Why I Will Never Be A Social Media Guru (What I Use Social Media For)

by Patrick on October 5, 2009


Photo: FredCavazza.net

When it comes to blogging, I enjoy saying that I’ve been blogging before it was called blogging. Thanks to the Internet Archive I know that I’ve owned my own domain since 2001, and I’ve been keeping an online journal of sorts since middle school. Also, I just read a few of these old entries and it’s official: I was the biggest dork in high school (I can’t believe I colored my hair orange.)

For someone that was ahead of the online writing/blogging/confessing wave, I still wouldn’t consider myself a, “Social Media Guru.”

Last week I was invited to participate in the Washington Women in PR‘s Annual Media Round table, and it went pretty well. I was invited to speak because of my background as a blogger and writer, so does that make me an expert?

I’ve noticed a lot of people I encounter on Twitter and other social networking sites are often self proclaimed “gurus” and “experts.” It seems like everybody is a social media guru now, like the latest person to follow me on Twitter.

Social Media is the new black, it’s changing the way we communicate, do business, and order pizza. However as much as we know it’s changing our world, we are still trying to fully understand the forces behind it and how we can best take advantage of it. Being an expert on the topic has quickly become the fastest way to attract attention to yourself.

However just because you send Twitpics and you have 1,000 fans on Facebook doesn’t mean you are a Social Media Guru. As Mashable says, even Social Media Gurus make mistakes, and I’m really happy to see I’m not the only one who gets annoyed when another “Guru” asks me to follow them on Twitter just so they can spam my timeline with a billion gazillion links to articles on social media.

Constantly retweeting links to articles on social media doesn’t make you a guru- it makes you a human RSS feeder.

One of my favorite social media stats is that 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity. Wouldn’t it be funny if Twitter ended up being nothing but celebrities and “social media gurus” online talking about nothing but themselves and/or social media? Twitter would be would be the best website nobody is actually using.

So if you look to my sidebar you see that I’m on Facebook; I send tweets; I blog; and I occasionally upload videos to YouTube. For some people that maybe enough to earn them their self-proclaimed guru status. However that’s not what I’d like to think about myself. The word Guru has numerous definitions that include, teacher, leader, and expert. You won’t find posts on my blog describing new ways to you use iPod to open garage doors; so I guess I’m not a teacher. I do feel like I have advanced knowledge on using social media- but I don’t have all the answers. Gurus are often asked to help people with their problems, hoping that they have the all the answers. I know I don’t, and I don’t know if there is anyone out there that does.

I consider myself a Social Media power user, I am passionate about social media and I enjoy using it to connect with all sorts of different people.

I guess you could say I want to put the social into Social Media.

I want to use Facebook to keep in touch with my friends, I want to use Twitter to stay connected and send messages to my blog buddies, and I want to upload videos to YouTube so I can have an online home for my projects for everybody to see. While I still struggle over why I really blog, I know that it is a platform for documenting my memories, thoughts, and opinions. While I hope my friends and family enjoy reading it, I do know that it is out there for the entire world (or anybody else that is interested.)

So will I ever be a guru? I don’t think so but…

there is that last definition, leader. Will I be a social media leader? I’m not constantly thinking of how one can stretch the limits of social media but as someone that’s passionate about using it to truly connect with people (both online and offline), you could say I am leading by my own example- using social media while learning on my own the dos and don’ts of the new frontier.

What I know about social media is that it’s allowing us to share, connect, and honestly, show-off.  I love social media because it’s made maintaining relationships easier, however it hasn’t boiled it down to a simple click. I love meeting new people and making new friends, and social media has become a tool in the process, not a silver bullet. If you had to ask me, the secret of social media is realizing it gives you easier access to people but it doesn’t take away the work one needs to build community, rapport, and trust.

So you can take my thoughts as they are but remember, I’m no Social Media Guru.

  • http://www.ihatesomuch.com Maxie

    pics of the orange hair please.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      Wish I had them but I didn’t even remember doing it.

  • http://aliceblogs.blogspot.com Alice

    and i thought I’D been blogging a long time!!

    i pretty much never follow those twitter people back. they never ever post anything i care to read, and it’s way too annoying weeding through their crap to read things from my actual friends.
    .-= Alice´s last blog ..stink, stank, stunk =-.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      It’s funny- you can see my archives go all the way back to 2002, and thanks to the Internet Archive, I found more.

      I’ve already created a favorites list in TweetDeck so I can read the people I want to read.

  • http://livitluvit.com LiLu

    Hmmm. I wonder what I am on that scale… maybe a 6?
    .-= LiLu´s last blog ..Pure, Unadulterated MURDER… It’s A Beautiful Thing. =-.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      What scale, the social media guru scale or the twitter scale?

  • http://francobeans.com f.B

    i’m more like a social media schlep than a guru. i get to stuff when i can; do what makes sense when i want. but it’s fun. so even if social media rankings were like attractiveness and so i’d be fugly, i’m not stopping any time soon.
    .-= f.B´s last blog ..call my bluff =-.

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      There you go! I say there’s nothing wrong about social media- it’s just it’s so interested how people are trying to become kings of it so quickly.

  • Len

    Thank you for your most recent words of wisdom, Oh Esteemed Social Media Guru! :-)

    And isn’t it ironic that on one hand we claim that web world democratizes information–a process that eliminates the need for “experts,” but on the other hand we have to claim ourselves to be experts in that arena too?

    Good for you for bucking that trend Patrick!

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      Always proud to not have enough knowledge.

  • Mike

    First of all, did you color your hair orange or does that just naturally happen to Asian people?

    Secondly you can figure out if you are a social media guru or not depending on if you’ve successfully monetized your pages. Seeing as how you’ve never run any ads or done sponsored tweets you are officially not a social media Guru!!

    • http://www.dmbosstone.com Patrick

      True and thanks to the FTC I have to tell you if they are paying me!

      Don’t worry I’m not.

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