Lou Diamond Phillips may have won the not-so-hit TV reality series, “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” But when it comes to determining the winner of the social media rat race, the chances of finding “one”—let alone a frontrunner—are slim.
If you’ve been trekking the path of social media tools and analytics research, social media webinars and conferences, and flat-out social media involvement in every Web space imaginable, you’re one of the rats that is eager to find more stars in the caves and sewers. While we see reports on executives saying they don’t have time for social media, my realization of time is just that, too: how many hours can I spend conditioning myself to be the frontrunner for all things social media? What does social media director, manager or consultant mean anyway if we’re all on the same path of knowledge evolution? Some of us are farther along than others, but never in the lead. Repeat. Never.
While I don’t want this post to come off as a half-glass-empty opinion piece, it may remind us all that, while we’re sojourning the Web, making connections, building communities and linkbacks, accessibility is what makes the space remain very small. Eventually you’ll end up at Kevin Bacon again, thanks to a very tight-knit community of social media rats.
This couldn’t be more apparent than with the number of LinkedIn updates I receive. It’s not just connectivity within region, it’s nationwide connectivity and unfortunately, you’re probably not a ‘fave 5’ if someone broadcasts more than 500+ connections. If that’s not enough, my Twitter account, as well as my PR friend’s Twitter accounts, boasts the same name followers. Don’t even get me started on Friendfeed; it’s a community-driven paradise and the professional/person grouping tags don’t help the cause. If you haven’t figured it out by now, we’re all sharing our connections whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Yammer, FriendFeed, etc (enter site here), so play nice on the track everyone.
The social media rat race in perspective
Picture this: The whistle blows and you’re off. You’re jumping the same hurdles that 100 other participants have already completed, though some of you are approaching those hurdles differently. While some of you make it over, some fall or lag behind. Your heart is pounding and you can hear a similar beat—about 500 human heartbeats coming up from behind you, passing you, because you decided to skip conditioning for a couple of days. You’re tired, run-down, and overwhelmed by the rushing crowd. You only have two options: announce you’re a social media rat and cancel yourself out of the running OR stay in the game realizing there is no finish line.
What do you choose?