Le déclin de l’empire de Social Media

If you’ve never seen this exquisite film (directed by the inimitable Denys Arcand) then you must.

Title of this post was partially inspired by the title of that film, Le déclin de l’empire américain, and the overriding black comedy flavour I personally see in some (okay, many) of today’s blog posts.

Just yesterday, a Forrester study notes that social networking users are creating less content. Now if you look past the stats and imagine that among these key “creators” are bloggers (like  me) think of it this way: none of us are actually creating new content. End of story. Right?

Why do I think this?

To illustrate—and I mean to purely illustrate through combined semantic and literary analyis of a  given post which struck me (I mean, literally hit me over the head)—why I think the above may be the case, I will extract certain phrases from this blogger’s post and provide my own take on the excerpts.

My interpretations are and always have been purely visceral. They are in no way meant to offend, mud-sling or willfully antagonize any blogger or the one whose content I’ve chosen to use as an example.

The quality of diction is..well, should not, be strained

Some of the more impressionable statements that gave me pause for thought and concern are noted below. I am concerned that the overall tone of these statements tend to border on generalization.

That in an attempt to generate some line of argument, certain states and conditions, which have long pre-existed prior to blogging and social media, are being “exposed” as detrimental to the intricate characteristics of social behaviours the majority of us actually find commonplace and expected.

Again, my own musings. Not directed at any one in particular.

“The world of social media still has a credibility problem in business.”

Hmm..so all those folks I’ve been talking to online and offline about their orgs wanting to be part of social media—whether diving head on or gingerly dipping their toes in—must either be brainwashed into having this inexplicable need OR they actually see the potential for the medium to be credible..and valuable.

“We talk too much about the value of our time rather than putting it to good use.”

For this one, I’ll refer to a comment to bring light to my reaction. I do agree with Angelique btw. Need I elaborate?

“We cannibalize our own.”

Is that phrase meant to say “We are mean to each other?” ‘Cannibalizing one’s own’ is actually redundant. See point #3 of “Influence, Idolization and Idiots“. But seriously, is this really that outrageously unacceptable a phenomenon that it begs further examination and insight?

“We talk about conversation, but we focus a great deal on the tools. And, on ourselves.”

I hesitate to say how overwhelming ironic that statement is, but I suppose by virtue of me stating my reticence, actually makes it pretty self-evident.

The long and short of this post is this: bloggers should be mindful to stick to data and interpreting such data, and to leave the in-depth social analysis to sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, researchers and the like.

Over-analyzing social behaviour for the  sake of crafting something to make it appear as if it’s a whole new thing or ball game is a sure step to demise..of all things borne of educated observation, supported by empirical analysis and expressed with literary clout.

image sourced from ozap.com

10 thoughts on “Le déclin de l’empire de Social Media

  1. “The long and short of this post is this: bloggers should be mindful to stick to data and interpreting such data, and to leave the in-depth social analysis to sociologists, psychologists, philosophers, researchers and the like.” Truer words were never spoken. Well done Autom. Unfortunately a lot of this kind of behavior is bleeding over into the field of journalism as the line between professional journalism and citizen journalism continues to erode.

  2. Great post Autom! I agree with your conclusions on leaving the in-depth social analysis to the experts.

    I might be taking this out of context, but when I read the quote about business not taking social media seriously, it did remind me of a post post I wrote awhile back where I discussed how social media gets a bad rap in the business intelligence community. While I don’t think it’s warranted, and consider this to be a laggard mentality with significant consequences for those that dismiss or reject it as a credible source, this perception problem continues to persist.


  3. Great post Autom and an interesting subject to start a valuable discussion with experts from different knowledge fields on the lifecycle of social media in business. From my point of view too many companies around the world still don’t get the value and huge potential behind this new way of doing business. Despite important advances made by a group of early adopters and innovators, the concept is still evolving, while real massive adoption is starting to pick up. We’re just getting started.

  4. Autom, I think you hit the nail on the head. There are fewer individuals who focus on the art of conversation; and a greater who self-promote and also spend more time talking about the tools. I agree with David on his point regarding journalists and bloggers and where the line ends and begins. Fortunately, being a blogger allows you the “freedom” to analyze and interpret and not have to stick to the facts at hand… as you have done in this post. But why should that stop someone from taking it a step further? I believe it provokes further thinking and discussion and potentially allows new ideas to come to the forefront. All of us have opinions but I would hope that the broader discussion will create a balance allow fruitful outcomes to result. We should not “cannibalize our own” but speak to resolve for the greater good.

  5. Stephen – thanks! hope to see you here more often

    Dave – exceptional comment. i wholly agree..and yes, it’s unfortunate that “a lot of this kind of behaviour” is bleeding over as lines blur; however, what does save the day is the final analysis (and outcomes) that deflate the hype and bring to bear the exaggerated postulations and speculations that intentionally position themselves to negatively distract from the stuff that’s worthy of attention, such as the hardcore how on leveraging social channels, best practices, data that point to what to avoid or anticipate, possible areas to explore as a means of measurement (not to primarily justify expense BUT to determine how well it works to complement a revenue engine strategy blah blah blah..you know, real MarCom shyte right?) not how glue snifflers are cannibalizing each other’s navels! *ugh*

    Joseph – point taken but after having spoken to many businesses, clients, partners, i really think we’re out of the “hard time taking it seriously” mode..now it’s more like: right. go find out what this noise is about and how we can leverage. efficiently.

    Ernesto – point taken as well and piggy backs off what Joseph is alluding to. but i think the onus is on our professions to stop speaking in generalities and platitudes..time to to spell it out. A – B – C..Steps 1, 2, 3..this approach works because of this principle and lemme show you a case study where X client did this and got Y results.. there are far too many bloggers who rhyme off with: 1 – have a plan 2 – know your audience 3 – wipe your *ss..i mean seriously?? haha you get my point

    Hessie – i am so not concerned about who is cannibalizing whom and whether or not they have good diction—well, okay maybe not that part haha but yes, i agree. Dave makes a valid point—not ‘interesting’, not ‘wonderful’, not anything general and non-committal but valid..worthy of further thought and closer examination..and yeah you get my drift anyway 😉

  6. I think we discussed this but, to me, social media will become just another aspect of marketing and will stop being discussed distinctly separate from marketing as it is now. Furthermore, the current glut of social media gurus will experience a purge and we will settle into a groove of relevant content. Non-relevant content and their providers will be dealt with in the same way we now deal with spam – with vigilance.

  7. You sure know how to pop that hype balloon my friend. And you’ve moved your blog to the proper WordPress site huh? Another great post buddy cheers

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