Hammersmith or Nail Banger?
This weekend on Twitter, I passed along Beth Harte and Geoff Livingston’s fabulous post, Top 25 Ways to Tell if Your Social Media Expert is a Carpetbagger. I encourage you to read it.
Not everyone who does things differently than we might have them do it is a carpetbagger. I’m sure Beth, Goeff, Jason, Chris, Amber, Mack, or any other well-respected social media adviser would agree with that statement. Individuals and individual companies need to find their own voice and their own path.
Yet in this fast growing context and culture of experiments and experiences, the chance is high that folks may not have found the information they need for every decision. The world is full of “Swiss cheese knowledge.” Some folks get taught by bad teachers. Some things get past all of us.
Add to that the creativity factor, the drive for innovation, and the necessity that is the mother of invention. Experimentation is a good thing, especially as we test new tools. No one gets to pick who’s qualified to experiment and who’s not.
I’ve used a wooden-heeled shoe to pound a nail when I didn’t have a hammer.
What happens when the experiments change the nature of the tools?
If You Remove the Social … What’ve You Got?
Social media tools — blogs, social networks, Twitter, Facebook, Ning — what happens when you take out the social and just use the tool? What happens when messages and conversations become automated and future dated? What have you got if you don’t know whether you’re responding to a person or a bot?
It’s a fair question.
Some folks see the world with a different filter. They find uses for books and hammers that I’d never imagine. Some folks find uses for social media tools that, in my mind bypass the social. Allow me three extreme — of course no one actually does these things — metaphors to explain what I mean. Here are three people who would surely not see the social in social media tools.
- The person who sends a singing telegram rather than meet for coffee. That person probably won’t understand why socially inclined social media advisers don’t take to auto responders.
- The person who enters into a new neighbor’s house, saying “Cool boxes! Glad you picked my neighborhood! Check out my roller skate store.” That person probably won’t see the problem folks have with a “Just found you. Will you review my blog?” requests that come before “hello” has been mentioned.
- The person who interrupts people at parties to hand out business cards might not put together why a Twitter profile page filled with his / her website links and no @ signs would be considered unsocial.
Don’t get me wrong. Tools are meant to solve problems and experiementing is how we learn. Guy Kawasaki says there’s no wrong way to use tools such as Twitter. Within reason I have to agree.
I’m just sayin’ … when I use a wooden-heeled shoe to pound a nail, I’ve not become a hammersmith or a journeyman carpenter. I’m a nail banger who reconfigured a shoe.
For a hammer to be hammer, its design, function, and use involves setting nails. When I use a hammer as leg on a artfully made table, it’s no longer a hammer. It becomes a table leg.
The primary design, function, and uses of social media tools involve community, conversation, and relationships. A social media advisor brings social skills, relationships, and conversation into the mix. Without using the tools as they were designed, the tools change into something else.
If you remove the social from social media tools, what have you got? More Internet Marketing tools. Spammers and bots figured that out.
How do we keep the social in social media tools?
If you disagree with what I’m saying, please set me straight. If you agree, please help me explain.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!