Saturday, December 20, 2008

How Social is the Social Media?

Recently I have become slightly dubious of the degree of sociability within the social media. This month has seen the release of statistics from Forrester Research suggesting that faith in corporate blogs is as low as 16%. It has also been a month in which one of social media's most genuine enthusiasts, one Chris Brogan, had his integrity questioned by the online community to which he has given so much, requesting nothing in return. What is going on? This kind of behaviour is most certainly not lovable...

I think that the problem is that we are losing our perspective. Whilst many bloggers, myself included, have discussed the importance of transparency in the social media, our views thereof appear to have become blinkered, rendering anyone that accepts money for sponsored social media employment an opportunist. Does Chris Brogan's fully disclosed blog post for Kmart make him a social media traitor? Don't be absurd. Brogan helps thousands of people daily, and I personally consider this issue to have been blown fully out of proportion. Those that might suggest that Brogan's actions are devious should consider the time and effort which he directs into helping the community.

Perspective would ensure that Brogan's action be taken for what they were; an objective look at a given situation. Brogan would have nothing to gain from conning the very community which he voluntarily benefits on a daily basis. That he was 'sponsored' to offer these opinions is trivial. Whilst social media best practices concerning such subjects as transparency have become common knowledge, we must ensure that we too are objective in the application thereof. Why must we challenge those that offer so much to our online conversation? If these individuals are lost from the conversation, believe me, it is the community that misses out.

Put things into perspective, don't blow minor issues out of proportion, and help to ensure that the conversation remains a socially beneficial forum for all.

Show the Rogue some Stumble love


  1. I feel more lovable for reading your perspective. Thanks for that. : )

    Where do you get a nifty SU widget like yours?

  2. Hey Chris,
    I found the whole backlash a little bit absurd with regards to the Kmart 'incident' (if it can even be called an incident). Like I say, I feel some people just have a problem putting things into perspective. It's a shame and I fear that such negativity may drive those that are truly building our communities away...

    As for the rather festive StumbleUpon button, I actually just found it on the list of tools available on the SU website! Brilliant, though I fear that after Christmas I may have to disgard it for a less Christmassy version... As I lack any form of XML/HTML knowledge, that pretty much amounts to randomly changing the code until it works again...!

    Good to hear from you Chris; hopefully you can stop by again in the future!