The media140 Meetup and Social Media Evolution
And so to the [first media140 meetup](http://www.meetup.com/media140/calendar/12034690/), over in the City. Unusually for this sort of event, I’ve only recognised two faces (oh, three) here so far.
It’s a grand total of eight months since I went to [my first media140 event](http://www.onemanandhisblog.com/archives/2009/05/media140_opening_sessions.html), and the mood and feel has changed completely. There’s been a progressive move from the social media enthusiasts and evangelists to those who are trying to figure out how to integrate it into their businesses – and that’s great. That’s social media growing up.
But I am feel rather that the questions and answers I’m hearing aren’t really adding to my sum of knowledge. In fact, there are things being said that I’d say were objectively wrong. “homogonised output on Twitter”? Uh, no. Luckily some voices are being raised in protest. But this is social media as a tool applied to existing processes rather than as a thought process, as a means of conversation.
[Charlie Osmond from Fresh Networks](http://www.freshnetworks.com/about/our-people) is being provocative by suggesting that the social media mantra of “go where the conversation is” is wrong. But his argument rather relies on the idea that the only conversation worth having is the marketing one. He gave the example of a vicar, who does his evangelism from the pulpit, but also goes to village fetes, etc. And that trying to evangelise at the fete would be a poor idea. And he’s right in that. However, just trying evangelising from the pulpit if you haven’t built a relationship with your parishioners by going and chatting at the fete…
He’s a social media pragmatist rather than a social media purist, he suggests. I might ge tempted to insert the word “cynic” in place of “pragmatist”. Certainly one could argue the methods he are advocating are cynical rather than genuine engagement… 🙂
Ooh, best idea of his bit: the last thing you want to do when launching a community is just open the doors. If you just open the doors of a restaurant, and it’s empty on a Friday night, you have a problem. And that’s bang on. And that brings us back to the vicar at the fete, talking to folks so they will come back to his sermons.
And he’s predicting a social media backlash. Which is pretty safe, as it’s already started. 🙂 And, yes, I think he was being deliberately provocative up front, as he is talking what I would consider the talk, with sensible words about the fact it’s going to take at least a year to build a community, and get genuine engagement.
And with that, I’m sneaking off home.
Nice cocktails from [Ping Pong](http://www.pingpongdimsum.com/), though…
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Liveblog of a panel debate about social media from news:rewired in February 2012