The Social Media Echo Chamber Makes Me Not Want to Listen - Social Media Explorer
The Social Media Echo Chamber Makes Me Not Want to Listen
The Social Media Echo Chamber Makes Me Not Want to Listen
by

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s guest post is from Kevin Palmer, a friend and smart social media strategist with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working. He writes regularly at SocialMediaAnswers.com and has some opinions about the social media world I agree with (and others I don’t). This one, is one I agree with. Enjoy. Then go subscribe to his blog and follow him on Twitter. He’s @kevinpalmer.

kevin
Kevin Palmer

I have been an outsider looking in at social media for years. Academically I worked on my Master’s Degree in New Media. Professionally I have used social media and other internet marketing tactics for clients and employers for over five years now.  In that period of time I didn’t “build my personal brand” and I didn’t follow the same herds that everyone else did. I am not saying that with a bitter tone or anything, I just had other interests and wanted to separate work from them.

Because of this I like to think that I can look at the world of social media from an outsiders perspective but with an insider’s knowledge. Maybe I am deluding myself but I am going to run with it.

One thing I have the most trouble getting over is the massive echo chamber that is social media. Originally I was going to call this post “the social media circle jerk” but I thought it might have been a bit harsh, however the more I think about it the more appropriate this title seems.

As I have explored Twitter more I became fascinated that the same people are always mentioned as people that one should follow. Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, Liz Strauss, Darren Rowse, and a handful of others are on just about every list. I’m not saying that these people don’t deserve to be followed or that they aren’t knowledgeable because they are. (And having met three out of the four I can say they are all very nice.) But when composing these lists are the people constructing them even looking past the obvious? Are they actually exploring and listening?  Or just repeating what has been told to them like a kid telling his friends the best team in a sport is the one his dad likes? There are more than six million people on Twitter, I am sure there are probably a handful of people beyond the obvious that might have some value.

Moving away from Twitter to a more legitimate medium like books, (Twitter is cute, but ranks behind search, blogs, MySpace, Facebook, Youtube, and my Grandmother’s bridge club on the influence scale.) doesn’t seem to solve the problem either. When I was studying New Media in Graduate School I used to debate the value of some of the academic reading I had to digest. How could people outside of new media, like a lawyer or another profession, write about something they weren’t actually applying especially with how quick this space shifts? When I left school and started reading books from marketing professionals or people in new media I didn’t realize how good I had it in academia. At least those lawyers, sociologists, and other intellectuals did research because the drivel that I have been reading since then has been all one giant rinse and repeat.

Just about every single book written by a marketer, social media guru, or new media scribe has the same three examples in it.  For blogging it is “Dell Hell”, for micro blogging it is Zappos on Twitter, and for video it is “Will it Blend”.  I have read four books in the last six months that mentioned all three of these as main examples. Again just like the people listed above these aren’t bad examples but when they are the main highlight of every argument these “writers” put forward it is a major problem. Where is the research? Where is the original thought? Surely there are other success stories out there you could enlighten us on?

In the end I guess maybe social media is led by a few people, a few examples, and then everyone else is a self-proclaimed expert even though they are just glomming original ideas from another person twice removed. If that is the case I am going enjoy the seat on the sidelines while you all decide who the pivot man is this week.

Where is the original thought in social media? Is there really wisdom of the crowds or is the blind leading the blind?

About the Author

Kevin Palmer
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  • jen

    Wow, this conversation string has been extremely interesting and educational for me. Do i dare say i'm a marketer even though i'm a SM novice. As i begin my search for a new job, i'm trying to keep myself educated on the SM space. I've casually/personally dabbled in it and i'm interested in learning more about the success stories and failures but i must say i've been amused by many on this string who express their frustration with the “same old examples ” but have not offered any new ones themselves.

    Maybe you're correct it's their secret weapon and they are not interested in sharing the new “winning example”; or maybe it's just about going against mainstream; or is it a reminder to challeng folks to think beyond the obvious? or maybe the message is take all of this amazing knowledge and opinions and — ask the right questions, do your own research and come up with a strategy that works for your objective. I thank you all! i plan on taking a bit from all of you.

  • jen

    Wow, this conversation string has been extremely interesting and educational for me. Do i dare say i'm a marketer even though i'm a SM novice. As i begin my search for a new job, i'm trying to keep myself educated on the SM space. I've casually/personally dabbled in it and i'm interested in learning more about the success stories and failures but i must say i've been amused by many on this string who express their frustration with the “same old examples ” but have not offered any new ones themselves.

    Maybe you're correct it's their secret weapon and they are not interested in sharing the new “winning example”; or maybe it's just about going against mainstream; or is it a reminder to challeng folks to think beyond the obvious? or maybe the message is take all of this amazing knowledge and opinions and — ask the right questions, do your own research and come up with a strategy that works for your objective. I thank you all! i plan on taking a bit from all of you.

  • jen

    Wow, this conversation string has been extremely interesting and educational for me. Do i dare say i'm a marketer even though i'm a SM novice. As i begin my search for a new job, i'm trying to keep myself educated on the SM space. I've casually/personally dabbled in it and i'm interested in learning more about the success stories and failures but i must say i've been amused by many on this string who express their frustration with the “same old examples ” but have not offered any new ones themselves.

    Maybe you're correct it's their secret weapon and they are not interested in sharing the new “winning example”; or maybe it's just about going against mainstream; or is it a reminder to challeng folks to think beyond the obvious? or maybe the message is take all of this amazing knowledge and opinions and — ask the right questions, do your own research and come up with a strategy that works for your objective. I thank you all! i plan on taking a bit from all of you.

  • Kevin, apologies for the delayed response that I promised…had a family situation that called me away for a couple of weeks.

    This is a great post and thanks for not drinking the Kool-Aid! I agree with Charity Hisle, we all do need to start somewhere and like Matthew Chamberlin (thanks for the props, BTW!) said education is based in repetition.

    That said, for me social media is just another marketing tactic (ah, 'tactic' makes it sound cheap, doesn't it?!), er, another 'tool' in the marketer's toolbox. And when done properly (whatever way it works for a company and their community is the proper way), it can and does lead to business. Here's the thing, a lot of folks are implementing SM and we don't hear about it because they aren't out there chatting it up. It's their secret weapon… ;-)

  • Kevin, apologies for the delayed response that I promised…had a family situation that called me away for a couple of weeks.

    This is a great post and thanks for not drinking the Kool-Aid! I agree with Charity Hisle, we all do need to start somewhere and like Matthew Chamberlin (thanks for the props, BTW!) said education is based in repetition.

    That said, for me social media is just another marketing tactic (ah, 'tactic' makes it sound cheap, doesn't it?!), er, another 'tool' in the marketer's toolbox. And when done properly (whatever way it works for a company and their community is the proper way), it can and does lead to business. Here's the thing, a lot of folks are implementing SM and we don't hear about it because they aren't out there chatting it up. It's their secret weapon… ;-)

  • Kevin, apologies for the delayed response that I promised…had a family situation that called me away for a couple of weeks.

    This is a great post and thanks for not drinking the Kool-Aid! I agree with Charity Hisle, we all do need to start somewhere and like Matthew Chamberlin (thanks for the props, BTW!) said education is based in repetition.

    That said, for me social media is just another marketing tactic (ah, 'tactic' makes it sound cheap, doesn't it?!), er, another 'tool' in the marketer's toolbox. And when done properly (whatever way it works for a company and their community is the proper way), it can and does lead to business. Here's the thing, a lot of folks are implementing SM and we don't hear about it because they aren't out there chatting it up. It's their secret weapon… ;-)

  • Kevin, apologies for the delayed response that I promised…had a family situation that called me away for a couple of weeks.

    This is a great post and thanks for not drinking the Kool-Aid! I agree with Charity Hisle, we all do need to start somewhere and like Matthew Chamberlin (thanks for the props, BTW!) said education is based in repetition.

    That said, for me social media is just another marketing tactic (ah, 'tactic' makes it sound cheap, doesn't it?!), er, another 'tool' in the marketer's toolbox. And when done properly (whatever way it works for a company and their community is the proper way), it can and does lead to business. Here's the thing, a lot of folks are implementing SM and we don't hear about it because they aren't out there chatting it up. It's their secret weapon… ;-)

    • jen

      Wow, this conversation string has been extremely interesting and educational for me. Do i dare say i'm a marketer even though i'm a SM novice. As i begin my search for a new job, i'm trying to keep myself educated on the SM space. I've casually/personally dabbled in it and i'm interested in learning more about the success stories and failures but i must say i've been amused by many on this string who express their frustration with the “same old examples ” but have not offered any new ones themselves.

      Maybe you're correct it's their secret weapon and they are not interested in sharing the new “winning example”; or maybe it's just about going against mainstream; or is it a reminder to challeng folks to think beyond the obvious? or maybe the message is take all of this amazing knowledge and opinions and — ask the right questions, do your own research and come up with a strategy that works for your objective. I thank you all! i plan on taking a bit from all of you.

  • I agree. There's something about following the “mainstream” that makes me cringe (even if I agree they have decent things to say). I find it totally stifling that everyone quotes the same people and uses the same examples. Surely we've moved on from that by now!

  • I agree. There's something about following the “mainstream” that makes me cringe (even if I agree they have decent things to say). I find it totally stifling that everyone quotes the same people and uses the same examples. Surely we've moved on from that by now!

  • I agree. There's something about following the “mainstream” that makes me cringe (even if I agree they have decent things to say). I find it totally stifling that everyone quotes the same people and uses the same examples. Surely we've moved on from that by now!

  • I agree. There's something about following the “mainstream” that makes me cringe (even if I agree they have decent things to say). I find it totally stifling that everyone quotes the same people and uses the same examples. Surely we've moved on from that by now!

  • warzabidul

    Remember how everyone would speak about how great myspace was and how it was the future of music and more. A few months later and facebook has taken it's place, but at least with facebook it's a network of your personal friends.

    The same is happening with twitter now. It is a service that I have used to excess for about a year and a half now and decided to take a break from it. I loved the old twitter where everyone had the time to be social and build social networks of friends whom they would eventually get to meet.

    Now we see a lot of press in England speaking about twitter, everyone know what is it but very few people actually know of it's true value. As a result you get a lot of noise with hardly any personal content. In particular I'm thinking of re-tweets, link sharing and more.

    That's why I've taken a twitter break, taking the time both to read more blogs but also to spend more time surfing around to articles like this one and participate in real discussions, reminiscent of the forums from the end of the 20th century.

    Twitter is “mainstream” in label only, but the general public will never use it actively, especially in it's current form.

  • warzabidul

    Remember how everyone would speak about how great myspace was and how it was the future of music and more. A few months later and facebook has taken it's place, but at least with facebook it's a network of your personal friends.

    The same is happening with twitter now. It is a service that I have used to excess for about a year and a half now and decided to take a break from it. I loved the old twitter where everyone had the time to be social and build social networks of friends whom they would eventually get to meet.

    Now we see a lot of press in England speaking about twitter, everyone know what is it but very few people actually know of it's true value. As a result you get a lot of noise with hardly any personal content. In particular I'm thinking of re-tweets, link sharing and more.

    That's why I've taken a twitter break, taking the time both to read more blogs but also to spend more time surfing around to articles like this one and participate in real discussions, reminiscent of the forums from the end of the 20th century.

    Twitter is “mainstream” in label only, but the general public will never use it actively, especially in it's current form.

  • warzabidul

    Remember how everyone would speak about how great myspace was and how it was the future of music and more. A few months later and facebook has taken it's place, but at least with facebook it's a network of your personal friends.

    The same is happening with twitter now. It is a service that I have used to excess for about a year and a half now and decided to take a break from it. I loved the old twitter where everyone had the time to be social and build social networks of friends whom they would eventually get to meet.

    Now we see a lot of press in England speaking about twitter, everyone know what is it but very few people actually know of it's true value. As a result you get a lot of noise with hardly any personal content. In particular I'm thinking of re-tweets, link sharing and more.

    That's why I've taken a twitter break, taking the time both to read more blogs but also to spend more time surfing around to articles like this one and participate in real discussions, reminiscent of the forums from the end of the 20th century.

    Twitter is “mainstream” in label only, but the general public will never use it actively, especially in it's current form.

  • warzabidul

    How much time you can spend submerged in the social media is related to how many times you can stand seeing the same word and theme expressed day after day sometimes for weeks or even months at a time. When you blog about something original then you will encourage people to read your blog.

    The second problem is that whilst the social media is meant to be about real people using technology to communicate most of the time it's not. We see a lot of people blog, twitter, use facebook and other platform to promote their work without taking the time to see what people have been up to. As a result there is an echo rather than a discourse. By that I mean that if people were actively reading and thinking about what others were saying then the social media would be more inviting.

  • warzabidul

    How much time you can spend submerged in the social media is related to how many times you can stand seeing the same word and theme expressed day after day sometimes for weeks or even months at a time. When you blog about something original then you will encourage people to read your blog.

    The second problem is that whilst the social media is meant to be about real people using technology to communicate most of the time it's not. We see a lot of people blog, twitter, use facebook and other platform to promote their work without taking the time to see what people have been up to. As a result there is an echo rather than a discourse. By that I mean that if people were actively reading and thinking about what others were saying then the social media would be more inviting.

  • warzabidul

    How much time you can spend submerged in the social media is related to how many times you can stand seeing the same word and theme expressed day after day sometimes for weeks or even months at a time. When you blog about something original then you will encourage people to read your blog.

    The second problem is that whilst the social media is meant to be about real people using technology to communicate most of the time it's not. We see a lot of people blog, twitter, use facebook and other platform to promote their work without taking the time to see what people have been up to. As a result there is an echo rather than a discourse. By that I mean that if people were actively reading and thinking about what others were saying then the social media would be more inviting.

  • warzabidul

    How much time you can spend submerged in the social media is related to how many times you can stand seeing the same word and theme expressed day after day sometimes for weeks or even months at a time. When you blog about something original then you will encourage people to read your blog.

    The second problem is that whilst the social media is meant to be about real people using technology to communicate most of the time it's not. We see a lot of people blog, twitter, use facebook and other platform to promote their work without taking the time to see what people have been up to. As a result there is an echo rather than a discourse. By that I mean that if people were actively reading and thinking about what others were saying then the social media would be more inviting.

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  • Helen Ryan

    It's laziness on the writers' parts. I can say this because I am a writer.

    Part of writing a story is researching your subject. It's easier to just pull an “expert” or reference from someone else's article than find your own. I've done both. I am sure there are many more people knowledgeable on these subjects, but it's takes more time to find them. Also, writers are not always sure of the credibility of a potential source, so using a “tried and true” one is safer. Online journalism is not always held to the same standard as print journalism, and we don't have the “research desk” to help us out.

    You brought up a most valid point and it reminds me to keep digging deeper and look for other options.

  • Helen Ryan

    It's laziness on the writers' parts. I can say this because I am a writer.

    Part of writing a story is researching your subject. It's easier to just pull an “expert” or reference from someone else's article than find your own. I've done both. I am sure there are many more people knowledgeable on these subjects, but it's takes more time to find them. Also, writers are not always sure of the credibility of a potential source, so using a “tried and true” one is safer. Online journalism is not always held to the same standard as print journalism, and we don't have the “research desk” to help us out.

    You brought up a most valid point and it reminds me to keep digging deeper and look for other options.

  • Helen Ryan

    It's laziness on the writers' parts. I can say this because I am a writer.

    Part of writing a story is researching your subject. It's easier to just pull an “expert” or reference from someone else's article than find your own. I've done both. I am sure there are many more people knowledgeable on these subjects, but it's takes more time to find them. Also, writers are not always sure of the credibility of a potential source, so using a “tried and true” one is safer. Online journalism is not always held to the same standard as print journalism, and we don't have the “research desk” to help us out.

    You brought up a most valid point and it reminds me to keep digging deeper and look for other options.

  • Helen Ryan

    It's laziness on the writers' parts. I can say this because I am a writer.

    Part of writing a story is researching your subject. It's easier to just pull an “expert” or reference from someone else's article than find your own. I've done both. I am sure there are many more people knowledgeable on these subjects, but it's takes more time to find them. Also, writers are not always sure of the credibility of a potential source, so using a “tried and true” one is safer. Online journalism is not always held to the same standard as print journalism, and we don't have the “research desk” to help us out.

    You brought up a most valid point and it reminds me to keep digging deeper and look for other options.

  • The whole time I'm reading your article (and agreeing with it) i couldnt keep the concept of “thought leadership” out of my head. First to market people/products are criticized because it wasnt necessarily introduced by the headliner list. Wake up people and smell the social coffee here. I learn from everyone; those not on the headliner list can be thought leaders too. Dont go quoting the gurus and experts all the time; come up with your own quotables (for instance). Have an opinion. Express and Opinion. Share an Opinion. Lead Thought.

    Al Lautenslager
    Author, Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days
    Speaker, Marketing Consultant and Coach
    CEO CertifiedSocialMedia.com
    http://www.marketforprofits.com

  • The whole time I'm reading your article (and agreeing with it) i couldnt keep the concept of “thought leadership” out of my head. First to market people/products are criticized because it wasnt necessarily introduced by the headliner list. Wake up people and smell the social coffee here. I learn from everyone; those not on the headliner list can be thought leaders too. Dont go quoting the gurus and experts all the time; come up with your own quotables (for instance). Have an opinion. Express and Opinion. Share an Opinion. Lead Thought.

    Al Lautenslager
    Author, Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days
    Speaker, Marketing Consultant and Coach
    CEO CertifiedSocialMedia.com
    http://www.marketforprofits.com

  • The whole time I'm reading your article (and agreeing with it) i couldnt keep the concept of “thought leadership” out of my head. First to market people/products are criticized because it wasnt necessarily introduced by the headliner list. Wake up people and smell the social coffee here. I learn from everyone; those not on the headliner list can be thought leaders too. Dont go quoting the gurus and experts all the time; come up with your own quotables (for instance). Have an opinion. Express and Opinion. Share an Opinion. Lead Thought.

    Al Lautenslager
    Author, Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days
    Speaker, Marketing Consultant and Coach
    CEO CertifiedSocialMedia.com
    http://www.marketforprofits.com

  • The whole time I'm reading your article (and agreeing with it) i couldnt keep the concept of “thought leadership” out of my head. First to market people/products are criticized because it wasnt necessarily introduced by the headliner list. Wake up people and smell the social coffee here. I learn from everyone; those not on the headliner list can be thought leaders too. Dont go quoting the gurus and experts all the time; come up with your own quotables (for instance). Have an opinion. Express and Opinion. Share an Opinion. Lead Thought.

    Al Lautenslager
    Author, Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days
    Speaker, Marketing Consultant and Coach
    CEO CertifiedSocialMedia.com
    http://www.marketforprofits.com

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  • I have a problem with anyone who calls themself a guru!

  • I have a problem with anyone who calls themself a guru!

  • I have a problem with anyone who calls themself a guru!

  • I have a problem with anyone who calls themself a guru!

  • Kevin, you've only hit part of the problem.

  • Kevin, you've only hit part of the problem.

  • Kevin, you've only hit part of the problem.

  • Kevin, you've only hit part of the problem.

  • Great Post Kevin.

    I think Matthew Chamberlin makes a great point. Until people begin releasing more successful social media case studies, the same success stories will continue to be the “start with this” material. If something was wildly successful in any particular field, it will be the reference point for beginners to read up on. I like the jazz example that matthew used and I completely agree with it.

    I have seen people recently on twitter calling for more case studies, more examples… but where are the social media experts then? I know Jason has had success with his bourbon endeavors. I know about comcast cares and dell and scott monty… all that. But what about the rest of the experts. Give us some examples of your work, name a few clients… be bold. Then maybe we'll have some different examples to talk about. Earn the “expert” title. Prove it. Until then… check out zappos, I've heard they've done good things. Fact is the best way to teach people is with examples, that's with learning most anything. So until we have more, we'll keep referencing the same ones.

    And for the record, I call myself a social media evangelist. I think more people should use that word over expert. I call myself that simply because I enjoy it and I realize the power it can have but I'm no expert.

    -Michael

  • Great Post Kevin.

    I think Matthew Chamberlin makes a great point. Until people begin releasing more successful social media case studies, the same success stories will continue to be the “start with this” material. If something was wildly successful in any particular field, it will be the reference point for beginners to read up on. I like the jazz example that matthew used and I completely agree with it.

    I have seen people recently on twitter calling for more case studies, more examples… but where are the social media experts then? I know Jason has had success with his bourbon endeavors. I know about comcast cares and dell and scott monty… all that. But what about the rest of the experts. Give us some examples of your work, name a few clients… be bold. Then maybe we'll have some different examples to talk about. Earn the “expert” title. Prove it. Until then… check out zappos, I've heard they've done good things. Fact is the best way to teach people is with examples, that's with learning most anything. So until we have more, we'll keep referencing the same ones.

    And for the record, I call myself a social media evangelist. I think more people should use that word over expert. I call myself that simply because I enjoy it and I realize the power it can have but I'm no expert.

    -Michael

  • Great Post Kevin.

    I think Matthew Chamberlin makes a great point. Until people begin releasing more successful social media case studies, the same success stories will continue to be the “start with this” material. If something was wildly successful in any particular field, it will be the reference point for beginners to read up on. I like the jazz example that matthew used and I completely agree with it.

    I have seen people recently on twitter calling for more case studies, more examples… but where are the social media experts then? I know Jason has had success with his bourbon endeavors. I know about comcast cares and dell and scott monty… all that. But what about the rest of the experts. Give us some examples of your work, name a few clients… be bold. Then maybe we'll have some different examples to talk about. Earn the “expert” title. Prove it. Until then… check out zappos, I've heard they've done good things. Fact is the best way to teach people is with examples, that's with learning most anything. So until we have more, we'll keep referencing the same ones.

    And for the record, I call myself a social media evangelist. I think more people should use that word over expert. I call myself that simply because I enjoy it and I realize the power it can have but I'm no expert.

    -Michael

  • Great Post Kevin.

    I think Matthew Chamberlin makes a great point. Until people begin releasing more successful social media case studies, the same success stories will continue to be the “start with this” material. If something was wildly successful in any particular field, it will be the reference point for beginners to read up on. I like the jazz example that matthew used and I completely agree with it.

    I have seen people recently on twitter calling for more case studies, more examples… but where are the social media experts then? I know Jason has had success with his bourbon endeavors. I know about comcast cares and dell and scott monty… all that. But what about the rest of the experts. Give us some examples of your work, name a few clients… be bold. Then maybe we'll have some different examples to talk about. Earn the “expert” title. Prove it. Until then… check out zappos, I've heard they've done good things. Fact is the best way to teach people is with examples, that's with learning most anything. So until we have more, we'll keep referencing the same ones.

    And for the record, I call myself a social media evangelist. I think more people should use that word over expert. I call myself that simply because I enjoy it and I realize the power it can have but I'm no expert.

    -Michael

  • Kevin, I actually agreed with much of your post- their is a certain 'high
    school cliqueyness' to the social pundits but I think it's harmless. Guy
    Kawasaki actually wrote a good post about ignoring the influencers and
    looking at the unknowns.As for Twitter, the key is to set up real time email
    Alerts for keywords relevant to your business or interests and only follow
    those whose interests are a match. This cuts through the huge amount of
    silliness there and creates a highly targeted market. Our application, SM2,
    supports this capability (among many many others) and has been very useful
    in helping me understand the validity of Twitter as a business tool.

  • Kevin, I actually agreed with much of your post- their is a certain 'high
    school cliqueyness' to the social pundits but I think it's harmless. Guy
    Kawasaki actually wrote a good post about ignoring the influencers and
    looking at the unknowns.As for Twitter, the key is to set up real time email
    Alerts for keywords relevant to your business or interests and only follow
    those whose interests are a match. This cuts through the huge amount of
    silliness there and creates a highly targeted market. Our application, SM2,
    supports this capability (among many many others) and has been very useful
    in helping me understand the validity of Twitter as a business tool.

  • Kevin, I actually agreed with much of your post- their is a certain 'high
    school cliqueyness' to the social pundits but I think it's harmless. Guy
    Kawasaki actually wrote a good post about ignoring the influencers and
    looking at the unknowns.As for Twitter, the key is to set up real time email
    Alerts for keywords relevant to your business or interests and only follow
    those whose interests are a match. This cuts through the huge amount of
    silliness there and creates a highly targeted market. Our application, SM2,
    supports this capability (among many many others) and has been very useful
    in helping me understand the validity of Twitter as a business tool.

  • Haven't you checked the Tide fan page on facebook yet? ;)

  • Haven't you checked the Tide fan page on facebook yet? ;)

  • Haven't you checked the Tide fan page on facebook yet? ;)

  • So wait… should I add starch to these or not?

  • So wait… should I add starch to these or not?

  • So wait… should I add starch to these or not?

  • I admittedly have a love hate relationship with Twitter. That was more of a joke than anything in the piece but I do think Twitter is way overvalued. (In your specific case it obviously isn't and that is great that it is working for you.)

    I saw a post today about small businesses and what they should use as a social media tool with their limited time and Twitter was number two on the list. First of all those blanket lists are horseshit because each business has different needs and their audiences are in different places.

    While Twitter does work great as a tool especially when geared around tech people, the average everyday person has no idea what it is. Twitter is powerful for a certain crowd. But to key in and spend your time on it as a main plank, unless it is directly in your space, is a waste.

    The thing is “social media people” and this is probably my second biggest peeve…. Think that everyone else in the world uses the internet the same way they do. That is one the biggest failures when it comes to strategy.

  • I admittedly have a love hate relationship with Twitter. That was more of a joke than anything in the piece but I do think Twitter is way overvalued. (In your specific case it obviously isn't and that is great that it is working for you.)

    I saw a post today about small businesses and what they should use as a social media tool with their limited time and Twitter was number two on the list. First of all those blanket lists are horseshit because each business has different needs and their audiences are in different places.

    While Twitter does work great as a tool especially when geared around tech people, the average everyday person has no idea what it is. Twitter is powerful for a certain crowd. But to key in and spend your time on it as a main plank, unless it is directly in your space, is a waste.

    The thing is “social media people” and this is probably my second biggest peeve…. Think that everyone else in the world uses the internet the same way they do. That is one the biggest failures when it comes to strategy.

  • I admittedly have a love hate relationship with Twitter. That was more of a joke than anything in the piece but I do think Twitter is way overvalued. (In your specific case it obviously isn't and that is great that it is working for you.)

    I saw a post today about small businesses and what they should use as a social media tool with their limited time and Twitter was number two on the list. First of all those blanket lists are horseshit because each business has different needs and their audiences are in different places.

    While Twitter does work great as a tool especially when geared around tech people, the average everyday person has no idea what it is. Twitter is powerful for a certain crowd. But to key in and spend your time on it as a main plank, unless it is directly in your space, is a waste.

    The thing is “social media people” and this is probably my second biggest peeve…. Think that everyone else in the world uses the internet the same way they do. That is one the biggest failures when it comes to strategy.

  • I often cringe when someone labels me a “social media expert.” Have I used many of the tools and platforms frequently lauded in the social media space in a professional capacity? Yes, but I am in no way an expert, nor do I serve as a personal model for how to act, speak or participate.

    All of these 'communities' and 'conversations' can serve a purpose, but I consider these to be tools in the overarching arsenal any business consultant or 'new media' professional would consider. The barriers to entry for becoming an 'expert' in social media are non-existent, but the bar is set a bit higher for those who can apply strategy and gauge outcomes to activities involving social media. I think we're all obligated to share those typical case studies are the EXCEPTIONS, not the norms. …And that you can't drive very well looking in the rear-view mirror.

    Great conversation here, but the dryer just buzzed and reminded me that I need go fold some more clothes. With enough practice, I'll become a fashion expert in the import garment industry.

  • I often cringe when someone labels me a “social media expert.” Have I used many of the tools and platforms frequently lauded in the social media space in a professional capacity? Yes, but I am in no way an expert, nor do I serve as a personal model for how to act, speak or participate.

    All of these 'communities' and 'conversations' can serve a purpose, but I consider these to be tools in the overarching arsenal any business consultant or 'new media' professional would consider. The barriers to entry for becoming an 'expert' in social media are non-existent, but the bar is set a bit higher for those who can apply strategy and gauge outcomes to activities involving social media. I think we're all obligated to share those typical case studies are the EXCEPTIONS, not the norms. …And that you can't drive very well looking in the rear-view mirror.

    Great conversation here, but the dryer just buzzed and reminded me that I need go fold some more clothes. With enough practice, I'll become a fashion expert in the import garment industry.

  • I often cringe when someone labels me a “social media expert.” Have I used many of the tools and platforms frequently lauded in the social media space in a professional capacity? Yes, but I am in no way an expert, nor do I serve as a personal model for how to act, speak or participate.

    All of these 'communities' and 'conversations' can serve a purpose, but I consider these to be tools in the overarching arsenal any business consultant or 'new media' professional would consider. The barriers to entry for becoming an 'expert' in social media are non-existent, but the bar is set a bit higher for those who can apply strategy and gauge outcomes to activities involving social media. I think we're all obligated to share those typical case studies are the EXCEPTIONS, not the norms. …And that you can't drive very well looking in the rear-view mirror.

    Great conversation here, but the dryer just buzzed and reminded me that I need go fold some more clothes. With enough practice, I'll become a fashion expert in the import garment industry.

  • I often cringe when someone labels me a “social media expert.” Have I used many of the tools and platforms frequently lauded in the social media space in a professional capacity? Yes, but I am in no way an expert, nor do I serve as a personal model for how to act, speak or participate.

    All of these 'communities' and 'conversations' can serve a purpose, but I consider these to be tools in the overarching arsenal any business consultant or 'new media' professional would consider. The barriers to entry for becoming an 'expert' in social media are non-existent, but the bar is set a bit higher for those who can apply strategy and gauge outcomes to activities involving social media. I think we're all obligated to share those typical case studies are the EXCEPTIONS, not the norms. …And that you can't drive very well looking in the rear-view mirror.

    Great conversation here, but the dryer just buzzed and reminded me that I need go fold some more clothes. With enough practice, I'll become a fashion expert in the import garment industry.

    • So wait… should I add starch to these or not?

      • Haven't you checked the Tide fan page on facebook yet? ;)

  • Hmm…nothing like a good rant once in awhile!
    IMHO, you're wrong about Twitter to put it mildly. I'm putting it right behind search in its eventual impact on how we market things, how we do customer support, how we manage brands and how we generate new business. We're booking 3-5 demos daily via Twitter for a professional service. Nothing else is moving into the B-B marketing mainstream as effectively.
    Of course we are a social media company so its natural that our customers, being early adopters, would gravitate to something like Twitter. But I think its a harbinger…

  • Hmm…nothing like a good rant once in awhile!
    IMHO, you're wrong about Twitter to put it mildly. I'm putting it right behind search in its eventual impact on how we market things, how we do customer support, how we manage brands and how we generate new business. We're booking 3-5 demos daily via Twitter for a professional service. Nothing else is moving into the B-B marketing mainstream as effectively.
    Of course we are a social media company so its natural that our customers, being early adopters, would gravitate to something like Twitter. But I think its a harbinger…

  • Hmm…nothing like a good rant once in awhile!
    IMHO, you're wrong about Twitter to put it mildly. I'm putting it right behind search in its eventual impact on how we market things, how we do customer support, how we manage brands and how we generate new business. We're booking 3-5 demos daily via Twitter for a professional service. Nothing else is moving into the B-B marketing mainstream as effectively.
    Of course we are a social media company so its natural that our customers, being early adopters, would gravitate to something like Twitter. But I think its a harbinger…

  • Hmm…nothing like a good rant once in awhile!
    IMHO, you're wrong about Twitter to put it mildly. I'm putting it right behind search in its eventual impact on how we market things, how we do customer support, how we manage brands and how we generate new business. We're booking 3-5 demos daily via Twitter for a professional service. Nothing else is moving into the B-B marketing mainstream as effectively.
    Of course we are a social media company so its natural that our customers, being early adopters, would gravitate to something like Twitter. But I think its a harbinger…

    • I admittedly have a love hate relationship with Twitter. That was more of a joke than anything in the piece but I do think Twitter is way overvalued. (In your specific case it obviously isn't and that is great that it is working for you.)

      I saw a post today about small businesses and what they should use as a social media tool with their limited time and Twitter was number two on the list. First of all those blanket lists are horseshit because each business has different needs and their audiences are in different places.

      While Twitter does work great as a tool especially when geared around tech people, the average everyday person has no idea what it is. Twitter is powerful for a certain crowd. But to key in and spend your time on it as a main plank, unless it is directly in your space, is a waste.

      The thing is “social media people” and this is probably my second biggest peeve…. Think that everyone else in the world uses the internet the same way they do. That is one the biggest failures when it comes to strategy.

      • Kevin, I actually agreed with much of your post- their is a certain 'high
        school cliqueyness' to the social pundits but I think it's harmless. Guy
        Kawasaki actually wrote a good post about ignoring the influencers and
        looking at the unknowns.As for Twitter, the key is to set up real time email
        Alerts for keywords relevant to your business or interests and only follow
        those whose interests are a match. This cuts through the huge amount of
        silliness there and creates a highly targeted market. Our application, SM2,
        supports this capability (among many many others) and has been very useful
        in helping me understand the validity of Twitter as a business tool.

      • warzabidul

        Remember how everyone would speak about how great myspace was and how it was the future of music and more. A few months later and facebook has taken it's place, but at least with facebook it's a network of your personal friends.

        The same is happening with twitter now. It is a service that I have used to excess for about a year and a half now and decided to take a break from it. I loved the old twitter where everyone had the time to be social and build social networks of friends whom they would eventually get to meet.

        Now we see a lot of press in England speaking about twitter, everyone know what is it but very few people actually know of it's true value. As a result you get a lot of noise with hardly any personal content. In particular I'm thinking of re-tweets, link sharing and more.

        That's why I've taken a twitter break, taking the time both to read more blogs but also to spend more time surfing around to articles like this one and participate in real discussions, reminiscent of the forums from the end of the 20th century.

        Twitter is “mainstream” in label only, but the general public will never use it actively, especially in it's current form.

  • Well said.

    What bothers me most is that when people answer the question, “Who should I follow on Twitter?” they rarely ask, “What are you into?” They too often recite the list of people you mention above. Now, I ask you, what would anyone not involved in social media marketing or the tech industry or blogging have to gain from following Chris Brogan or Jason Calacanis or Darren Rowse? My sister couldn't care less about anything they might have to say. But my sister would care that there are lots of moms and knitters on Twitter.

  • Well said.

    What bothers me most is that when people answer the question, “Who should I follow on Twitter?” they rarely ask, “What are you into?” They too often recite the list of people you mention above. Now, I ask you, what would anyone not involved in social media marketing or the tech industry or blogging have to gain from following Chris Brogan or Jason Calacanis or Darren Rowse? My sister couldn't care less about anything they might have to say. But my sister would care that there are lots of moms and knitters on Twitter.

  • Well said.

    What bothers me most is that when people answer the question, “Who should I follow on Twitter?” they rarely ask, “What are you into?” They too often recite the list of people you mention above. Now, I ask you, what would anyone not involved in social media marketing or the tech industry or blogging have to gain from following Chris Brogan or Jason Calacanis or Darren Rowse? My sister couldn't care less about anything they might have to say. But my sister would care that there are lots of moms and knitters on Twitter.

  • Well said.

    What bothers me most is that when people answer the question, “Who should I follow on Twitter?” they rarely ask, “What are you into?” They too often recite the list of people you mention above. Now, I ask you, what would anyone not involved in social media marketing or the tech industry or blogging have to gain from following Chris Brogan or Jason Calacanis or Darren Rowse? My sister couldn't care less about anything they might have to say. But my sister would care that there are lots of moms and knitters on Twitter.

  • This is one of the best posts I've read in months!
    I'm particularly troubled by the constant “barf” of the same information over and over.
    There is so much more to learn and to go deeper into social media, so many other examples but the big ones that we've all rehashed over and over.

    This is splendidly thought provoking and a must read for all “newbies” and businesses.
    There is definitely a SM fishbowl affect happening :-)

    Great stuff!

  • This is one of the best posts I've read in months!
    I'm particularly troubled by the constant “barf” of the same information over and over.
    There is so much more to learn and to go deeper into social media, so many other examples but the big ones that we've all rehashed over and over.

    This is splendidly thought provoking and a must read for all “newbies” and businesses.
    There is definitely a SM fishbowl affect happening :-)

    Great stuff!

  • This is one of the best posts I've read in months!
    I'm particularly troubled by the constant “barf” of the same information over and over.
    There is so much more to learn and to go deeper into social media, so many other examples but the big ones that we've all rehashed over and over.

    This is splendidly thought provoking and a must read for all “newbies” and businesses.
    There is definitely a SM fishbowl affect happening :-)

    Great stuff!

  • This is one of the best posts I've read in months!
    I'm particularly troubled by the constant “barf” of the same information over and over.
    There is so much more to learn and to go deeper into social media, so many other examples but the big ones that we've all rehashed over and over.

    This is splendidly thought provoking and a must read for all “newbies” and businesses.
    There is definitely a SM fishbowl affect happening :-)

    Great stuff!

  • “Just about every single book written by a marketer, social media guru, or new media scribe has the same three examples in it. For blogging it is “Dell Hell”, for micro blogging it is Zappos on Twitter, and for video it is “Will it Blend”. “

    Yes, and that's all well and good. I'm quietly having huge success personally and with clients on my projects and seeing good results – as are my peers. Most people just make Facebook pages and Twitter accounts…*yawn**…but there is more out there.

  • “Just about every single book written by a marketer, social media guru, or new media scribe has the same three examples in it. For blogging it is “Dell Hell”, for micro blogging it is Zappos on Twitter, and for video it is “Will it Blend”. “

    Yes, and that's all well and good. I'm quietly having huge success personally and with clients on my projects and seeing good results – as are my peers. Most people just make Facebook pages and Twitter accounts…*yawn**…but there is more out there.

  • “Just about every single book written by a marketer, social media guru, or new media scribe has the same three examples in it. For blogging it is “Dell Hell”, for micro blogging it is Zappos on Twitter, and for video it is “Will it Blend”. “

    Yes, and that's all well and good. I'm quietly having huge success personally and with clients on my projects and seeing good results – as are my peers. Most people just make Facebook pages and Twitter accounts…*yawn**…but there is more out there.

  • “Just about every single book written by a marketer, social media guru, or new media scribe has the same three examples in it. For blogging it is “Dell Hell”, for micro blogging it is Zappos on Twitter, and for video it is “Will it Blend”. “

    Yes, and that's all well and good. I'm quietly having huge success personally and with clients on my projects and seeing good results – as are my peers. Most people just make Facebook pages and Twitter accounts…*yawn**…but there is more out there.

  • i think this is an excellent point, and one of the thing about the top guru lists that are constantly published is it never encourages people to look outside the obvious – as you say, the same names come up again and again and again.

    Something I did recently was broaden my reading list by looking through AdAge's power 150 list (actually the top 1000 or so). But rather than choose from the usual suspects in the top 100, I looked at no 600 and below.

    Could I honestly say that the lower ranked blogs were any less insightful? In many cases the opposite was true, but they were just there by chance or by a lack of interest in the authors promoting themselves. But by tapping into them, you are in the privileged position of not having to listen to the same stuff as thousands of others!

  • i think this is an excellent point, and one of the thing about the top guru lists that are constantly published is it never encourages people to look outside the obvious – as you say, the same names come up again and again and again.

    Something I did recently was broaden my reading list by looking through AdAge's power 150 list (actually the top 1000 or so). But rather than choose from the usual suspects in the top 100, I looked at no 600 and below.

    Could I honestly say that the lower ranked blogs were any less insightful? In many cases the opposite was true, but they were just there by chance or by a lack of interest in the authors promoting themselves. But by tapping into them, you are in the privileged position of not having to listen to the same stuff as thousands of others!

  • i think this is an excellent point, and one of the thing about the top guru lists that are constantly published is it never encourages people to look outside the obvious – as you say, the same names come up again and again and again.

    Something I did recently was broaden my reading list by looking through AdAge's power 150 list (actually the top 1000 or so). But rather than choose from the usual suspects in the top 100, I looked at no 600 and below.

    Could I honestly say that the lower ranked blogs were any less insightful? In many cases the opposite was true, but they were just there by chance or by a lack of interest in the authors promoting themselves. But by tapping into them, you are in the privileged position of not having to listen to the same stuff as thousands of others!

  • i think this is an excellent point, and one of the thing about the top guru lists that are constantly published is it never encourages people to look outside the obvious – as you say, the same names come up again and again and again.

    Something I did recently was broaden my reading list by looking through AdAge's power 150 list (actually the top 1000 or so). But rather than choose from the usual suspects in the top 100, I looked at no 600 and below.

    Could I honestly say that the lower ranked blogs were any less insightful? In many cases the opposite was true, but they were just there by chance or by a lack of interest in the authors promoting themselves. But by tapping into them, you are in the privileged position of not having to listen to the same stuff as thousands of others!

  • kai

    Hating on Greyhound? Pfft.

    Nice post, btw. I've stopped calling myself a social media person. Now I'm just a person. It's working out quite nicely for me.

  • kai

    Hating on Greyhound? Pfft.

    Nice post, btw. I've stopped calling myself a social media person. Now I'm just a person. It's working out quite nicely for me.

  • kai

    Hating on Greyhound? Pfft.

    Nice post, btw. I've stopped calling myself a social media person. Now I'm just a person. It's working out quite nicely for me.

  • Matthew you make a great point. And I agree with it. I think maybe my issue past that is a lot of these people needing the 101 stuff seem to just be stuck there and don't move on or that they are afraid to think for themselves.

    You are right about the roles… Maybe this serves as a little call to action to some of the people that have an understanding.

  • Matthew you make a great point. And I agree with it. I think maybe my issue past that is a lot of these people needing the 101 stuff seem to just be stuck there and don't move on or that they are afraid to think for themselves.

    You are right about the roles… Maybe this serves as a little call to action to some of the people that have an understanding.

  • Matthew you make a great point. And I agree with it. I think maybe my issue past that is a lot of these people needing the 101 stuff seem to just be stuck there and don't move on or that they are afraid to think for themselves.

    You are right about the roles… Maybe this serves as a little call to action to some of the people that have an understanding.

  • Thanks Sean… I know how it is. Just take a step back from it and look at what you are paying attention to then start chopping. It is okay not to follow something or read something that everyone else does if you are not getting information out of it.

    Honestly I had a problem accepting that. I was told certain things were must reads and in reality I was getting nothing out of them. It is liberating to turn against the stream.

  • Thanks Sean… I know how it is. Just take a step back from it and look at what you are paying attention to then start chopping. It is okay not to follow something or read something that everyone else does if you are not getting information out of it.

    Honestly I had a problem accepting that. I was told certain things were must reads and in reality I was getting nothing out of them. It is liberating to turn against the stream.

  • Thanks Sean… I know how it is. Just take a step back from it and look at what you are paying attention to then start chopping. It is okay not to follow something or read something that everyone else does if you are not getting information out of it.

    Honestly I had a problem accepting that. I was told certain things were must reads and in reality I was getting nothing out of them. It is liberating to turn against the stream.

  • Kevin-
    I get what you're saying, but I would offer this counterpoint: while there IS most definitely an echo chamber out there among SM folks, the truth of the matter is there is a HUGE chasm of understanding and acceptance on the part of businesses and organizations. Therefore, for the same reason that children's Tylenol tastes like bubble gum, you need to help those who are new to the medium understand that SM is real, actionable and can produce results.

    Your point about everyone naming the same “experts” or the same few campaigns is well taken. But, again, there needs to be a jumping off point for the neophyte. I am huge jazz fan and ex-drummer. In every “Essential Jazz Albums” list ever published, you will see “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. While it is undoubtedly a seminal and educational record, it is also, if you will, the Chris Brogan of jazz albums (no offense, Chris). For someone like me who has forgotten more about jazz than most people will ever know, it drives me nuts to see that record on every list. But I get it, because there needs to be a jumping off point.

    It strikes me that your main beef is with the intellectual laziness of most of us in citing the same shopworn campaigns and “thought leaders” in the space. I don't disagree, but my extremely unscientific survey of my clients, potential clients and people I consider highly intelligent and tuned in reveals that we have not done a good job of explaining why all this stuff matters, what the present and future hold and what the benefits of embracing SM are. Just like it takes seven or eight views or listens to a commercial before it starts to sink in, repetition is one of the keys to education.

    Beth Harte, Peter Kim, Valeria Maltoni, Amber Naslund, David Meerman Scott, several of the MediaPost feeds, comScore, eMarketer, Drew McLellan… I mean, I am barely even trying and I just ripped off a bunch of blogs that are long on real world applications and short on blue sky BS. (Sorry to not provide links, folks, but that's what Google is for.)

    The reason you and I (and many others) are bored with the same retread posts, books and examples is because we're past all that. Therefore, our role needs to reach back and offer a hand up the ladder so that all this stuff becomes as well understood and second nature as direct mail, TV spots or any other PR, marketing or advertising tactic you can think of. We are a long way away from that day, however. A loooooooonnggg way.

  • Kevin-
    I get what you're saying, but I would offer this counterpoint: while there IS most definitely an echo chamber out there among SM folks, the truth of the matter is there is a HUGE chasm of understanding and acceptance on the part of businesses and organizations. Therefore, for the same reason that children's Tylenol tastes like bubble gum, you need to help those who are new to the medium understand that SM is real, actionable and can produce results.

    Your point about everyone naming the same “experts” or the same few campaigns is well taken. But, again, there needs to be a jumping off point for the neophyte. I am huge jazz fan and ex-drummer. In every “Essential Jazz Albums” list ever published, you will see “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. While it is undoubtedly a seminal and educational record, it is also, if you will, the Chris Brogan of jazz albums (no offense, Chris). For someone like me who has forgotten more about jazz than most people will ever know, it drives me nuts to see that record on every list. But I get it, because there needs to be a jumping off point.

    It strikes me that your main beef is with the intellectual laziness of most of us in citing the same shopworn campaigns and “thought leaders” in the space. I don't disagree, but my extremely unscientific survey of my clients, potential clients and people I consider highly intelligent and tuned in reveals that we have not done a good job of explaining why all this stuff matters, what the present and future hold and what the benefits of embracing SM are. Just like it takes seven or eight views or listens to a commercial before it starts to sink in, repetition is one of the keys to education.

    Beth Harte, Peter Kim, Valeria Maltoni, Amber Naslund, David Meerman Scott, several of the MediaPost feeds, comScore, eMarketer, Drew McLellan… I mean, I am barely even trying and I just ripped off a bunch of blogs that are long on real world applications and short on blue sky BS. (Sorry to not provide links, folks, but that's what Google is for.)

    The reason you and I (and many others) are bored with the same retread posts, books and examples is because we're past all that. Therefore, our role needs to reach back and offer a hand up the ladder so that all this stuff becomes as well understood and second nature as direct mail, TV spots or any other PR, marketing or advertising tactic you can think of. We are a long way away from that day, however. A loooooooonnggg way.

  • Kevin-
    I get what you're saying, but I would offer this counterpoint: while there IS most definitely an echo chamber out there among SM folks, the truth of the matter is there is a HUGE chasm of understanding and acceptance on the part of businesses and organizations. Therefore, for the same reason that children's Tylenol tastes like bubble gum, you need to help those who are new to the medium understand that SM is real, actionable and can produce results.

    Your point about everyone naming the same “experts” or the same few campaigns is well taken. But, again, there needs to be a jumping off point for the neophyte. I am huge jazz fan and ex-drummer. In every “Essential Jazz Albums” list ever published, you will see “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. While it is undoubtedly a seminal and educational record, it is also, if you will, the Chris Brogan of jazz albums (no offense, Chris). For someone like me who has forgotten more about jazz than most people will ever know, it drives me nuts to see that record on every list. But I get it, because there needs to be a jumping off point.

    It strikes me that your main beef is with the intellectual laziness of most of us in citing the same shopworn campaigns and “thought leaders” in the space. I don't disagree, but my extremely unscientific survey of my clients, potential clients and people I consider highly intelligent and tuned in reveals that we have not done a good job of explaining why all this stuff matters, what the present and future hold and what the benefits of embracing SM are. Just like it takes seven or eight views or listens to a commercial before it starts to sink in, repetition is one of the keys to education.

    Beth Harte, Peter Kim, Valeria Maltoni, Amber Naslund, David Meerman Scott, several of the MediaPost feeds, comScore, eMarketer, Drew McLellan… I mean, I am barely even trying and I just ripped off a bunch of blogs that are long on real world applications and short on blue sky BS. (Sorry to not provide links, folks, but that's what Google is for.)

    The reason you and I (and many others) are bored with the same retread posts, books and examples is because we're past all that. Therefore, our role needs to reach back and offer a hand up the ladder so that all this stuff becomes as well understood and second nature as direct mail, TV spots or any other PR, marketing or advertising tactic you can think of. We are a long way away from that day, however. A loooooooonnggg way.

  • Kevin-
    I get what you're saying, but I would offer this counterpoint: while there IS most definitely an echo chamber out there among SM folks, the truth of the matter is there is a HUGE chasm of understanding and acceptance on the part of businesses and organizations. Therefore, for the same reason that children's Tylenol tastes like bubble gum, you need to help those who are new to the medium understand that SM is real, actionable and can produce results.

    Your point about everyone naming the same “experts” or the same few campaigns is well taken. But, again, there needs to be a jumping off point for the neophyte. I am huge jazz fan and ex-drummer. In every “Essential Jazz Albums” list ever published, you will see “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis. While it is undoubtedly a seminal and educational record, it is also, if you will, the Chris Brogan of jazz albums (no offense, Chris). For someone like me who has forgotten more about jazz than most people will ever know, it drives me nuts to see that record on every list. But I get it, because there needs to be a jumping off point.

    It strikes me that your main beef is with the intellectual laziness of most of us in citing the same shopworn campaigns and “thought leaders” in the space. I don't disagree, but my extremely unscientific survey of my clients, potential clients and people I consider highly intelligent and tuned in reveals that we have not done a good job of explaining why all this stuff matters, what the present and future hold and what the benefits of embracing SM are. Just like it takes seven or eight views or listens to a commercial before it starts to sink in, repetition is one of the keys to education.

    Beth Harte, Peter Kim, Valeria Maltoni, Amber Naslund, David Meerman Scott, several of the MediaPost feeds, comScore, eMarketer, Drew McLellan… I mean, I am barely even trying and I just ripped off a bunch of blogs that are long on real world applications and short on blue sky BS. (Sorry to not provide links, folks, but that's what Google is for.)

    The reason you and I (and many others) are bored with the same retread posts, books and examples is because we're past all that. Therefore, our role needs to reach back and offer a hand up the ladder so that all this stuff becomes as well understood and second nature as direct mail, TV spots or any other PR, marketing or advertising tactic you can think of. We are a long way away from that day, however. A loooooooonnggg way.

    • Matthew you make a great point. And I agree with it. I think maybe my issue past that is a lot of these people needing the 101 stuff seem to just be stuck there and don't move on or that they are afraid to think for themselves.

      You are right about the roles… Maybe this serves as a little call to action to some of the people that have an understanding.

  • Kevin,
    This clarified a lot of thing for me. I was brought into this agency as a “social media expert” but that's only because I could ride on two wheels while everyone else is riding with training wheels. I've got nowhere near the chops of you or a lot of the people I follow. So I dove in, trying to track everything and I just immersed myself in social media to the point that I Tweet in my sleep. And it makes me crazy. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. Your post will be helpful in unplugging and not being so reliant on the rest of the herd for guidance. Not that the herd is not nice. It's been pretty accepting and amenable, but sometimes it does get to be too much. Thanks, Kevin

  • Kevin,
    This clarified a lot of thing for me. I was brought into this agency as a “social media expert” but that's only because I could ride on two wheels while everyone else is riding with training wheels. I've got nowhere near the chops of you or a lot of the people I follow. So I dove in, trying to track everything and I just immersed myself in social media to the point that I Tweet in my sleep. And it makes me crazy. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. Your post will be helpful in unplugging and not being so reliant on the rest of the herd for guidance. Not that the herd is not nice. It's been pretty accepting and amenable, but sometimes it does get to be too much. Thanks, Kevin

  • Kevin,
    This clarified a lot of thing for me. I was brought into this agency as a “social media expert” but that's only because I could ride on two wheels while everyone else is riding with training wheels. I've got nowhere near the chops of you or a lot of the people I follow. So I dove in, trying to track everything and I just immersed myself in social media to the point that I Tweet in my sleep. And it makes me crazy. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. Your post will be helpful in unplugging and not being so reliant on the rest of the herd for guidance. Not that the herd is not nice. It's been pretty accepting and amenable, but sometimes it does get to be too much. Thanks, Kevin

  • Kevin,
    This clarified a lot of thing for me. I was brought into this agency as a “social media expert” but that's only because I could ride on two wheels while everyone else is riding with training wheels. I've got nowhere near the chops of you or a lot of the people I follow. So I dove in, trying to track everything and I just immersed myself in social media to the point that I Tweet in my sleep. And it makes me crazy. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. Your post will be helpful in unplugging and not being so reliant on the rest of the herd for guidance. Not that the herd is not nice. It's been pretty accepting and amenable, but sometimes it does get to be too much. Thanks, Kevin

    • Thanks Sean… I know how it is. Just take a step back from it and look at what you are paying attention to then start chopping. It is okay not to follow something or read something that everyone else does if you are not getting information out of it.

      Honestly I had a problem accepting that. I was told certain things were must reads and in reality I was getting nothing out of them. It is liberating to turn against the stream.

  • Making a pretty MySpace page is hard work… If that doesn't qualify someone as an expert I don't know what does.

    I am going to go stab myself in the neck with my pen now.

  • Making a pretty MySpace page is hard work… If that doesn't qualify someone as an expert I don't know what does.

    I am going to go stab myself in the neck with my pen now.

  • Making a pretty MySpace page is hard work… If that doesn't qualify someone as an expert I don't know what does.

    I am going to go stab myself in the neck with my pen now.

  • …And claim yourself an expert by simply using a few different services no less.

  • …And claim yourself an expert by simply using a few different services no less.

  • …And claim yourself an expert by simply using a few different services no less.

  • Pingback: Five in the Morning 020309 « StickyFigure()

  • LOL… and here comes the hate mail in 5…4…3..2…1

  • LOL… and here comes the hate mail in 5…4…3..2…1

  • LOL… and here comes the hate mail in 5…4…3..2…1

  • Oh and furthermore this might be one of the few industries that you can proclaim yourself an expert. If I proclaimed myself an expert brain surgeon and tried to set up a practice anywhere I would probably be in trouble.

  • Oh and furthermore this might be one of the few industries that you can proclaim yourself an expert. If I proclaimed myself an expert brain surgeon and tried to set up a practice anywhere I would probably be in trouble.

  • Oh and furthermore this might be one of the few industries that you can proclaim yourself an expert. If I proclaimed myself an expert brain surgeon and tried to set up a practice anywhere I would probably be in trouble.

  • The self proclaimed experts crack me up. But my new favorite things are “social media coaches”… The only coach I want is one helping me with my jump shot or how to read a cover two defense.

  • The self proclaimed experts crack me up. But my new favorite things are “social media coaches”… The only coach I want is one helping me with my jump shot or how to read a cover two defense.

  • The self proclaimed experts crack me up. But my new favorite things are “social media coaches”… The only coach I want is one helping me with my jump shot or how to read a cover two defense.

  • Going to the pet groomer can be hugely influential as well if you know how to tap it.

    I don't disagree that twitter can't be leveraged. I think way too many people are rushing there and dry humping the leg and ignoring other low hanging fruit.

  • Going to the pet groomer can be hugely influential as well if you know how to tap it.

    I don't disagree that twitter can't be leveraged. I think way too many people are rushing there and dry humping the leg and ignoring other low hanging fruit.

  • Going to the pet groomer can be hugely influential as well if you know how to tap it.

    I don't disagree that twitter can't be leveraged. I think way too many people are rushing there and dry humping the leg and ignoring other low hanging fruit.

  • In my case as a mommy blogger using social media it's the blonde leading the blonde. ;)

  • In my case as a mommy blogger using social media it's the blonde leading the blonde. ;)

  • In my case as a mommy blogger using social media it's the blonde leading the blonde. ;)

  • In my case as a mommy blogger using social media it's the blonde leading the blonde. ;)

    • LOL… and here comes the hate mail in 5…4…3..2…1

  • Nice post Kevin. The problem with Social Media is that everyone feels the need to turn out content and they end up spewing from the same source. The need for new eyeballs and “followers” has turned the end game into how much you can produce and not the quality – heck, or even accuracy – of the content. I see stuff thrown out by “experts” who have been on Twitter/Facebook etc for five minutes that is just laughable. We have too many social media “experts” and not enough people with the guts to call BS.

  • Nice post Kevin. The problem with Social Media is that everyone feels the need to turn out content and they end up spewing from the same source. The need for new eyeballs and “followers” has turned the end game into how much you can produce and not the quality – heck, or even accuracy – of the content. I see stuff thrown out by “experts” who have been on Twitter/Facebook etc for five minutes that is just laughable. We have too many social media “experts” and not enough people with the guts to call BS.

  • Nice post Kevin. The problem with Social Media is that everyone feels the need to turn out content and they end up spewing from the same source. The need for new eyeballs and “followers” has turned the end game into how much you can produce and not the quality – heck, or even accuracy – of the content. I see stuff thrown out by “experts” who have been on Twitter/Facebook etc for five minutes that is just laughable. We have too many social media “experts” and not enough people with the guts to call BS.

  • Nice post Kevin. The problem with Social Media is that everyone feels the need to turn out content and they end up spewing from the same source. The need for new eyeballs and “followers” has turned the end game into how much you can produce and not the quality – heck, or even accuracy – of the content. I see stuff thrown out by “experts” who have been on Twitter/Facebook etc for five minutes that is just laughable. We have too many social media “experts” and not enough people with the guts to call BS.

    • The self proclaimed experts crack me up. But my new favorite things are “social media coaches”… The only coach I want is one helping me with my jump shot or how to read a cover two defense.

      • Oh and furthermore this might be one of the few industries that you can proclaim yourself an expert. If I proclaimed myself an expert brain surgeon and tried to set up a practice anywhere I would probably be in trouble.

        • …And claim yourself an expert by simply using a few different services no less.

          • Making a pretty MySpace page is hard work… If that doesn't qualify someone as an expert I don't know what does.

            I am going to go stab myself in the neck with my pen now.

      • kai

        Hating on Greyhound? Pfft.

        Nice post, btw. I've stopped calling myself a social media person. Now I'm just a person. It's working out quite nicely for me.

  • Brilliant. I only have one difference of opinion. Twitter is HUGELY influential… if one knows how to tap it…

  • Brilliant. I only have one difference of opinion. Twitter is HUGELY influential… if one knows how to tap it…

  • Brilliant. I only have one difference of opinion. Twitter is HUGELY influential… if one knows how to tap it…

  • Brilliant. I only have one difference of opinion. Twitter is HUGELY influential… if one knows how to tap it…

    • Going to the pet groomer can be hugely influential as well if you know how to tap it.

      I don't disagree that twitter can't be leveraged. I think way too many people are rushing there and dry humping the leg and ignoring other low hanging fruit.

  • I think of it in a broader sense, like a starburst and the starting point is the center. It takes time for some of the “unique” voices to be seen/heard, they often appear where we least expect it.

    It's about the journey, so what if we start on the same road? What matters is where we end up. The examples we follow are a good foundation, and from there social media is what we make of it for ourselves. To each his own.

  • I think of it in a broader sense, like a starburst and the starting point is the center. It takes time for some of the “unique” voices to be seen/heard, they often appear where we least expect it.

    It's about the journey, so what if we start on the same road? What matters is where we end up. The examples we follow are a good foundation, and from there social media is what we make of it for ourselves. To each his own.

  • I think of it in a broader sense, like a starburst and the starting point is the center. It takes time for some of the “unique” voices to be seen/heard, they often appear where we least expect it.

    It's about the journey, so what if we start on the same road? What matters is where we end up. The examples we follow are a good foundation, and from there social media is what we make of it for ourselves. To each his own.

  • It does have to start somewhere the problem is when everyone starts at the same starting point they aren't blazing their own path and follow down the same track as everyone else.

  • It does have to start somewhere the problem is when everyone starts at the same starting point they aren't blazing their own path and follow down the same track as everyone else.

  • It does have to start somewhere the problem is when everyone starts at the same starting point they aren't blazing their own path and follow down the same track as everyone else.

  • Thanks Tom. I will take a look at the report I know I would be interested in reading that.

    I think one of the issues is that people feel like they need to churn out content to be relevant and when that happens the original thought and examination are lost.

  • Thanks Tom. I will take a look at the report I know I would be interested in reading that.

    I think one of the issues is that people feel like they need to churn out content to be relevant and when that happens the original thought and examination are lost.

  • Thanks Tom. I will take a look at the report I know I would be interested in reading that.

    I think one of the issues is that people feel like they need to churn out content to be relevant and when that happens the original thought and examination are lost.

  • I actually have called a few people out on this on their blog. So many people just talk in these warm and fuzzy generalities but in the end offer little substance. One response I received was that they didn't want to reveal what is in their toolkit. Fair enough.

    I like when people express ideas, talk about execution, and talk about theory even but with something to back it up. Things like “you need to be a part of the conversation” and empty recycled thoughts like that drive me nuts.

  • I actually have called a few people out on this on their blog. So many people just talk in these warm and fuzzy generalities but in the end offer little substance. One response I received was that they didn't want to reveal what is in their toolkit. Fair enough.

    I like when people express ideas, talk about execution, and talk about theory even but with something to back it up. Things like “you need to be a part of the conversation” and empty recycled thoughts like that drive me nuts.

  • I actually have called a few people out on this on their blog. So many people just talk in these warm and fuzzy generalities but in the end offer little substance. One response I received was that they didn't want to reveal what is in their toolkit. Fair enough.

    I like when people express ideas, talk about execution, and talk about theory even but with something to back it up. Things like “you need to be a part of the conversation” and empty recycled thoughts like that drive me nuts.

  • You have an interesting perspective, but my thought is this: It has to start somewhere.

    As it grows, innovative ideas will evolve. Original thoughts will come, be patient. :) This is why I like #followfriday on Twitter. I get to meet new people with different perspectives and eventually a balance is formed.

  • You have an interesting perspective, but my thought is this: It has to start somewhere.

    As it grows, innovative ideas will evolve. Original thoughts will come, be patient. :) This is why I like #followfriday on Twitter. I get to meet new people with different perspectives and eventually a balance is formed.

  • You have an interesting perspective, but my thought is this: It has to start somewhere.

    As it grows, innovative ideas will evolve. Original thoughts will come, be patient. :) This is why I like #followfriday on Twitter. I get to meet new people with different perspectives and eventually a balance is formed.

  • You have an interesting perspective, but my thought is this: It has to start somewhere.

    As it grows, innovative ideas will evolve. Original thoughts will come, be patient. :) This is why I like #followfriday on Twitter. I get to meet new people with different perspectives and eventually a balance is formed.

    • It does have to start somewhere the problem is when everyone starts at the same starting point they aren't blazing their own path and follow down the same track as everyone else.

      • I think of it in a broader sense, like a starburst and the starting point is the center. It takes time for some of the “unique” voices to be seen/heard, they often appear where we least expect it.

        It's about the journey, so what if we start on the same road? What matters is where we end up. The examples we follow are a good foundation, and from there social media is what we make of it for ourselves. To each his own.

  • Hi Kevin,
    I attempted my own research into social media last year, focussing specifically on social networks in attempt to widen the body of literature already out there. Agree that many books cite the same examples i.e. SouthWest, JetBlue, Dell Hell – perhaps at the time of writing they were the only obvious examples to hand and since published they are now bled dry.
    Jason featured my report last year as it included a concept map that involved a bit of lateral thinking and originality but above all it was a lot of hard graft. Most blogs I subscribe to as Gary stated regurgitate info from the original source. Perhaps some prefer not to read too deeply into the subject and prefer a quick overview rather than thought leadership?
    Interesting post though that has got me thinking so well done!

  • Hi Kevin,
    I attempted my own research into social media last year, focussing specifically on social networks in attempt to widen the body of literature already out there. Agree that many books cite the same examples i.e. SouthWest, JetBlue, Dell Hell – perhaps at the time of writing they were the only obvious examples to hand and since published they are now bled dry.
    Jason featured my report last year as it included a concept map that involved a bit of lateral thinking and originality but above all it was a lot of hard graft. Most blogs I subscribe to as Gary stated regurgitate info from the original source. Perhaps some prefer not to read too deeply into the subject and prefer a quick overview rather than thought leadership?
    Interesting post though that has got me thinking so well done!

  • Hi Kevin,
    I attempted my own research into social media last year, focussing specifically on social networks in attempt to widen the body of literature already out there. Agree that many books cite the same examples i.e. SouthWest, JetBlue, Dell Hell – perhaps at the time of writing they were the only obvious examples to hand and since published they are now bled dry.
    Jason featured my report last year as it included a concept map that involved a bit of lateral thinking and originality but above all it was a lot of hard graft. Most blogs I subscribe to as Gary stated regurgitate info from the original source. Perhaps some prefer not to read too deeply into the subject and prefer a quick overview rather than thought leadership?
    Interesting post though that has got me thinking so well done!

  • Hi Kevin,
    I attempted my own research into social media last year, focussing specifically on social networks in attempt to widen the body of literature already out there. Agree that many books cite the same examples i.e. SouthWest, JetBlue, Dell Hell – perhaps at the time of writing they were the only obvious examples to hand and since published they are now bled dry.
    Jason featured my report last year as it included a concept map that involved a bit of lateral thinking and originality but above all it was a lot of hard graft. Most blogs I subscribe to as Gary stated regurgitate info from the original source. Perhaps some prefer not to read too deeply into the subject and prefer a quick overview rather than thought leadership?
    Interesting post though that has got me thinking so well done!

    • Thanks Tom. I will take a look at the report I know I would be interested in reading that.

      I think one of the issues is that people feel like they need to churn out content to be relevant and when that happens the original thought and examination are lost.

  • I've had a big problem with many of the popular marketing/blogging gurus. They usually only offer opinion, without any data. They usually don't even have any first hand anecdotes, only public examples which everyone already knows about. They usually don't even have any experience outside of their own site and own niche. (Blogging about marketing isn't the same as blogging about cars. )

    There is little in the way of hard data out there, and very little in the way of looking at how marketing in different niches might require different approaches.

    I've unsubscribed from most of the marketing and blogging sites I was following. They are pumping out soft, unspecific information in a desperate desire to publish “something”.

    Someone who could run tests or case studies with real websites with real results would be an instant winner.

  • I've had a big problem with many of the popular marketing/blogging gurus. They usually only offer opinion, without any data. They usually don't even have any first hand anecdotes, only public examples which everyone already knows about. They usually don't even have any experience outside of their own site and own niche. (Blogging about marketing isn't the same as blogging about cars. )

    There is little in the way of hard data out there, and very little in the way of looking at how marketing in different niches might require different approaches.

    I've unsubscribed from most of the marketing and blogging sites I was following. They are pumping out soft, unspecific information in a desperate desire to publish “something”.

    Someone who could run tests or case studies with real websites with real results would be an instant winner.

  • I've had a big problem with many of the popular marketing/blogging gurus. They usually only offer opinion, without any data. They usually don't even have any first hand anecdotes, only public examples which everyone already knows about. They usually don't even have any experience outside of their own site and own niche. (Blogging about marketing isn't the same as blogging about cars. )

    There is little in the way of hard data out there, and very little in the way of looking at how marketing in different niches might require different approaches.

    I've unsubscribed from most of the marketing and blogging sites I was following. They are pumping out soft, unspecific information in a desperate desire to publish “something”.

    Someone who could run tests or case studies with real websites with real results would be an instant winner.

  • I've had a big problem with many of the popular marketing/blogging gurus. They usually only offer opinion, without any data. They usually don't even have any first hand anecdotes, only public examples which everyone already knows about. They usually don't even have any experience outside of their own site and own niche. (Blogging about marketing isn't the same as blogging about cars. )

    There is little in the way of hard data out there, and very little in the way of looking at how marketing in different niches might require different approaches.

    I've unsubscribed from most of the marketing and blogging sites I was following. They are pumping out soft, unspecific information in a desperate desire to publish “something”.

    Someone who could run tests or case studies with real websites with real results would be an instant winner.

    • I actually have called a few people out on this on their blog. So many people just talk in these warm and fuzzy generalities but in the end offer little substance. One response I received was that they didn't want to reveal what is in their toolkit. Fair enough.

      I like when people express ideas, talk about execution, and talk about theory even but with something to back it up. Things like “you need to be a part of the conversation” and empty recycled thoughts like that drive me nuts.