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Experts and their high horses

March 17, 2010

I’ve been noticing a trend over the last year: finger pointing and rhetoric, ranging from veiled to obvious, decrying the rise of so-called social media experts. So-called. Alleged. Fake. Hyped. Wannabe. In personal conversations, I see a lot of air quotes thrown around the word expert. At first, I even jumped on the bandwagon because it seemed that anyone who was an early adopter of social media marketing practices tried passing themselves off as an expert when, really, they were just early adopters.

I tell ya what, though. I’m getting awfully tired of the diatribes. Social media marketing is more prevalent than ever before—with that ubiquity comes myriad tactics and approaches. Some are new-fangled, some are outdated, some are untested, some push the bounds of traditional tactics with new, and some are a blend of each of these. And you know what? Each approach most likely has its appropriate place and time because every client, company, market, and audience is different.

So next time you want to wave those air quotes around the word expert, stop and think. What has that person has added to the conversation? What has your snide dismissal of that person or concept added to conversation? One of the reasons I love working in the social media space is the community spirit and collaboration toward a common goal—it may sound cheesy, but it’s true. So let’s stop tearing each other down to build ourselves up. I really want to feel that collaboration and community once again.

I’m stepping down from my soapbox now.

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