Michael Pinto, aka “Fanboy,” wrote an interesting post today called Social Media “Experts” Are The Cancer of Twitter (And Must Be Stopped). Although he spent a lot of the post berating people for being self-annointed experts, I thought the most interesting thing he had to say hinted at one of the biggest pitfalls that can dilute social media efforts: When the advertising-based mindset of “more is better” takes over communication becomes impersonal.
Many Twitterers look at their number of followers as a badge of honor (“I’m #1 in Albuquerque!”) As Pinto implies, when someone becomes “friends” with everyone, they start being friends with no one. They don’t respond to messages. Their communication becomes impersonal. They become minor celebrities in a hall of noise.
I read somewhere the other day (was it on Twitter?) that Facebook only allows 5000 friends. The writer looked at this as a limitation. ‘Nuff said.
Social media is in its infancy, and, as such, will look much different in the future than it does now. My prediction: You will start to see more rumblings, akin to Michael Pinto’s, cautioning us to avoid the Super Bowl advertising, mass-marketing mentality that makes you think it’s ok to spread yourself a mile wide and an inch deep in order to gain some sort of notoriety. Twitter is not TV. At least I hope it never becomes TV.
The bottom line: Social media is not broadcasting. It is most effective when it is social … when it builds relationships.