This is going to be short and certainly not at all sweet. First up – a caveat: The following is the opinion of this blog’s author and him alone, not the company he works for. Hence why I’m posting it on my personal blog…
I know that working in social media means I should be ‘supportive’ of my peers, working together for a brighter future and all that crap – don’t rock the boat, don’t question each other, etc etc. But two things lately are REALLY starting to get my goat – to point where it makes me want to scream. One is the view that social media is just ‘online PR’ – but I’ll save that rant for another day. The thing that is getting my goat today is social media events and conferences, and the aftermath.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to quite a few, I’ve even spoken at a couple, and generally speaking they know exactly what they are. They’re not always perfect – hell, the number of times I’ve got to an event only to find that it’s just full of other agencies, with one or two lone client-side people looking slightly scared in the corner… But generally speaking they know what’s what.
But recently, there’s been a trend for these events to turn in to TOTAL love-ins for the community – total back-slapping, group-hugging, aren’t-we-all-amazing, this-week-has-changed-my-life-ing love-athons, and it’s starting to really piss me off. I’m sure the speakers and talks going on at them are very cool – great ideas, lots of positive attitudes, etc etc. But do we really have to hear about how great they are, not just during them but for weeks on end afterwards!? It seems to be a trend that’s growing and growing, and frankly unless it stops people are going to start thinking the following about the social media ‘community’:
- We’re all too busy navel-gazing to know what’s actually going on in the real world
- We’re all so big-headed and arrogant that we can’t possibly be fun to work with
- These micro-communities are so super-smart and clever that nobody else could possibly fit in.
I’m going to stop now before my rant becomes personal or too specific, but I’ve got one more thing to say before I do:
Unless you’ve found a cure for cancer at one of these events, can we get a bit of perspective please?