Cafe Witness

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Five Ways You Know You're NOT a Social Media Expert

Following up on my previous post about what constitutes expert-dom, let me add a further thought:

YOU are not an expert.

Lately, I have been inundated with Twitter requests from people claiming to be "social media experts" or "marketing experts" or "business experts."

Let me tell you something: if I've never heard of you, you are not an expert.

I can name the people I consider "experts" in most fields on one hand. Thus, if 200 of you are claiming to be "social media experts," at least 195 of you are lying.

While we're at it, here are...

Five More Ways You Know You're NOT a "Social Media Expert"

1. You don't have a blog.

2. The only people you interface with are "fellow A-Listers."

3. You spend more than 10 minutes a day on MySpace. (This includes MySpace employees.)

4. You can't explain what you actually DO in under 25 words.

5. You still need a day job.

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  • Amen!! I think #5 is most telling ... if you can't pay your own bills via social media means, how are you going to help me use it to pay mine?

    By Blogger Marina Martin, at 2:24 AM  

  • Wow...

    I had no idea the "expert" claims were so widespread.

    But to not even have a blog? That seems like saying you're a musician, but without owning an instrument. Or knowing how to write music.

    Or something. It just makes very little sense.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 4:43 AM  

  • I like the one about only hanging with A-listers. That's the whole fishbowl story, yet again. Truly not useful for the world at large if you only cluster with folks who think just like you.

    There are some great people who break the fishbowl every day. Eric Rice and Chris Pirillo come to mind. They certainly have time with other top dogs, but they spend plenty of time finding new things outside the echo chamber.

    Another great post. (I admit I was worried you were going to mention how my a href links didn't work. : )

    By Blogger Chris Brogan, at 7:41 AM  

  • People are claiming Social Media Expertise in the fashion of "I'd like to make my money in the field of social media, and I know enough about it to tell people about it". Like you said, they're not really experts. It's not the same as being a doctor, where you have to actually have the skills BEFORE someone recognizes you as a doctor. It's more like being a video editor, where you can be a completely worthless editor, yet you're still getting paid to do trained-monkey work, so, professionally, you're allowed to call yourself an editor. You remain an editor while you gain the skills that make you a GOOD editor, but you don't get an upgrade to "video editor EXPERT".

    I call myself a "Social Media Expert" because I'm in the trenches every day, and have been since before twitter even came out. I'm striving to stay on top of this game, and because of that, I'm an expert to those who aren't as diligent about it as I am. In the meantime, I've posted nearly 300 video 'episodes' to the web in about a year and a half, so I have trial-and-error knowledge to go with my book-knowledge, so for all intents and purposes, to the average joe, I'm certainly a MSM expert, a New Media Expert AND a Social Media Expert.

    There are lots of people who haven't posted JACK, haven't done JACK, haven't published JACK, have ZERO presence on the internet on forums or newsgroups, read a couple of books or went to a couple of seminars and are calling themselves Social Media Experts.

    Blind leading The Blind.

    By Blogger Bill Cammack, at 8:09 AM  

  • I don't think that you should be bashing the consultants so harshly.

    True, I do cringe when I see a local news channel touting their new social space on the web, and then they list a MySpace URL - well, they probably should have spent more money for a better consultant with less snake-oil, but still, they're at least trying things out.

    I'm an expert - or at least I can name one person who said that I was - what other proof do you want? /flashing SME Badge?/

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:36 AM  

  • #4 cracks me up. I feel puzzled when people won't or can't tell me what they do in a simple sentence. If you have to go into a doctoral dissertation rather than say flat-out what you do, I think you are trying to get me into a pyramid scheme or something, LOL

    By Blogger Trula, at 10:50 AM  

  • I was holding back but I think the time is right to reveal myself. I am an expert, at not being an expert.

    By Blogger Norm, at 11:43 AM  

  • I know myspace is the red headed step child of social media, but it's the place common people are at right now. I spend a good bit of time there only because that's where my audience(s) are at that I want to reach.

    By Blogger Sorgatron, at 2:26 PM  

  • This is all so ridiculous. "Social Media Expert"? That's like saying "I'm a human."

    Every person and their dog has some blog where they write all the same stuff that everyone else is writing, but they think its important. And the internet is made up of billions of servers and probably something like a hundred million blogs. The idea that any blogger out there would be an "expert" and one of "five" is completely ridiculous. Its impossible NOT to be part of a fishbowl.

    I just... I'm so amazed that no one considers this. I randomly find hundreds of blogs every time I google something and none of them have anything to say that hasn't been said a million times before. What are all the bloggers congratulating themselves on? Everything has already been written. Check out a library, no pun intended.

    Just because you can post diary entries smattered with whatever is trendy today and links to other blogs posting the exact same, stating their own eerily identical opinions about the same meaningless jargon, doesn't mean you can write, doesn't mean you have any value to any larger society, doesn't mean you're intelligent, and it especially doesn't mean anyone cares.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:12 AM  

  • So does this mean I'm an expert. I'm pretty sure that I qualify under your top 5...

    By Blogger rebelliousflaw, at 8:25 PM  

  • This can't have effect in actual fact, that's exactly what I think.
    here | site | here

    By Anonymous Curtis, at 6:11 AM  

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