UPDATE: I HAVE BEEN SPELLING ALAN WEISS'S NAME INCORRECTLY! MY APOLOGIES TO ALAN.
Also, this post is serious. IS social media worthwhile, or not? My quoting Alan Weiss calling me hysterical should not change your answer...not to mention, you should visit HIS blog and see for yourself. Maybe it was just me...maybe it wasn't. But, the question remains...how does social media fare in today's 21st century marketing and consulting world?
Remember that old Dick and Jane century...back before social media? Remember how outspoken women were treated? Before we were labelled with the "B" word...we were often spoken of as "hysterical." Women who wanted more, who acted out, who didn't go with the status quo, were just...hysterical.
Let's look at the word, before I tell you why I'm asking you this question...
Hysterical, according to Dictionary.com means: "Of, characterized by, or arising from hysteria." Or, Having or prone to having hysterics." The word comes from L. hystericus "of the womb," and was "originally definted as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus."
Today, it's as likely to mean, "uncontrollably emotional, or causing unrestrained laughter." And, it's in that context I believe it was applied to me. By Alan Weis, in reply to a comment I left on his blog.
Here's the scoop... and why I'm wondering how all of YOU feel about this...
Alan is one of those Dick and Jane consultants, a very famous and well travelled, one... who feels that social media (think Facebook, Twitter, and Squidoo, as well as blogs, although he has a blog) is a lot of to-do about nothing. On his blog, he says the over-whelming number of blogs are crap. He says that Twitter is pretty nonsensical. (guess he's never followed Andy Sernovitz or Jeremiah Owyang ) He says "you can't create a brand just with a blog, unless you're ridiculously lucky."
Ok...there are a lot of unnecessary blogs. But, there are lot of fantastic blogs, too.
Ok...there are a lot of Twitter notes that I can do without. But, a lot of smart people Twitter and I follow them and they share great content I would not have access to, otherwise.
Ok...you can't create a brand with just a blog. I guess Hugh McLeod is just a fluke. (Oh, Seth mentioned Hugh to Alan and Alan dismissed Hugh as someone he's never heard of...meaning...???) Seriously, though, it's true...you need to do more than blog. Unless your blog catches on like Hugh's. Doesn't really happen all that much.
Anyway, I left a comment on Alan's blog post (where he was dissing social media). I said I'd met some of the greatest minds of the 21st century (thinking of Guy Kawasaki, and Seth Godin - whose "clowd" post is priceless!) because of my blog, and... Alan called my statement: you guessed it: hysterical.
He admitted that HE'S one of the greatest minds, but...if I wasn't talking about Jack Welch, or Bill Buckley, or Peter Drucker...et al...then, I was "hysterical." I was told to tone down the hyperbole. (I noticed he mentioned some old time, white males...and no females).
And then, he said "these tools" meaning blogs and Twitter, and such, "are not smart investments in time or money for consultants trying to reach corporate markets."
I had to reply and disagree with that, also.
You can read it all on his blog, if you like. I don't mind sending him traffic. It's a just discussion. He's entitled to his opinion. I am entitled to mine. And, he is a great mind...I have to admit that I recommend his books. He gives great advice. But, he's not the only great mind in this century, and a whole lot of great minds are...blogging. Like, Lee Thayer, someone you and Alan may not have heard of, but, as a client of mine, is someone I know is one of the greatest minds of both the 20th century and the 21st century, and...he blogs.
I'd really like to know YOUR opinion: am I hysterical (do you go into laughing fits over what I write?) Do you Twitter, and if so, do you get valuable content from it, or just laughter? What does social media do for you, if anything? Can you get corporate clients from blogging? Is user-generated content here to stay or just a flash in the pan?
Great, inquiring minds want to know.