Social Media not fully Adopted and Blowing the smoke away

Claim: Social Media is Dead
Steve Rubel of Edelman (who’s firm has been the posterboy of how to botch up Social Media this year) proclaims that Social Media is no more. (many a juicy comment) He suggests that Social Media is moot, as nearly all online vehicles have two way mechanisms.


Community Response to Claim:

Brian Oberkirch suggests that Steve has jumped the shark on this one:

“…I use Rubel as an example all the time of someone who blogged his way into big things. Whatever you think about his views on PR & social media, he blogged and blogged and blogged and assumed a central position in the discussion. I think with his new role, maybe he’s just too busy to be as engaged, but the blog has suffered. This post is a marker of just how off the path it is.

Maybe it’s also a data point about why Edelman’s social media programs (Walmarting, the Vista outreach hullaballo, the shiny object Second Life and social media release stuff) feel so off the mark as well…”

Brian Solis shines some light on global usage and mainstream adoption.

“…Is it me, or am I the only one here that sees the blaring differences between blurred and dead? Yes, he’s correct that in 2006 most, not all, media went social. Many of the tools he described are globally deployed and utilized. But the last time I checked, only a small portion of the global population is was actually socializing using “social media tools” and, most importantly, these tools a merely creating the framework for a broader, more sophisticated social media platform for the future…”

“…So if anything, 2007 becomes the year where social media is a respected, official, and recognized media channel, but it is by no means mainstream, traditional, broadcast, etc. We still have a lot of work to do to get the rest of the world to join the conversation and what it will become is the real story here… “

David Armano provides a handful of reasons why traditional media has not fully accepted social media, so why should we?

“… I still hear journalists speaking skeptically of Social Media even though they now openly reference it in their stories. Plus, I’ve worked in Newsrooms in both print and broadcast years ago, many of the same people still remain in power at the top…”

“…Most of the people I work with are vaguely familiar with my blog (some not at all) and usually only perk up when they hear about the BusinessWeek/Boston Globe mentions…”

“…Many mainstream media outlets have their own versions of blogs, podcats etc. but this isn’t Social Media—it’s the MSM using technologies…”

“…Whether we like it or not, us content creators are still fighting for credibility. It’s getting better—but we don’t have the clout of a New York Times/WSJ piece etc. There’s a distinction there. Sorry…”

I can’t but help wonder if this is a diversionary Smokescreen in light of the Microsoft Laptop fiasco.

Jeremy Pepper elludes this is a classic PR smoke screen, if you’ve not heard Edelman is yet under fire for this latest Ferrari Laptop Microsoft fiasco where they’re been accused of bribing bloggers.  Has Steve responded yet to this mix up?

“So, you create a Maileresque statement that such and such is dead (think, oh, the press release is dead or maybe social media is dead).”

What do I think?
My focus is on Corporate deployment of Web Strategies. I promise you, Senior Management at many Fortune 1000 companies still lack awareness, strong belief in Social Media or resources a large percent of budget.

Social Media is more than adding trackbacks and comments to a press release, it’s about accepting that bottom up knowledge from the masses can be greater than top down control.

I myself am wanting Social Media to be accepted in many forms across the enterprise and up and down the ladder, but to this date, Social Media is not dead.

  • Pingback: Marc’s Voice » Blog Archive » Corporate awareness of all things - anything

  • http://dotnetjunkies.com/WebLog/paul/default.aspx paul

    Microsoft is getting all the flack after they hired Edelman for some good PR.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Not all the flack…we can also blame Ferrari and AMD too.

  • Pingback: David “Dsquared” Dalka - Creating Revenue and Retention - Chicago GSB MBA » The Growing Conversation Debunking the “Social Media Is Dead” Post by Steve Rubel

  • http://bankwatch.wordpress.com Colin Henderson

    I have been following Steve’s comment and the reaction. I think the reality is that social media has not yet arrived, let alone died. You touched on it here, mentioning that adding trackbacks or comments does not do it.

    Social media can exist only if it reflect the companys business model, and corporate culture. There has to be openness and transparency first. Edelman and Rubel do not yet match – Rubel is there, but Edelman (the company) is not.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Colin, thanks these are insightful comments.

    I’ll bet Steve has some major uphill battles at Edelman, I, we, wish him the best.

  • http://pop-pr.blogspot.com Jeremy Pepper

    You are probably giving too much credit to Steve. He’s not there, and his past and present posts show that he does not fully embrace openness or transparency. I’ve tagged him on that many times, and his responses lack weight.

    As for social media being dead, it was a good meme for him to play, and fun to watch it mainly backfired (and forget the US-centric nature of the post itself).

  • http://innovativebusinessgolf.com Scot Duke

    Social Media Being dead? I can’t say I totally agree are we would not be discussing it. I think the social media thing got derailed a little with there being so many unverifiable stats provided on how many bloggers are reading each other’s blogs… Hopefully Web 2.0 strategies will change everything.

  • http://3i.wildfirestrategy.com/ Tamera Kremer

    Scot, good point about Web 2.0 strategies… I can see social media moving back to the marketers from the PR folks in 2007. Edelman is the poster child for what not to do. Not only are they not using technology to its fullest (or adhering to web standards), but they are lacking in authenticity and transparency. Consumers (and brands) get that. What company will sign on the dotted line for a “social media outreach” campaign when the Wal-mart/ Sony/ MSFT results speak for themselves? I hope to see interactive marketers pushing forward with an integrated approach to campaigns — part interactive, part social — or else we risk being back in dot-com bubble territory for Web 2.0.

  • http://www.socialmediagroup.ca maggie fox

    Great roundup, Jeremy. Brian Solis also raised the red herring issue. A number of days in, I just can’t believe that Steve Rubel believes what he’s posted – it just makes no sense to anyone who knows anything about social media (and that is pretty much the consensus). The result was a ton of discussion, however, which is indeed a perfect smokescreen/traffic boost.

    Hey – maybe Steve’s single-handedly trying to re-brand social media, as Tamera alludes? After all the Edelman fiascos in 2006, it is starting to look like a scary place for a lot of companies. Maybe if they start calling social media something else, they’ll still be able to sell it?

  • Pingback: social media group corporate blogging » Blog Archive » Controversial declarations and smokescreens

  • Pingback: David "Dsquared" Dalka - Creating Revenue and Retention - Chicago GSB MBA

  • http://bankwatch.wordpress.com/ Colin Henderson

    I have been following Steve's comment and the reaction. I think the reality is that social media has not yet arrived, let alone died. You touched on it here, mentioning that adding trackbacks or comments does not do it.

    Social media can exist only if it reflect the companys business model, and corporate culture. There has to be openness and transparency first. Edelman and Rubel do not yet match – Rubel is there, but Edelman (the company) is not.