One thing that bothers me about social media and this entire web 2.0/3.0/stardate 7265.39 climate that we have today is the number of self professed “experts” and “gurus” out there.
I’ve been around the web since pretty much the beginning and if there is one thing I am not, it’s an expert at all this stuff. I never will be. It’s a continually changing landscape with constantly emerging technologies and challenges and in order to get ahead in this, you are on a constant learning curve.
Perhaps, the one thing I do have however, is experience and from that perspective I can tell you, that the vast majority of “experts” are little better than the snake oil salesmen of the 1900’s and televangelists (because for some reason their omnipotent and all powerful god always needs your money!).
Let’s be honest, the vast majority of people involved in the social media/marketing game are just out their to make a quick buck at your expense. The web (and I bet your town) is full of intelligent, highly talented and proficient people, who are willing to give you, for free, their advice, time and help for little more than the chance to network and meet new people and friends.
(As a side note Social Media/Marketing = Social + Media, or Social and Media, or S&M! Think about it!)
Right, let me get to my point here.
Over a year ago, Kevin Dixie (of FuelMyBlog) and I were discussion the fact that all of the social networks always have a list of people you are recommended to follow when you join (or worse yet a list of people automatically added to your friends list) and the fact that this is just plain unfair.
A lot of these people are there, well, because they are on somebody else’s list, which inflated their “popularity” enough that the next site to come along says “Well, they’re on the Facebook/Twitter/Friendster list, that means they should be on ours!”
See where I’m going with this?
You have a situation where the vast majority of “popular” people are either artificially inflated (and not just in terms of their numbers, think silicone), are trying to sell you something, or are involved in obsessive compulsive circle-jerking with other marketers and “experts”.
So what does this have to do with Kevin, or even with you? I’m only stating what we all know already!
Well, here’s the kicker, back when Kevin and I were having that discussion we considered making a “Social Media Douchebags” list.
Basically an “anti-recommended” list.
A list of marketers (@mike_wesely), trolls (@arrington), people who don’t even bother to write their own stream (@guykawasaki), and bleached blonde wannabes (@ijustine “I am the internet”? What all your ports or open or anybody can log on?) who consider themselves “stars” just because they have a large number of followers. A list of people who take your time, flood your stream and give little back. A list of people who are only popular because of the sheep mentality (@aplusk, @oprah)!
Today I propose that the list finally gets built.
If you’ve got someone you love to hate add their twitter address in the comments below and say why. Over the next few days I’ll sort and compose the list together (giving credit to all and adding in the reasons why!) and post the “name and shame” list of douchebags here.
Maybe then some of these people will stop what they’re doing, change their practices and I don’t know… stop being douchebags?
Who’s on your list of “Social Media Douchebags” and why?