post !

  • 52 comments already? Here's 53. I'm going to go on the record I am a social media expert ONLY BECAUSE I would rather you do the work than me. I would rather help you than you help me. I would rather be humble than be ego-driven. Oh, wait. Maybe that doesn't make me a social media expert. Drats. Back to the client drawing board…

  • Provocative piece, Jason! First time visitor via a retweet and appreciate the level of engagement that you foster.

    I wrote a post about the “guru-fication” of social media a month or so ago, and it wasn't necessarily faulting the experts but the concept…and us. We're the ones that anoint such deities, young and old and in a new medium, where many are unsure and need guidance and reassurance, it's not unusual behavior. As you pointed out, even experienced players feel the need to assign the guru label.

    Questioning is healthy but attacking will not help and as you pointed out, can hurt. So perhaps we should challenge ourselves and slowly gain that trust to chart our own course :)

    Awesome stuff on your site — look forward to exploring a bit.

    Tim @uMCLE

  • markwilliamschaefer

    Jason, this is awesome, because you are helping me exploit my new market niche. Since nobody wants to be a social media expert, guru or wizard (in fact they are running away from it), I volunteer. Since humility has suddenly become fashionable, y'all have just left this wide freakin' open for me. I'm standing alone in this market space. Isn't that what marketing is all about? Finding a niche and filling it?

    So from now on, when people are looking for a social media expert, that has to be me. You guys find your own niche now. : )

  • Great blog post and video. I couldn't agree more.

    Here's something I posted on Slideshare over a month ago that you'll enjoy…
    “An easy way to tell if you're social media idiot”

    http://www.slideshare.net/socialmediaidiot/an-e

  • bryanhowland

    Very nice post. For me, this sums it up perfectly:

    “But it made my client very happy and a career path emerged. Since then, I make my clients happy or I get fired. I don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks of me.”

    Making the client happy (not the people on the high horses) is all that matters.

    I can understand some of the backlash against “gurus” because I think most of them are selling fluf (or themselves) and no real strategies. But the elitist attitude that seems to exist among social media purists is almost hypocritical.

  • Jason,

    Excellent conversation going on here! As with everything new, it takes a while for markets to catch up, so there's always space for self-proclamations (“I am an expert”) & subjective criticisms (“no, you are not”), false promotions (“I make a lot of noise therefore I am good”) & deceptions (“prove it to me because I see nothing good”), etc. However, I do believe that at the end (free) markets will select those who create value from those who do not. Businesses will be hiring the social media professionals who measurably add value to their strategy (and not those who do not). Customers will select the businesses that provide tangible & timely value to them on social media (and not those that do not). Followers will be listening to the social media experts who contribute useful knowledge to the communities (and not those who do not).

    In the meantime, I agree with you that there is no value in undermining the importance of social media either by implying that anyone can do it for free or by getting paid to do it and ending up doing it worse than someone who's doing it for free :-)

    -Alex

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  • Amen Jason – I posted pretty much the same rant: http://www.rpoconsulting.com/2009/09/i-am-a-soc

    One point no one accounts for that pretty much shows that the folks trying to dog pile on the fake experts are just doing it to burnish their own cred: Anyone gullible enough to buy snake oil social media solutions is extremely unlikely to be reading this “inside baseball” bitch-fest.

    • Thanks Ben. Appreciate the compliments and the link! Off to read your take now.

  • Word up.

    • Get your body in … oh, nevermind. Heh. Thanks.

  • Hi Jason. I am sorry I didn't comment earlier, alas, work duty called. I do need to clarify — and I hope that you can clarify — that my guest post for PR 2.0 did not focus on young people trying to groom their careers. It was an equal opportunity rant, much like yours, for anyone who is trying to rebrand themselves a social media CONSULTANT, NOT guru, only because that's where money is being spent now. I was speaking specifically about consultants.

    It doesn't matter if someone is 25 or 45, the proof is in the pudding. And yes, social media as an industry is new and by no means do people need to show years and years of experience doing social programs. But they do need to have business savvy and some sort of business planning and execution experience. It's the same standard quality that I would look for in a traditional PR consultant.

    I don't think you were focusing on my rant for a lot of your rant, however, because a lot of it doesn't apply. And like I said, I made no comment about age. Nor am I a consultant. Nor am I an expert. I'm a blogger, I learn from the experiences of others, and I have a full-time gig in network security in which social media is a small, integrated part of my job. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Someone asked where I got off requiring consultants to prove themselves. As an internal decision maker with a budget to hire or fire agencies or consultants, I think I am the key person that wants to see proven metrics or experience. It's my dollars that could fund or deplete a consultant. I'm the target audience. So why wouldn't I want to see proof? And every consultant, unless they are brimming with clients, always wants more clients. So shouldn't they put their wares out for everyone to see? And if they don't, well, why not? Something is amiss.

    For the record, I have a bit of an intellectual crush on you, too. Even more so after this post. Nothing is better than an intellect who speaks his mind, and whether or not I agree is irrelevant. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

    • Awesome feedback, Jennifer. Thanks for this.

      You're right, and I apologize if I mis-characterized your comments. I do, however, think that even with the “consultants” the ultimate proof is to the delivery or execution of what the client wants. You're absolutely the target audience for these folks and you have every right to demand they share their credentials with you. I think the notion of inviting them to do it publicly on Brian's site just rubbed me wrong, along with the videos, etc., etc.

      One thing I didn't say that crossed my mind was that by simply answering your call to action and posting credentials on PR 2.0, consultants were, in a sense, admitting some fear or guilt that they may not be qualified or being over-defensive of their qualifications. Not sure that makes much sense after having written it, but I wanted to jump in and say something, but then thought, “Hell, that just makes me look defensive about my own abilities.”

      I wasn't focusing on you or your rant for much of what I wrote. The big thing that bothers me is the ad agency side folks who create videos like the one feature above and laugh at all social media consultants, professionals, etc., like we're some sort of temporary side show and the print ad will once again be relevant. I've spend the better part of three years patiently tolerating their attitudes, trying to illustrate nicely that they're making fun of people like me to their own peril and it all just blew up in what I wrote.

      I stand behind what I said, though. Calling people out as a client working with potential consultants is one thing. Asking them to defend (or embarrass) themselves on a blog just strikes me as too much. You — the target audience — is who needs to know. The rest of the world, not so much.

      But then again, I've been wrong before. Heh.

      Thank you. A million times, thank you.

  • kreedy

    Someone below said it perfectly : “every time there is a shift in technology there are naysayers. I'm not a psychologist but it likely has to do with deep seated feelings of insecurity.”

    The thing is, it is easier for people to feel comfortable with the norm, rather than embrace the unknown. I still joke amongst some folks here that the web is just a fad ;)

    • Funny. Thanks for feedback. I liked that quote, too.

  • Hallelujah! I just read that post in my reader before getting to yours and thought EXACTLY the same thing. You nailed it.

    • Thank you, sir. Appreciate the applause. Heh.

  • ghensel

    High five. Great rant. I absolutely hate this nonsense debate.

  • It's getting very, very old. When will all these whiners start making things that work rather than simply telling us what doesn't? They're are just as bad as the people they are ridiculing.

    • I kinda agree and I kinda see their point. There are a lot of people out there making promises of how great they are with nothing to back it up. But it's no different in any other industry. There are mechanics who sell themselves well but can't fix crap. I'm tired of the talk, but it won't go away.

      I'm just glad it's distracted people from attacking every social media book that gets published. They're a dime a dozen and only about 10 of them are worth the read.

      • Yes, but it's getting annoying. They're all using the same videos with the same comments. We get it. Give me something new. Give me something substantial.

        Name names. Don't be cowardly.

        I agree with them in principle, but not in practice.

  • Valid rant, Jason. I particularly appreciate your point that we all started out in roughly the same position of figuring this out according to the professional and personal needs/requirements we had (& still have, for that matter). Having successful customer engagements and the open, consultative approach to any of these challenges will benefit those who wish to improve their lot and that of their clients.
    “Why do you care what other people think?” as long as these other experiences and records are built is a good way to move forward. Whether you or anyone else is labeled a guru is immaterial.

  • I think Jennifer's points are somewhat fair, and still I agree with Jason it does very little good to spend time bashing people who are claiming to be experts or gurus or ninjas (yes I have seen someone proclaim themselves a social media ninja, but I have to say that was creative in the grand scheme of things).

    I am sure it was not intended by Jennifer, but in the process of trying to call out “snake oil salesmen” it really sort of comes off as a round-a-bout way of accumulating case studies.

    Certainly one thing I can without question agree with is that for social media not to become a muddy sea of mumbled ideas is we need to get past the semi obvious 101 nature of how wonderful it is and the glowing but generally useless statistics of unique visitors to facebook and twitter. I get it, that is news and such, but we need to get to more substance and at the end of the day to Jason's point the only way that happens is doing good work for satisfied clients.

    Not as if false claims to expertise exists only in social media business/consulting/pr/marketing.

    • Well said, Patrick. This is not atypical in other industries. We just need to learn to deal with it appropriately. Thanks, man!

  • Nice rant, seems to be the whining that has been going on for way too long. Can't fault people for wanting to claim they are an “expert” they are trying to hustle, make money, and support themselves and their families. Like you mention, clients will either be happy or not. Nothing anyone else should worry about so no reason to whine. For someone who hopefully is an up and comer in his mid 20's, we need you guys for us to flourish. We are teaching ourselves as we go along and you guys have years of agency experience in multiple areas. Instead of people whining, I wish there were more like you who actually would take the time to help. Thanks for sticking up for us, we need it sometimes.

    • Thank you, Craig. I appreciate you saying that. I think for social media to mature as a profession and even industry, we all need to get smarter, teach each other and grow together. All the negative vibes just frustrate us all. Let's focus on delivering results for our clients and the annoyances will iron themselves out. Thanks again. I'm honored you'd say such a thing.

  • Yesterday, when I saw the video and post from PR 2.0 that Jason is referencing I had two reactions: anger and confusion.

    I was confused because, as Jason says in his short video, this seems like a solution in search of a problem. That is, I didn't realize people were going around calling themselves experts, gurus, etc. But even if they are, so what? And where does Jennifer Leggio get off asking all of them/us to justify our existence by posting case studies in the comments? The whole thing struck me as another ad hominem attack on a nascent industry. And who made the PR 2.0 blog the arbiter of all things social media related?

    I was angry because of the chutzpah exhibited in the tone of the post as well as for the same reasons Jason points out: posts like this hurt ALL of us, not just those who might be BS-ing people to get clients. Look, it's a new business and business model. When I go out there and talk to clients or potential clients, there is a shockingly wide range of knowledge, sophistication and understanding not just about social media, but about the power of the internet in general. I think depending on where you live and work, the industries you might target and the individuals within those industries, you will probably have an analogous experience to mine.

    A rising tide lifts all boats, so enough with the criticism of what “the other guys” are doing. Why are you so worried about the other guys? Don't you have enough to do? “Shut up, get back to work” indeed. Jason nails it again.

    (Oh, and off the topic for a second: an apostrophe denotes possession. It does NOT indicate the plural form of something. It's “gurus” NOT “guru's.”)

    • Thank you Matt. Always appreciate your perspective. As Jennifer pointed out in a subsequent comment, her intent was a bit different and I think I (and as a result you) may have been a little harsh with her, but your point is well made. And I thank you.

  • CeeCeeWho

    Thanks. I'm 27 and have been doing the social media marketing for the last five years. Which, I guess, in this short-term world, makes me an “expert.” But, the truth is, Facebook came out when I was in my final semester of college. So, I joined and learned how it worked. I've stayed there and am familiar w/ every change they make. And hell, I've been able to turn that into a career. I have a Marketing degree and studied the traditional marketing mediums. I've written press releases, pitched to media, developed print collateral pieces, run grass-roots campaigns…… but, so has everyone else in my marketing department. What sets me apart is that I get the social media stuff. And, I'm already there. Belittling my position and role, belittles the importance of social media as an avenue. Anyone can write a press release, but you hire a PR person to do it because they can do it better. They know who to pitch it to and how to pitch it. So, thanks for defending all us 20-somethings just trying to curve out a little path… In five years, new 20-somethings will be taking over my job anyway.

    • Very well said! Thank you for pointing out the PR hire because PR folks do it better. Great point.

  • However, my frustration has turned more toward those whining about the 20-something trying to make his or her way in the social media world, hoping to ride the wave like other digital natives and put food on their table.

    Thanks for sticking up for us Jason :). I think that age has very little to do with base knowledge (admittedly not where I want to be in terms of massive brand management and strategy, but feel I am well on my way. I read enough damn blogs after all.)

    • Heh. Nice was Stuart. Thanks for the comment and you're welcome.

  • Jason, bless our heart for this post. You nailed it.

    • Thanks. No one has said that to me in a while. Made me chuckle. Appreciate it.

  • It's to bad that people feel like they have to knock each other to gain the advantage. It'd be much more positive and social responsible (which should be a part of being in social media in addition to conversations)to DM on Twitter or send a private message on Facebook if you disagree or you have differences. It's interesting when you do that people gain a mutual understanding and in the end there's the potential for mentoring and who knows, perhaps some consulting, collaboration, or perhaps a joint venture. Don't kill off the newbies to protect yourself. It takes your credibility away as well as the others in the same discipline.

  • This issue will continue to hurt the entire market of professionals who have knowledge and experience relative to business strategy and the changing landscape of media.

    Just yesterday I met with a large agency and they said “we already do social media and hired some kids to do it for our clients”. That is akin to saying we turned our business strategy over to people who have no experience in business never mind strategy development.

    The cap in the marketplace is knowledge. The marketplace of “chatter” is confusing a lot of businesses who don't have the time or interest in learning how to do things right and do the right things.

    Knowledge distinctions are difficult to demonstrate and embrace when the market is creating ignorance…….sorry I had to say it

  • You took the words right out of my mouth. As a job seeker with a genuine interest in social media, I find it incredibly frustrating that I can't so much as get my foot in the door without 10 years of experience in a field that has only existed for 4 or 5 (I'm overstating a bit, but it's frustrating nontheless.) We all have to start somewhere, and as more people and organizations educate themselves in this area, there will be plenty of work to go around for all of us. There are only a handful of “true” experts out there. The rest of us are still trying to find out way and share best practices.

    • Agreed Angela. Thanks for the perspective. And good luck with the search. You'll find something. Keep at it.

  • Jason

    Love this. Talk about an echo chamber… “shut up, do good work, you'll live…” great stuff man.
    @TomMartin

    • Gracias! Especially coming from an agency doing it right, dude. Keep up the good work.

  • gcbrown

    Jason,

    I have been in the technology business for 20 years. From mainframe , mid range, client serve, web apps, and SaaS. I have helped grow numerous start-ups to market leaders.

    To put this social media guru video into perspective, every time there is a shift in technology there are naysayers. I'm not a psychologist but it likely has to do with deep seated feelings of insecurity. It could be mommy issues too. These people are truly ignorant. I was on the leading edge of business applications built on the Web infrastructure. You can only imagine how many people said it wouldn't work.

    Social Media is the real thing. Its complicated and needs expert opinions. It is also in need of an integrated software application to help people unlock the mystery and complexities.

    • Can't thank you enough for this comment. Love the perspective and the opinion. It's nice to know this isn't the first (nor will it be the last) shift that creates these types of divisions. Many many thanks for the comment.

  • Only a social media expert could have found such an awesome do it yourself animated video making service… I love it. :)

    In all seriousness, I tire of this debate as well. Every argument that goes on in the internets at large today, has been played out on message boards across the country for the last decade…

    Swap out arguments over post counts on message boards with the current argument over who is the social media guru-est on-line and you'll catch my drift.

    I'm with you Jason, arguing over the internet is lame. It's just that simple.

  • Hello first wave of conversational thinkers, formerly really smart PR and marketing types that had vision. As opposed to newly created social media gurus. It is unfortunate that the PR and marketing profession latched on to area of what has become known as social media. This entire topic is possible for those that position social media is a marketing tactic, something you can try and see what happens. As long as a company believes this, buyers of social media will view this as a commodity.

    The precedent is when websites slipped into the template world and your high school senior was building sites for small businesses.

    If business analysis took up the cause of social media it would be a much different landscape today.

    Social media as marketing is a commodity, go ahead, shoe horn it in with that no newsworthy release and some old-time marketing dribble about a client's case study which is likely not applicable to any other situation due to first mover novelty status. But go ahead, try to differentiate yourself by doing something someone else just did. Egads man!

    After the silliness, take a step back and realize this is a different way to run a company, not just sell your stuff. See that's hard, that takes persistence, vision, and experience, not a Facebook page and a flip cam.

    • Albert- dead on—-As someone that has been engaged in business strategy for years, the message is change your whole business ecosystem because it's a competitive advantage and will have longer term ROI and may even change your business completely in the next 5 years.It will change you from being that same old boring company in that dull as heck industry.. it will take heavy lifting and leadership someone has to convince the leaders to lead into this new world. Social Business is really where it is… Internal and externally train leader to lead into this, change agent management, and start with the people first then the media, market, channel, etc. The tools and lingo will change weekly if not daily.. it the big picture that will create the big changes…
      Jason thanks for the post. Time to get to work…

  • Jason, thank you for posting this – someone has to say it (and you can get away with it as I cannot :)

    Too often times, I have felt like I had a third eye when discussing social strategies with clients, as the uninformed don't understand why we should be in the space. While at OMMA a few weeks ago, it was nice to validate that I am not crazy, and that some of the ideas we talk about are actually being used not only by me but by some others as well.

    This is a very fluid environment we are in, one that will take hold as case studies are built, but one that also gives us more reign than usual in marketing. “Do Good Work” (You and Chris seem to say this often, which I like) is the play here, and anyone that thinks social is easy may want to rethink why they are here.

    This is a self-policing role we have, the weak ideas will be tossed as time goes on and the strong will teach the rest of the pack best practices. I learn something new everyday, but that's what we love about the business. As far as experts go, shut up and get back to work is very appropriate, as I find it almost impossible to keep up with the work I have with clients today – much less time to worry about who's who…

    Take care and talk soon.

  • This post is so on target it's not even funny. I think you've painted the perfect picture of what a social media expert is and isn't. Why even have this conversation right now? It's been played to death. I wrote about it like a month or so ago and got a HUGE response, but then stopped talking about it ever since because it's old news and everything will sort itself out. The cream always rises to the top and as you said, people are still experimenting. Most companies still don't get it and there is ample opportunity for even twentysomethings to prove their worth in this space ;) …nice job Jason

    • Dan, it's a sad state of affairs true. But, which blogger out there who is involved in using social media for their business or blog truly views the work of “Guru's” in a positive way. It's not an overdrawn conversation in my opinion, it's an active call to get those who are “in the know” on social media to get out of the game.

      These people are using their “skills” to help unaware companies implement a “successful” social media campaign which never works (and these guru's still get the money for their work!). It's not a good thing in my opinion and I would hate to think that we are turning into a blogosphere which views the negative mentions of “social media guru's” as a “waste of time”. Ha, give me a break :)

  • Jason, nice post here. I, too, found the video funny, but was left a bit wanting (of the video, not the post). As in, sure – some folks act as snake-oil salesman and potentially undermine the good work done by others. This whole field isn't just a DIY. Yes, in time it can be. I think if it were purely DIY now, then there wouldn't be the need to have the parody video in the first place (thus justifying that an entire industry has emerged). At any rate, thanks for taking the time to especially call out that the field isn't that old, and that there are, as of now and by your estimation, 3 to 4 dozen folks in the field who could be proclaimed by experts. I, too, laughed at the video – I thought it was clever and well-done.