This post has been simmering for a while, but I just can’t take it anymore. I was driven over the edge by a few things:
1. Todd’s post of the state of ‘practices’ by some firms.
2. David’s follow-up to that
3. Recent conference statements/events
Many times recently I’ve been sitting in conferences listening to ‘experts’ talk about various subjects. I’ve always said my definition of expert, especially when it comes to social media, is loosely defined as ‘a few years ahead of you on the learning curve’. It’s funny though that these experts were asking ‘what is social media?’ just a short time ago.
I sit in these conference session and I try not to be a Dave Winer and call out all the bullshit and look like an ass, but it has to stop. Some of us have been using Twitter to make our snarky comments, but the rest of the audience just sits and soaks up this knowledge. They don’t know any better.
The other day at Executing Social Media conference in Atlanta, Paull Young reports that a speaker advocated that corporations edit their Wikipedia entries and insert links. Nice.
At the same conference a speaker used most of their time to pitch their product and subscriptions to their newsletter. Classy.
I’ve joked about making up simple little ‘Bullshit’ signs that we can hold up as a silent protest. Perhaps the speakers would see these and change course.
What to do? Ask your next social media ‘expert’ for some recent client projects they’ve developed. They don’t have any? They’ve just been ‘consulting’ Nice.
Yes, you can still provide clients with a baseline of education without having much of a project base to draw from, but until you’ve actually run a social media campaign/project you just don’t know it all. I’m not saying I know it all, it’s a relative scale. If I say something you think is BS in a speech, call me on it, question it. Let’s talk about it.
In the end the level of ‘expert’ and ‘conference speaker/keynote’ needs to be examined.
So what do we do? Start to publicly name the folks spewing BS and blatantly pitching audiences under the veil of an ‘expert speaking’?
Hello, I'm Josh Hallett. I am currently the Digital Marketing Strategist for Publix Supermarkets.
I counseled brands such as Disney, PlayStation and NetApp to name just a few.
I'm a do-er, not a talker.