A mile wide and an inch deep

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.

1 Comment

  • Doug Davidoff
    Jan 21, 2009 - 14:17 pm

    Amen! I deal with this all the time in the work we do with sales organizations. People get so focused on more that they fail to create any value. They commodititize themselves and their products/services only to complain that they “market” isn’t conducive to success.

    Narrowing and going deep feels less secure (all eggs in just a few baskets), but the reality is that today it’s the only approach that can provide long-term success.

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