Home > Uncategorized > No, Not Everything Relates Back to Social Media

No, Not Everything Relates Back to Social Media

Please note: This post originally showed up on my personal blog.

As a few of my colleagues have written on this blog, social media has been blowing up ever since the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death a few days ago (although I don’t think “blowing up” is necessarily an appropriate term, given the victim). Searches on Google for Bin Laden went up by over 1,000,000% after the story broke of his demise. It was the single most-tweeted event in Twitter’s short history. Overnight there were tens of thousands of blog posts analyzing the mission, giving opinions on the ethics of it, and mostly celebrating the death of this terrorist leader.

However I have come across a few blog posts that have tried to somehow relate his death to social media or digital marketing. I find this to be completely reprehensible and unethical. In a clear attempt to grab hits during the hottest news event of the past decade, people are trying to write about the lessons that marketing professionals can learn about the mission to capture or kill Bin Laden and even the lessons that can be learned from his death itself. These are the same people who try to write about what social media managers can learn from Lady GaGa’s latest single or Justin Bieber’s world tour. They use weak arguments and far-fetched comparisons in order to write these posts in a thinly-veiled attempt to get as many page hits as possible. As I wrote about earlier, Paul Gillin says that “hits” is merely a term for “how idiots track success,” and in this case I can’t help but think these are the exact same idiots to whom Paul was referring.

Allow me to step off my pedestal for a second and say that I don’t think that in all cases these bloggers are bad people, or even bad writers, but merely people who thought they had an idea for a good story and decided to run with it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it seems in more cases than not, these posts are simply an attempt to latch onto the news story of the week and garner an extra few page visits. If I wanted to I could write posts with titles like “What Megan Fox’s Leaked Sex Tape Can Teach us About Social Media” and sit back as my blog hits set all time highs, but the I’m positive that the slimy lack of morals would be so potent it would somehow turn my future children into serial killers.

An image search for "smug" returns a picture from American Psycho. Coincidence?

So please, for the love of all things that are good and pure and true in this world, stop trying to relate every flavor of the week back to social media or digital marketing. These are powerful tools that have changed the way we think about business, journalism, social interaction, and countless other things; let’s not exploit it’s power in order to feel good about ourselves for a brief moment. Getting all those hits might swell your head a bit, and you might end up dislocating your shoulder patting yourself on the back so much, and then you won’t be able to write about anything. Which may not be a terrible thing.

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