Thursday, 25 March 2010

Social Media Talk - Bullshit Baffles Brains

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting on here as often recently. Trust me, it's not because I don't like you, or that I am dead. Or maybe I am. Woooooh.... Waaaaaahhhhhh.... Ghost noises, etc... Only joking... Or am I?

I am. Sorry.

But one of the big reasons is how tired I am becoming with the whole 'Social Media' bubble.

I mean, everybody's an expert these days, aren't they? Go on, seach Twitter. How many people describe themselves as social media mavens (I hate that description, it makes you sound like a character from Willow), visionaries, or maybe you're just a good old fashioned 'expert'.

So, let me start my rants with a simple list of definitions. If you're out in the Social Media wilderness, here are some handy, plain English translations and definitions for the type of Social Media people you will meet on the internet.

The Social Media Expert: Somebody who has read or at the very least access to an RSS feed of Mashable.

The Social Media Visionary: This person has a gift, but it's not in the obvious way (i.e. they are good at Social Media). This second type of person has the gift of self-promotion - they have graduated from the school of Twitter and Facebook Spamming with honours, and they are not about to let you forget about it. Most of their information comes from, yes, you guessed it - Mashable. The rest of it comes from either the wildest recesses of their imagination, or a well-thumbed copy of Wired that they found in the Job Centre. Avoid at all costs, as it will cost you a lot of money to get away from these snake-oil salesmen.

The Social Media Maven: They've clearly read and misinterpreted The Tipping Point; they have a vague background in marketing, and they have a vastly inflated opinion of theirselves. They don't want to chat to you about how to make money from Facebook, or improve your relationship with your customers - they want to 'create a multi-faceted engagement experience which creates synergy between your content hub and your social media channels, thus improving the customer engagement experience in a way that is tangible when strict metrics are applied'. Which is basically what I just said in half the time. So, once again, avoid.

Most are the human equivalent of dud cheques - expensive to cancel, and the charges are astronimical. Avoid.

Over the coming weeks, I'll be doing my best to talk about social networks in a measured, reasoned manner, without resorting to empty buzz-phrases. In the meantime however, here is a clip of a man being shot whilst taking out his bins. Enjoy.