Grumble grumble

A great tweet came through my All Friends feed today from Mat Paciga. On the off chance I borked the link or you’re just not the clickin’ sort, Mat observed that “there needs to be more social media critics out there.”

Granted, it’s not earth shattering stuff. He’s certainly not the first to make such a comment. But it came at the right time to really resonate with me.

I’m sure by now you’ve noticed that this blog has been neglected in the past few weeks. I’m also sitting on what I think is a really cool idea for a community-building / information-sharing project; I just can’t get the momentum going to work on it.

Why? Because I’m sick of the masturbatory self love in the echo chamber. I’m sick of the hucksters and schucksters and some days I don’t want to be affiliated with it anymore. I’m sick of the self-congratulatory wankers who don’t realize their prized influence and personal brand don’t count for shit anywhere but in their online fiefdoms. I’m sick of seeing people collect followers on Twitter like stamps in a scrapbook then have the gall to share their secrets at a $1000 per head conference.

There is so much potential for good out there. And yes, I realize that there are people doing good with that potential. Guys like Drew and Danny are putting social tools to work for charity; people like Sue are putting their expertise to work on behalf of communities that really can benefit from information sharing and collaboration.

But some days it feels like they’re the exception, not the rule. And it makes me grumpy.


  1. Thank you. This coming from someone who wants to work in social media and thinks it has huge potential– you hit the nail on the head. Most real people still don’t fully grasp what Twitter is, and huge portions are still coming to terms with things like blogs and Facebook. As easy as it is for people immersed in it to forget, social media as a whole is still very much a nice culture.

  2. Joe,

    I think we all get like this. I know I’ve become jaded at times, seeing the same names saying the same things, and shouting out the same “I’m with Blogger A or Social Media Gal B at Conference X”. Yes, we heard you the first time at the 20 other conferences – whoopee…

    The good news is that there seems to be not so much a backlash but a realization that this isn’t what we want. This isn’t what we care to use social media and all the benefits it can reap for. We want to do real things. Offer real results. Make real change.

    The trick is to not let the buggers get you down – and blowing off steam like this is a great way to do so. 🙂

    Would love to hear more about your community project – feel free to hit me up anytime, you know where to find me 😉

    Take care bug guy, and keep smiling – the weasels will hibernate for the winter soon enough.

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