Gaga on Social Media

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*Sigh* If I had a nickel for the number of people that have professed to be SEO or social media experts.. Heh, I'm sure that I would be able to retire in a couple years ;-) Don't misunderstand me. I do grasp the value of social media. POTUS overwhelmed a very established Clinton political machine with his clever use of social networks. You can create a very real personal brand leveraging social networks. What I don't quite get is the plethora of folks jumping into this endeavor hoping levitate above important technical underpinnings. More specifically, there are too many people interested in the user production and distribution aspect of social media than really understanding the underlying software. Of course the majority of social media is powered by Free and Open Source Software.

I suppose it is much easier to wrap your head around the "what", rather than the "how" of social media. IMHO, the conversation is very unbalanced and probably will not be sustainable over the long term. I compare it to the present state of HipHop. Lots of people sounding like everyone else, no lyrical structure or content. All Dirty South. Very different than when I came up KRS1, Kane, Freddie Foxxx, BigL, DITC, ATCQ, Brand Nubian, Poor Righteous Teachers, Kool G-Rap, BeatMinerz, Heltah Skeltah, GangStarr, Rakim, etc.. Real MCs and DJs.. I digress, but you get the picture.

For instance, when I first began using Twitter there were at least 6-10 followers which were social media consultants or SEO champions. When you visited the websites included in their profiles, there was no mention of any "building materials" associated with social media (ie Linux, MySQL, PHP, python, perl, etc). I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to be a code slinger or sys-admin. I certainly am not a code slinger. However, I would argue that if you are involved in social media, you will certainly encounter these building materials. Taking the point a little further, if these building materials are not part of your conversation you really are missing the bigger picture. This phenomenon called social media and social networking would not be possible without the F/OSS. Period.. I dare anyone to challenge me on this point. Moreover, if you spend time actually understanding how these properties are built (ie Facebook, Twitter, Identi.ca) your "loot" will actually grow faster over the long run. At some point we will reach a critical mass and these social networks will actually become profitable. Once they are sold to the highest bidder and then become paid subscriber only property or eventually dismantled how will you then make your money? If you don't understand the foundation you'll always be running to catch the next idea.

I would rather rest easy at night knowing that if all this social media would change to a "pay to play" model, that I could still make money working on the bare metal stuff. Create my own social media platform. Producing value instead of regurgitating and consuming.

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on March 22, 2010 12:18 AM.

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