January 21, 2009

Social Media Pundits

Filed under: Information Supernova, Media Origination — Robert John Ed @ 2:36 pm

The problem with being a social media expert or whatever you want to call it, is that there really isn’t much of substance there.  Most people that will tell you they are specialist have no real clue how to apply there so called influence to an external business. Chances are they don’t know how to monetize it for themselves.  And don’t give me that BS about building brand equity through new media.  I’m old school.  Or new school.   Well, maybe I’m new school to the oldschoolers and old school to the new schoolers.  Less posters, more rulers.

If you can’t put a number on your services, I can’t put any numbers behind you.

I was meandering through this post that Hugh linked to and saw a good comment from Collin Douma, whom I’d previously never heard of:

“There is only one measure of a social media expert; results. It doesn’t matter how many people follow them, or how well their blog ranks. What matters are the results they have provided for their clients. Look for ones that ask as many questions about your business as you do about theirs. Look for ones that have real experience in actual SM programs, and not simply a book or blog about it.  Finally, look for ones that talk about goals, and calibrate how you will measure a win.”

Anyone with genuine knowledge and a pragmatic countenance in this day and age is worth lending an ear, if only a short time.  The wisdom of crowds is cool, but there is also a definitive push of the mob towards the edge of a cliff.  No one can see it until they fall off.  The fervor behind new technology is a good thing in most instances, but business people simply must be ROI/EVA focused.  I find that the vast majority of social media pundits are a lot of talk.  And although I value their opinions, until results enter the spectrum, it’s just opinion.

The sheer volume of output for some of these experts boggles my mind.  Making time to write every day is difficult for me (granted I’m a full time student with a part time job), yet some people are wired all day and near constantly on Twitter, Facebook, Techmeme, Digg or whatnot.  I’m left wondering at what point all these pointers and posts are just pontification.

Finally, I’m taking an actual structured course on this kind of technology at the U.  Weird huh?  Anyway I’m very excited about it and hoping to get some concrete takeaways and ideas for applying new technologies to existing business models.  The course is called Information and Decision Sciences 6050.  It focuses on understanding basic and advanced technology and it’s application in practice and potentially in the future.  I’ll post on it more as the semester progresses.  Stay up.


1 Comment »

  1. werd! I should do a post about this too. You described an image there that made me thing of that scene in 300 where the spartan’s push the remaining soldiers off the cliff… but i digress.

    Comment by collin douma — January 26, 2009 @ 10:19 pm

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