Monday, 9 August 2010

Don't call me a 'social media guru'

At a recent event: Engaging Online Communities, hosted by the Press Association, one of the panel said "beware of anyone who calls themselves a social media guru."  It got a laugh from the other panel members (some of whom I suspect immediately went home and altered their CVs) and the audience.

S
o why is calling yourself a social media guru (even if you know quite a lot about social media), really quite rubbish?
  • Well, for starters calling yourself a guru is pretty arrogant.  According to Princeton University a guru is "recognised leader in some field or of some movement", and you'd have to be pretty big headed to proclaim yourself a social media leader.
  • Social media is all inclusive, it's social (the clue is in the name).  Everyone can get involved and have a go and it's not a place where you necessarily need a guru.  It's much more a case of "learn by doing" than a situation where "experts" teach "beginners".
  • Social media cannot be controlled and it cannot be predicted, and if you find someone who can control it or predict the next big thing, then I think they probably can call themselves a guru.
  • Finally because some self-proclaimed social media gurus have quite a lot to answer for. They can command large salaries by painting social media as a panacea, when it's not.  And pretending they have all the answers, when they don't.  
Still want to call yourself a social media guru....?  If you've not seen it already (it's been around for a while, 167,924 views to be precise) you need to check out this video about a Social Media Guru, it's funny (and rude, swearing warning).

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