Social Media Ninjas, Gurus and Mavens, Oh My! Enough Already.
Tiny rant here that will likely upset some but that’s OK. We’re all big kids here and wear long pants, as they say.
AdAge’s B.L. Ochman reports that SEOmoz’s Followerwonk shows there are some 181,000 profiles in Twitter that use the terms that have made the social media industry look sophomoric as compared to other professional disciplines. These include guru, maven, ninja etc. Ugh, it hurts just typing them out again. Whether these are actual people or bot generated whatevers it is a little sad to see this is still happening to this degree.
As a public service, I like to periodically check in on the number of self-proclaimed social media “gurus,” “ninjas,” “masters” and “mavens” on Twitter. Why? Well, it seems like an important metric, an indicator of something.
Whatever it means, this is one indicator that is most definitely on the rise. In January 2013, the number of Twitter users with “social media” as part of their bio has grown to epic proportions. The list now tops 181,000 – up from a mere 16,000 when we first started tracking them in 2009, according to FollowerWonk.
I know I am not alone in asking for this to end but it looks like it still needs to be said if there still exists this kind of proliferation of these idiotic monikers. It’s a little embarrassing actually.
Imagine you are someone with 10 years of rock solid marketing experience and then you invest in your professional development and get an MBA to advance your knowledge and your stature. You bring a strong store of knowledge about analytics, attribution and more. You are tasked with running a marketing department that has to design, develop, implement and be held accountable for plans that involve millions of marketing dollars. Then you get the call from someone ‘upstairs’ and they say,
“Hey, I read about this guy/gal who is some social media ‘guru’. They wrote a blog (not a post mind you but a blog, ugh) and it looks they got this social media thing figured out because they have thousands of followers and you don’t. It’s a bit vague as to where they have actually done this stuff but they seem impressive. I want you to talk to them.”
That is a nightmare scenario and I suspect it has happened more than any of us would admit. Look, degrees don’t make someone smarter than someone who doesn’t have them. That’s not the point. What is the point is that the self-proclamation of being a social media mystic of sorts is just, well, sad. What’s worse is that people buy it.
If this kind of ‘attack’ on these lame titles that make our industry look like a bunch of hacks bothers you, I’m not sorry. In fact, I would recommend you take a look at how you view social media if you think this kind of juvenile titling is professional enough to present to real business people.
OK, enough from me. Do you care about this stuff anymore? I am just hoping that this kind of thing starts to truly fade away because as social media’s stature grows as a valuable marketing and promotional tool its reputation needs to grow proportionately and in the right direction.
Agree? Disagree? Could care less? Let’s hear it.
Oh and for a little completely NSFW (for language) fun, do you remember this one from 2009?