The New Social Order
Mark my words (MooHoo HaHaHa) … the long term benefits of Social Media will be mostly for Facebook’s bottom line, the internet marketers and business to sell us stuff, and enabling big brother government to spy on us … NOT for the benefit of its users.
In fact, I would argue Social Media will become more of a detriment to us than anything else. There, I said it. Now watch the daggers come out.
The race is on. It never fails, as soon as there’s a new fad the internet marketers are right behind jumping on the bandwagon.
You’ve probably noticed there’s a slew of new social media a-list wannabees (with a few left overs from the previous blogging batch) vying for our attention to convince us that they are THE guru of all things social.
Their slogan is:
“I love the smell of social media in the morning … smells like …. MONEY!”
Fake It Till You Make It
But if you check their credentials most are unemployed hucksters running alleged corporations from their bedroom, trying to make a name for themselves without any experience that could possibly explain why we should consider them social media “experts”.
Hell, even just last year Twitter creators were still scratching their pointy heads trying to figure out what to do with it. So these social media “experts” sure are fast learners.
But I have to admit they purchased nice looking blog themes from the real “experts” and are good at recycling OBC (Other Blogger’s Content) into lists, ebooks, pie charts and power point presentations (impresses the minions).
Then there are the older fogy mentors still trying to find relevance in the New Social Order.
Changing of the old Guard:
Take Darren Rowse for example who started his career without any technical background or skillset. Running his empire from his living room he borrowed my “blog tips” niche with a make-money twist, and instantly he was a “pro”.
Co-founder of a blogging network, his own link-farm so-to-speak of back-slapping cretens for building backlinks to artificially elevate his so-called authority and self importance. Apparently it works.
(Just for the fun of it I had contacted Mr. Rowse to inquire about membership in his “network”. He said thanks but no thanks (surpise, surprise). His excuse was he already had too many blogs and there was no room for me. Not long thereafter Copyblogger was added to the clique and Rowse moved in on my ‘blog tips’ niche).
Today he pushes his “tips” onto unsuspecting twits with recycled content borrowed from more knowledgeable bloggers such as … well, I’m sure you can guess. The rest of course is history, and now there are thousands of minions following him and his good example.
His buddy Copyblogger is a self-described recovering lawyer who took his cue from late-night TV infomercials (so I heard). He didn’t like lawyering much so he transferred his mail order skills into an online enterprise.
Today the term “link bait” has become synonymous with him. Lately he seems more focused on joint ventures and running his empire, preferring to let his apprentices
write his link bait do his work for him.
I have it on good authority they take great pride in the fact they have helped thousands of nice sploggers achieve success.
Notice how nothing has changed now that they call it social media instead of blogging?
So much for history and God bless the American dream.
BUT WAIT, THERE’s MORE …
Which brings me to the reason for this post.
A Brief Background
I was an early adopter of blogging back in the Jurassic. I was there when it was a simple journaling tool for intellectuals and geeks long before the public had discovered it (with the marketers nipping closely on their heels).
When I started blogging there wasn’t even RSS newsfeeds for blogs or something called Wordpress. I figured out how to code my own newsfeed from scratch and offered a free ebook to my readers so they could have feeds too.
It never occurred to me to sell it. Now of course there are millions of feeds and ebooks for sale (or in exchange for your email — I think it’s called permission
So I guess you can say I’ve been around a long time — long enough at least to feel entitled to an opinion (no apologies required I hope).
I’ve often said that Blogging is for writers and Social Media is for commenters.
Another way of putting that might be blogging enables us to intelligently speak our mind, whereas social media is for idle chit-chat. But history has shown that idle talk can be a dangerous thing, or like the saying goes “loose lips sink ships”.
Send in the Clowns
I still chuckle when I think of internet marketers who sat on the fence before joining Twitter. Unlike myself (early adopter again) they weren’t interested in the technology until they noticed how popular it had become and figured out how to profit from all the twits who were using it.
Then they were in like a dirty shirt.
It also amazes me how adept they are at hijacking a medium even if they were the last to join … and nowadays they act as if they own it. Some have even managed to manipulate themselves to twit celebrity status (holy crap … so and so’s written an ebook and got a gagillian followers .. they must be good … click).
(Side Note: I’ve been blacklisted from their clique for calling them out. If you don’t believe me ask yourself when was the last time you saw BLOGBloke being linked to or mentioned despite being the oldest and more venerable blog tipster around. Yet they still happily help themselves to my content whenever they feel like it without so much as an honorable mention. It’s also a reason why I cut back on blogging last year. When you see your content (and niche) being ripped off .. or “bounced off” as Mr. Rowse likes to schmooze it, you ask yourself what’s the point if you’re not getting credit).
Pssst: Just in case they forgot .. it’s called PLAGIARISM.
Now every time I get on this tangent I can still hear the critics .. “is BLOGBloke a socialist” (they ask)? “What’s his problem with making money?” What a “curmudgeon”.
I always respond with I have nothing against making money as long as it’s done ethically. Oh, and by the way I don’t think all marketers are bad either. Some are actually friends of mine.
I hope that clarifies. Nuff said.
So why am I singling out (certain) internet marketers? Well it’s quite simple really .. because they are the most adept at garnering a large following, and therefore bear the most responsibility.
For the record the way I see it is .. when you are in a position of influence you have an obligation to your followers, and that means setting an example and even putting their interests ahead of yours.
Are you kidding me (I hear them say)? Actually .. I’m not kidding at all, because what gets my knickers in a knot most about internet marketers is they don’t care about the consequences of their actions. It’s only about turning a dollar.
I never hear them talk about using Social Media RESPONSIBLY.
How often have you read Mashable (for example) preaching the evils of social media? Where’s the balance in their message? All they care about is encouraging us to use social media so they can make a career for themselves … and that’s why they get a failing grade from me.
Now getting back to government and business using Social Media to spy on us, we all know this to be true because it’s in the news every day.
We’ve also heard about the recent changes Facebook has made to it’s TOS and Mark Zuckerberg’s disdain for our privacy. (You suck Marky).
Then there’s the trend by Google to consider .. giving more PR cred to social networks over their big brother blogs.
Where will all this end?
Is Social Media Inherently Evil?
Certainly the technology isn’t evil by itself, but like guns any tool in the wrong hands can (and will) be used for evil purposes.
There will always be a few rotten apples who want it all and can’t resist the temptation to exploit it for their own deviant reasons … and that my friends makes it at least potentially evil in my books.
The New Social Order (Or NSO as I like to Call It)
So we now have a New Social Order. I thought things were bad when it was just called Blogging and we only had to deal with the so-called a-listers (is Scoble still around). But things have gotten really complicated with a new batch of Social Media “experts” to contend with and Social Networks like Facebook selling our private information to the highest bidder.
Sigh! It almost makes me wish for the good old days again. MooHoo HaHaHa!
So I have a question for you
Is this the brave new world you want or expected? I don’t know about you but this New Social Order concerns the hell out of me … not for my sake because I know how to protect myself. I’m more worried about you.
People are basically sheep. Don’t know why, but when you put a cool technology in their hands they get reckless. To hell with caution because this is just too much fun … and like a loaded weapon it can be a dangerous thing.
Add to the mix the desire to make money and all hell breaks loose. It’s becoming impossible to separate our “friends” from the predators these days.
Whatever happened to blogging just for the fun of it?
It’s NOT only about the money (or is it)
Just sayin’ (moo hoo).
What say you?