Words That Need to be Taken Out Back and Shot Like Old Yeller

  • Hater
  • A-lister
  • Jealous
  • Sellout
  • Troll
  • Rockstar

These are all stupid words that are keeping some really smart people from saying necessary things. They need to go. All of them. Now.

Right now a senior class of social media pioneers are graduating out of the bubble and into the real world. Right now, a freshman class of leaders are finding their voice and are starting to question those same seniors, the ones they’ve always (and still do in most cases) looked up to.

Both want the same endgame: for this thing we call social media to be a meaningful place to make a living. Both (to some extent) are at odds with one another, letting petty words get in the way of necessary conversation. And neither is doing enough to bridge the gap and talk with one another about where this space that we all love is heading (ok, a few are, but can I have a little hyperbole for effect…).

There is a serious conversation that needs to happen. Actually, let me rephrase that, there are several unproductive conversations currently happening in private that need to come out in the open. They involve hard questions, sensitive issues and firm opinions but we are quickly coming to a point where either the debate or the lack of it is going to end up defining the space that we all love.

A lot of smart people have put a lot of thought into how traditional business are changing. A blog or two has even been written on the subject! Now the same people need to focus some of their attention on how this rapidly expanding space of ours needs to evolve. The best ideas won’t come from the top and they won’t come from the bottom. The best ideas will only come if we find a way to eradicate the petty bullshit and focus on the issues at hand.

There is an elephant in the room, so let me introduce it. As money and success come into the picture, the game is going to change. The ideal of social media is being tested by reality of business. The beliefs we hold are meeting the realities of bringing home the bacon. The traditional business world that we are all working with is going to impact us as much as we impact it. It’s a difficult and nuanced set of challenges and we need a lot more people who are a lot smarter than me talking about it.

It’s not going to be the pioneers and it’s not going to be the next wave that get us to the next step. It’s going to be all of us or it wont and a lot of us might lose our way. This is an industry based on “we”, let’s never forget that and let’s never lose that. Let’s show each other some respect, roll up our sleeves and get rid of these dumb-ass, harmful phrases that only keep us from having some challenging, but important conversations.

13 Responses to Words That Need to be Taken Out Back and Shot Like Old Yeller

  1. Nice one buddy! Funny you mentioned finding your voice, this is my post today.

    Yes social media is a business tool and yes a lot of conversations happening in private need to come out in the open. So what are ‘we’ waiting for?

    • Read your post on my commute this morning and will be jumping in the pool a little later today. It was a great one, you have an uncanny knack for writing things that I am thinking near!

      “We” aren’t waiting for anything. Just dropped the first pebble in the lake. More to come :)

  2. Thanks for the ping, Michael. I think what you are seeing is a fracturing of the marketplace into “schools” of thought rather than in this altogether. I don’t think you’ll see us all come together in this lifetime. Some of the folks you link to like C.C. are great peeps. Many of them I no longer subscribe to their way of thinking. It’s a different school of thought, IMO.

    • Thanks for the thoughts Geoff. You are certainly closer to the metal here than I am and it is interesting to think of it from the perspective of two different schools altogether. 

      While I am certainly not naïve enough to think there will only be one tact, I do think there are benefits to debate between the schools, classes or whatever it is we call them. 

      Even if it is two different schools it still pays to examine both and try to make sure that the “educational system”, if you will, continues to thrive.

  3. This makes me think of so many things, I can’t seem to respond without writing an epic monologue. For now, I’ll just say, yes – all these topics and more, the ones being skirted around, are the ones I’d like to see discussed even more.

  4. Michael;  

    Also, voices change over time. For instance, I would put Geoff in the Senior class, or at least the junior. He (and many others) were around when the Chris’ and others rose to prominence. The reason that he feels like a freshman is because his voice has changed over time. I am using him as an example, but there are others like that as well.

    What I do agree with is the accusatory words. Those do tend to stop instead of open conversation.

    • Thanks Kami, the more I understand it and to your point, it does seem that Geoff is right regarding the two schools rather than the two classes. Either way, I think the words and the divide can’t be good for anyone.

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