If social media is dead, why am I so busy?


Geoff Livingston wrote a blog post yesterday declaring social media is dead. As you can imagine, it's generated some comment and debate. Geoff is a public relations strategist with CRT/Tanaka, CEO of Livingstone Communications and a (the?) driving force behind Blog Potomac. I saw him present at the Society for New Communications Research conference, but I didn't meet him. He has a lot of respect in social media circles, so I'm interested in his opinions. But I don't have time to consider this particular one.

I'm going to our internal Web Summit in Heidelberg next week, where most of the folks at SAS helping to set our online direction will be gathering. There's obviously a lot of interest in social media in that group, so I'm presenting in the opening session, leading a 90-minute session focused solely on SAS' social media strategy, and hosting an informal breakout session where participants can ask questions of one another and discuss what's working for them. I'm leaving on Saturday, and I still have some preparation to do. (I'm the kind of person who's never satisfied with his slides. Plus, I have a new netbook that needs filling up.)

I also have a long list of goals and objectives for the year, designed to help integrate social media into SAS' sales, marketing and external communications. It's a pretty big list, and there's always something to do and someone to meet. So as much as I appreciate that folks in the social media field are having a theoretical discussion about whether or not social media is dead, I'm too busy doing it to join in. (Although I did read enough to know that the fact that people like me are engaged in social media is one of the reasons Geoff has declared its demise.)

I understand what it's like to be a consultant, having done it myself. You need to be 100 percent certain in your opinions, and able to convince potential clients (and reassure existing clients) that you are the only person who can save them. I much prefer where I am now, in a position where I can say, "Let's try some things and see what works, and see what's working for other people like us." That was the idea behind my first post in this blog, where I declared I am not an expert.

So, if you folks participating in the debate come to any conclusions that will help SAS build better relationships, let me know. In the meantime, I'll be getting on with it.


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1 Comment

  1. Brian Hamlett on

    Ha ha! I had to laugh at your post for a bit David because it is so true for individuals like us who are too busy helping our business (or our clients' businesses) in the efforts of DOING social media to be in a discussion about if it is dead or not.
    After reading Geoff Livingston's blog post about Social Media is Really Dead you actually realize that he's talking about social media's innovative uniqueness has finally worn off. That it is no longer the big, hip, new thing and that all those conservative organizations are finally jumping on board so it's time to declare it's innovative period as being over.
    So maybe Geoff was a bit harsh, but he's also correct! We are at the maturity stage with social media and the some of the last individuals and organizations that have been holding back from jumping on board are now diving right in (for crying out loud, people's grandmothers are getting on Facebook!) So to his point, that PHASE of social media is dead... social media as a whole is NOT dying but is simply growing up and coming into its own as a valuable platform for individuals and organizations to create new relationships.
    So I guess that's all to say that David... now is our time in the maturity lifecycle to be the busy ones and those innovative day dreamers such as Geoff Livingston are ready to move onto the next fad! So here's to us... well, maybe later... I've got some social media education tools to put together for some clients!
    Here's one article by Chris Saad (another social media... well he may say "personal media" specialist) that might be an interesting read - http://bit.ly/18iQyu

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