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.