Shark jumping

Mark Cahill wonders is social media has jumped the shark:

“The thing that calls it all into question for me is the number of people who are generally ex-online marketing folks now using strange titles like “Social Media User Guru” or something equally ludicrous. It reminds me of a networking group I once attended that turned out to be a room full of sales people, each hoping to sell something, and none realizing there weren’t any real customers there.”

I’m not so sure if it’s jumped the shark, more reached a tipping point where enough people know they’ve got to be in social media without really understanding what it is or how it should be used. The Kool-Aid drinkers, if you will.

To whit, I’ve heard people throw in buzz words and sites without knowing what to do with them. People will flock to Twitter because they feel they should, rather than stopping and thinking “How can this help my brand” then signing up.

It is true in some respects that a lot of those in my Twittersphere [1] are social media related as well, similar interests and the like. But then I quite like the chatter and I’ll usually find several items of value, or build contacts.

It’s also true that too much navel-gazing or getting caught up solely in one area or industry is not good (overdosing on Kool-Aid) and you need to step back from time to time.

But, on the other hand, if your organisation or brand (and I include individuals as brands here. They can be as powerful, if not more so). isn’t taking time to at least get acquainted with social media, blogging, micr-blogging, niche networking, social bookmarking then they are in danger of losing ground. It’s a rich area and will constantly move. If the brand decides not to utiilise because they don’t think its for them, then that’s fair enough. They’re probably doing themselves more good than those who leap headfirst in after a Kool-Aid binge.

Wither social media? Onwards and in a multitude of directions. I like Mark’s conclusion:

“I think we move on in the direction which I have always said social media should go. It’s not an end to an end, or even a standalone solution in my mind. This is simply good web design, online marketing practice or branding. Call it what you will, let’s just lose the Social Media moniker and take a more holistic viewpoint.”

[1] Oh God. What a horrible word.


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May 2008
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Yes, this is my name. And my email. Use it wisely or you're not getting a biscuit with your tea: garyllewellynandrews [at] gmail [dot] com

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