Social Media is Not for Everyone

16 01 2009

Yes, I said it. Social media is not for:

  • The incompetents.
  • The slow.
  • Those who don’t understand basic subtlety.

Therefore, many previous MySpace users might just be disqualified.

Robert Scoble, in a recent blog post, made the point to focus on what you do well, so I am focusing on talking on my favorite subject: using Social Media well.

Therefore, I stick true to my statement for many reasons. Some may say it’s elitist. I would have to agree with him. I don’t want anyone on SM platforms with me who can’t spell or understand the world around them. Call me selfish, but I like to be productive, and if I was expected to turn myself around and reach my true potential before broadcasting myself, I think others should, too.

Here is my basic reasoning.

Social Media is revolutionary. Drastic adjective? Sure. But look at it – interactive communication is at a high. People can talk across continents, pay grades and age levels. The previously handicapped are now much more productive. Some people have even come out of their shell and don’t mind letting the world know who they are.

Do you realize how many people there are in the world?

Now think about the max number of people you can visualize on this planet then having a blog, several social networks, instant messaging clients and the ability to comment on anything.

Are you not scared? That’s a lot of people from the general population who don’t have training it what it means to speak candidly or tactfully. Go read the comments on any YouTube video if you don’t believe me.

And then imagine that in addition to all the people you have to worry about on an individual basis now numbering in the millions online, you now have to deal with CEOs and VPs who apparently didn’t learn this lesson either.

Yes, I am talking about the recent Ketchum bit.

Without calling out names or being rude, its scary that we have the masses to worry about and then our leaders not being tactful.

So, what I say, is that if you’re going to start using Social Media:

  • Think first. Do you need it? Don’t pollute the web with endless applications you have signed up for and never gone back to.
  • Observe. When you first sign up and start using said client, application or site, please sit back and observe how the best users in that network operate. Don’t mimic all users, just the best ones. And pay attention to the classless users, in order to understand where my frustrations and the frustrations of others come from.
  • Post with tact. Don’t start a flame war just because you disagree with someone. There are millions online and they come from everywhere. Its a gift. Don’t start a crusade over differences. Talk to the person. You might just find out why you act the way you do and come to peace with a facet of discontent you had not previously considered.
  • Post with me in mind. Think about, before you post something, how someone like myself would see it. Are you really going to post 30+ items that may or may not carry any significance… or are you going to post several key links and ideas that really hit home?

In closing, please be smart. This is a new medium. Don’t pollute it.

UPDATE: Some are actually defending this Ketchum VP for “telling the truth.” Its not that he had an opinion. Its that it was not tactful, respectful or responsible.





3 responses

16 01 2009
Richard Becker

Hey Jacob,

You do know that while 60+ percent (higher, almost one year later, I’m sure) of Internet users in the U.S. read blogs, but only 26 percent are blog content creators? Most will never even post a comment. So most are passive. In contrast, more than 70 percent of Internet users blog in South Korea and China.

Just interesting stuff, I suppose. 🙂


16 01 2009


No, I did not know that. Well, not the specific numbers. I knew that the percentages were around that level, but my point is simply that if there were only 1 million people to sample from, then 26 percent is still 260,000 blog content creators is still a lot – especially when many of such bloggers do not practice tact.

Thanks for the numbers. I will use them in another post. Can you send me a link?


20 01 2009
Tina Summers

Nice website, Jacob. Bravo!

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