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Wednesday 7 January 2009

The Social Media Circus

I follow a lot of people via their blog feeds and on Twitter. What amuses me is that all these guys seem to speak to each other and pat on each others back, creating some kind of a self-appreciation affinity group, and nothing more. I don't know if they make much sense to the rest of the world. It's kind of a circus where each clown is trying to outdo the other.

Some of these "bloggers" write 10 to 15 posts a day ( I don't know when they get time to think, eat, sleep or spend time at home, even if blogging itself is their paid job) and most of their posts tend to be either links to other posts or a small comment made on "quoted" text from someone else's blog. I mostly avoid these and go to the source blog at once. It's as if people are trying to cram as many words as possible in their blogs in some kind of a rat race for writing the most words on the web.

As for myself, I enjoy the circus, but have to sift through a lot of crap to actually end up getting any new information.

One blog feed I really love because of its sensible and good quality posts is the O'Reilly Radar

I like Twitter, but again, the crap bothers me. While some guys do post a few important piece of information or news, most of the others simply announce to the world everything from what they are having for breakfast to how they snore at night, as if the world is interested in that crap.

Again, the purpose on Twitter for these ego-maniacs seem to be just about gathering as many followers as possible and its not surprising that many of these guys end up following each other and forming the same self-appreciating affinity groups. They also end up self-announcing themselves as social media gurus.

I think in course of time, most serious bloggers and those on emerging stuff like twitter will have to rethink if this self-gratifying circus adds any meaning to their life or to the society at large. With the start of 2009, I recommend the following for such people:

1. See if you really enjoy reading what you write on your blog or whatever you tweet. This will give you a fair idea if people want to read them. Don't cram in words just to increase your web presence.

2. Get a life. One good post can make your day as well as the day for your audience. You don't need to write in 15 non-informative posts.

3. Assume that tweets are like cars on a "streaming" roadway. Keeping your insignificant tweets out of this road will help keeping this information roadway less crowded and valuable.

4. We have too many gurus anyway. It might be fun to not become another one. The self-appreciation might just be hollow.

5. The web is a serious medium and no one knows it better than those who use it. Let it remain less polluted.

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