Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Social Media and Mob Reactions

I don't know what happened here. NewspaperGrl just twitted the following:
Twitter teaching me not to respond to people. Lost 30+ followers last time. Maybe I should turn off Quitter - this is supposed to be fun.

NewspaperGrl is totally dedicated to the social media scene. Her twitter account has some 4600 followers (I started twittering about the same time and racked up some 57 followers. I suspect many are doing an obligatory reciprocal link.)

Even with my tiny tweetership, I've discovered the same problem with the instant feedback of social media. The mob likes to show displeasure by banishment.

Whenever a person says something that falls outside the realm of the mob's desire, the person gets slammed.

In the social media paradigm, the people who concentrate exclusively on their image and avoid substantive investigation of issues, rise to the top.

The game where people follow thousands of people on twitter in hopes of building a thousand followers seems a bit absurd to me. When you follow a thousand people, you really aren't following anyone. You just have random, meaningless messages.

I hope that NPG goes back to having fun and is less caught up in twitter stats.


Janet said...

Thanks Kevin for your post. I agree that the best way to enjoy Twitter is not to get too caught up in your followers.

However, I'm a marketer. So I can't help but watch the numbers. When I say something that makes dozens of people turned off, I pay attention. It says I'm not relevant to them. Which is ok. However, if I keep having mass unfollows then I'd worry.

Twitter started out as being fun for me and it still is. I almost need 2 personas - the one that tweets about local stuff - and one that is building an industry reputation.

The same thing happened on my blog. I blog too much about local events and information and I limit my audience. Or if I got too personal. So I started a few more blogs...or write for someone covering that niche. Or don't bother.

This can get out of control quickly!


y-intercept said...


I realize that you are in marketing and approach social media as a marketer.

You have a very balanced and thoughtful approach to marketing.

One problem I see with social media is that it faces people with the idea that they must to apply the marketing mindset to the social aspects of their life.

Some people have an unbalanced approached to marketing where they believe one most dominate or perish. Adopting such a mindset makes social media a mean, base thing.

BTW, I realize my blog is in conflict with my other online efforts. What I've been trying to say with this blog is that it is okay to think through problems.