Over the last few weeks I’ve been undergoing something of a personal social media revolution. Or revelation. Not sure. But either way, I’m starting to see and to use the social web in a different way. It’s an iterative process, but I’m starting to filter out the dross that exists in social media land. And it appears that it’s not just me.
Danny Brown wrote a great post yesterday that spoke about what he’s seeing happening online, that being that “people are beginning to see through crap and filter out inane”. He outlined how the blog reader, the Twitter follower and the loyal fan is starting to rise up against the so-called experts, openly calling them out on whether they’re really all they’re stacked up to be. Are they adding value or are they simply pushing their own agenda?
From a personal perspective, this has been eating away at me for a while now. But it wasn’t until the always eloquent Mr Brown laid it out so clearly that it clicked what I’ve been thinking/feeling and why. I’ve spent the last few weeks assessing all the blogs I have faithfully subscribed to and read over the last year, looking at the people I follow on Twitter, and evaluating the numerous social media tools and platforms that I’ve got sucked into. And for the most part, I’ve ditched the lot (or at least, marginalised them). I started to feel recently that things are getting out of control, and I’ve taken it upon myself to seek out new bloggers who write the sort of insightful and thought-provoking stuff that challenges me, and to trim down the social networks I’ve become a part of and the tools I use or try.
But hey, so what, right? Who cares what I’m doing? Well, if this is a trend that, although in its infancy, is starting to happen across the web, then we as marketers need to get our shit together. Because given six months or a year, people may well start to ditch your self-serving company blog, your product-focused Facebook page and your promotional YouTube channel if you’re not adding anything to their lives. They’ll get bored and they’ll start to migrate to places where they can gain that value. They’ll look for people, brands and companies who really are experts. And maybe, just maybe, that will be your competitors. Think about it. Seriously, think about it…
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