Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 19, 2010 9:47 PM

The Death Of Social Media

The minute we (as a community) allow and accept traditional mass media tactics to pollute Social Media, is the minute that all is lost.

In one of the most depressing articles titled, The Ghost Speaks, published in Entrepreneur Magazine (February issue) they looked at ghostblogging (the act of paying a writer to Blog on behalf of a company, brand or individual). These ghostbloggers do more than Blog posts, they also post on the person's behalf to Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, etc...

How depressing is that in the era of real human voices and real human interactions?

"As a young industry, ghostblogging has no best practices or trade organization. Some practitioners write blogs of a paragraph or two, others 250 to 300 words, but rarely longer. This is the Internet, don't forget. Attn spans r short. Writers charge by the blog or tweet and juggle half-a-dozen clients or more. Some ghostbloggers prefer the loftier title 'social media consultant.' The best are careful to plant key search-engine words into their posts, which will raise a company's web-search ranking."

Boring advertising from boring people (and now we know who all of those "Social Media Consultants" really are).

Thankfully, Entrepreneur Magazine also took the time to interview smart marketing professionals like Jason Falls (Social Media Explorer) and Shel Holtz (For Immediate Release):

"'Ghostblogging is a horrible thing - I'm vehemently opposed,' says Shel Holtz of Concord, Calif., a former corporate communications specialist who now blogs about the intersection of communication and technology at blog.holtz.com. 'I'm a huge fan of transparency. My advice to executives is: If you don't take the time to write yourself, find another channel of communication.'"

Can we stop the madness?

I'm being naive (I know), people will say, "someone writes the speech for the President" or "if people like it and connect to the content, who cares who writes it?" I dunno, I do. People have lost faith in marketing (just like they have lost faith in those who serve the public office and celebrities). We allow things that shouldn't be... to be. Saying that ghostwriters have been around for years doesn't make it right or authentic. Times have changed, and these platforms are (or should be) celebrated for the human and real side. Can you imagine that some Blogs, Twitter and Facebook feeds that you follow are not the real person, but the musings of someone else who simply interviewed the person you thought that you were following? Sure, there's a place for ghostwriters, but maybe Social Media isn't one of them?

If we keep heading down this road, doesn't Social Media become nothing more than a boring, traditional mass media channel?

By Mitch Joel


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