Jun 29, 2010

On Social Media Day: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Well its 30 June, 2010 (in Oz anway) and Social Media has come a long way. For many people and organisations it has completly changed how they see the world and talk with one another. For others its business as usual and they couldn't give two hoots about SM. No big deal.

SM has certainly introduced me to many communities of passionate, interesting and engaging people.

While I'm no expert, I'll cite the DIY ethos of the medium and share some of my thoughts on where SM is at in mid' 2010

The Good

Great campaigns and deals online. There's no doubt that short of being there and talking to the person who thought of something great, or made a fantastic product, learning more online is the best way to go. Orgs like Dell are providing compelling offers to form a collective and buy online and campaigns like The Best Job in the World would be half as effective offline.

Collaboration. I read recently that 95% of user created content is spam but that hasn't been my experience. My recent favourite is The Johnny Cash Project http://www.thejohnnycashproject.com/ where you can draw a frame for a music video that is constantly changing based on subimissions and votes. Too much fun.

Access to (almost) everyone anytime. By and large the people I want to speak to make themselves available. Some are happy to have a chat, others just want to speak to people through a different medium. For individuals that's fine. How healthy is it to learn what your fans like and loathe about your work and for fans to have a chance to 'meet' their idols. Too much fun to be had.

The Bad

I still see a lot of organisations just putting up a sales pitch on Facebook or posting a sales video on Youtube. What's the point really? You may get a handful of sales but you're souring the majority of future customers. Don't do it.

Some places have adapted to the new mediums but continue to use old thinking. The content is not an honest sharing of what they can do with, and for, you. Its been spun and finessed to within an inch of its life. Its common knowledge now that orgs should be conversing with their community, not talking at it.

The use of creative designed for other mediums is still common. You wouldn't use the same image from a huge billboard on your business card (hopefully) so why is the landing page full of flash when the campaign largely went out to mobile?

The Ugly

More often than we should we see bloggers and online media pumping up their own tyres and pulling down others. Ego, pride and an 'I know best' attitude still seem to be common - despite the very nature of Social Media. I'd like to think the people behind these embarassing spectacles will realise they do themselves a disservice and start to feel (and spread) the love a little more.

I can't wait to see what's next. SM is a constant source of innovation, big ideas made a reality and genuine interaction. Nothing would surprise me and so much will please me.

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