Overhauling the conversation about Social Media

Geoff Livingston, a long time PR blogger, is calling it quits because,

“I have run out of things to say.”

Further into his post he shared a profound state of social media.

Though the pioneering phase is done or may be near done, it’s actually a robust time for social media. Widespread adoption is occurring and best practices within verticals continue. It’s just time for new voices here and abroad (YOU GUYS) to carry the social PR conversation.

This struck a chord with me.

The Wild Frontier of Social Medialewis-and-clark

The internet and people are not new but the past 5 years have been a Social Media explosion. A breathless gold rush to a brave new country and anytime that happens great explorers emerge to lead the way.

These thought leaders have charted the waters for the rest of us and their strategies, research, and techniques have been critical to this people empowered revolution.

But the revolution is over.

I’m not implying that social media is dead or its impact will lessen, just the opposite actually. The revolution is over because we are now sitting at the decision makers table.

It’s time to stop pretending we’ve discovered something new.

There is no Silver Bullet

The social media blogosphere is choked with unoriginal ideas. The innovative thinking has given way to mostly repackaged ideas that we’ve heard a 1000 times.

Honestly, 90% of what you need to know about the technology, practices & and ethics in social media can be found in the archives of a handful of brilliant sites.

My RSS reader is suffering from Solomon’s lament, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Every social media strategy blog post, seminar, and teleconference is clammoring to give you that silver bullet idea that will become your Eureka moment and community will fall out of the sky. Let me be clear, there is no silver bullet. The strategy groundwork is laid and Geoff has clearly identified the shift. We are in the phase of adoption and best practices but the days of pioneering are coming to a close.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t any less work to be done. It means our roles and conversations must change.

Stop the Insanity and get to work

We are now standing on the shoulders of these thought leaders and its time to stop searching for the how and get down to applying what we already know. We have the reference manuals so its time take the next steps.

The next steps:

  • Better Research
  • Better Metrics and a better understanding of what they mean
  • Defining Ethical & Acceptable Practices
  • Educating others

and never wavering from the core elements of social media:

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • How best do we work to accomplish your goal?
  • How do we measure it?

So I’m done reading the 10 ways to better engagement and follower strategies. It’s either junk science or its been said already.The theories and practices are already defined, it’s time to go to work and use them.

Social Media still has a long way to go to become mainstream and there will never be a shortage of new platforms, new technology, and few intriguing ideas. We as a community need to quit pretending that we are still looking for the silver bullet idea. It’s time to load up and go to work.

I haven’t run out of things to say but the conversation needs to change.

3 responses to “Overhauling the conversation about Social Media”

  1. Stepin-time says:

    I personally think Geoff is maybe a bit tired or bored personally because the internet is exciting as ever. Between facebook continuing to grow, unvarnished emerging, http://www.dirtyphonebook.com destroying peoples lives, 4square and other location based services growing, there's still so much to see and do and explore.

    And new things come out all of the time. The internet's ability to surprise and grow and change and the multitude of business opportunities that emerge are limitless. Don't give up Geoff!

  2. arkstfan says:

    We settled on four wheels, an engine, a wheel to steer, brakes, and a maximum width for cars long ago, but the innovation continues.

    All the revolution has done has been to establish framework. Revolution has been replaced by innovation within the framework.

  3. arkstfan says:

    We settled on four wheels, an engine, a wheel to steer, brakes, and a maximum width for cars long ago, but the innovation continues.

    All the revolution has done has been to establish framework. Revolution has been replaced by innovation within the framework.

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