One of the common complaints and fears right now in Social Media is that it is essentially a giant bubble. As with any bubble, if it gets too big or hovers too long, it is bound to burst. This can be scary for those of us who have deeply embraced this shift, for many who have created businesses centered around it and for plenty of people who are continually writing about it. What is concerning to some of us in the social sphere is that more and more it feels as if there are two camps. Those who drink the kool-aid, who own a Daring Fireball t-shirt and believe in the power of a social web beside others who believe this is either all a passing trend or is simply a nonsensical waste of time.
This lack of a middle ground has its pluses and minuses. On the upside, the devout talk about the subject with such passion and reverence that they often drag new converts into the bubble. By connecting, sharing, championing and creating a tremendous amount of content, they help to create new advocates. You see this more and more every day as people and companies jump on the social bandwagon. The problem is, just as you see in polarized topics like politics, when you have people who are devoted with a near religious fervor, you often end up turning off those who are simply interested in a new topic. Rather than being curious about this shiny and new toy, many of the uninitiated avoid it at all costs.
WE Must Burst The Bubble!
If the bubble were to burst, we could get back to finding the middle ground that Social Media needs. We could start to take the emphasis off of the reverence and get back to focusing on the facts. We are quickly arriving at the point where there is more than enough data to prove the widespread potential of Social Media while offering insights into the best practices. Getting away from any blind passion and digging into the numbers is the best chance us advocates have of turning those that we may have turned off around. Rather than converting the skeptics one at a time through the promise of lofty ideals like transparency and engagement, we need to put the results at the center of the case. It is the best way we can prepare for the inevitable implosion.
I know there are many of us who fear the bubble bursting (I am right there with you), but it just might be the best thing that happens when it comes to helping Social Media get to where we believe it can go. The bubble was a great opportunity for all of us to find our bearings, but it is time for us to pop it ourselves and prove that both Social Media as well as those us who preach it can stand on our own two feet.
I’m getting ready to grab a needle, but what about you? Are you ready to burst the bubble or are you sitting around hoping that this one won’t pop?
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