Sophistication May Vary (Am I boring you?)

I’m pretty confident that there is a wide range of social media sophistication of the Web Strategy Blog readers.

I get questions that are very novice, but those that are very advanced tell me they’re still learning something once in a while. The same is true on my interactions with clients, there’s a small group of the very sophisticated, but most are trying to answer the ‘how do we do it’. Very few are in the ‘what is it stage’ when it comes to social media.

David Churbuck from Lenovo is in the sophisticated camp and moans that I’m writing posts for the novice community “let’s step up the analysis and look at the hard questions, not the thumbsuckers”. He’s right ya know, but here’s an explanation:

Some of my posts are aimed at the novices but it’s because I refer people to these starter posts to save me time. The Social Media FAQ series and the 3 Impossible conversations (the one David complains about) is for that.

If you’re in the medium stage, and are convinced that you understand social media but need to jump forward quickly, read these posts.

Now if you’re on the more sophisticated side, you may benefit on all my posts tagged Web Strategy. If you want to dive in to measurement you’ll need to sift through my posts tagged Social Media Measurement.

I’m grateful for feedback from folks like David (check out his Bio, he’s very seasoned) and I even offered him the opportunity go guest post on this blog to set the bar higher. But if you’re still hungry for advanced content that solves all your business problems, you won’t find those here. While I share a great deal of information on this blog (I work really hard to try to earn your trust and respect) but I reserve 100% of my resource for my clients.

I know I’m never going to please everyone, but lemme tell ya, I walk a real fine line of trying to connect with the community, being mindful to my paying clients, and doing my day job. There really isn’t a lot of folks that have done this to this level, so bear with me while I walk on new ground.

  • Keep up the good work, Jeremiah. The older I get the less I realize I know. I usually think of myself as reasonably sophisticated about “social media” but every time I turn around I’m learning something new. For example, I’m a moderator of the Linkedin Bloggers group on Yahoo! Groups and, you know what? I learn something new there every day, precisely because there is such a wide range of knowledge and experience.

  • I have been developing interactive strategies for many years and often run into situations where i need some third party validation on the fundamentals of “how do we do it”.

    Having a credible source that actually has content geared at the “novice” and written in human terms has been an excellent tool for educating my peers and customers.

    I also have gained good insight from your blog and following on twitter, thanks for sharing.. dirk

  • ann

    Thumbsuckers. Huh? Whatever.

    I’ve been thinking about and practising social media since the days of Eudora. And I still learn something new every day — often from your posts.

    I also pass your posts along to others, because often the people holding the purse strings have less experience than the people with the know-how and it takes convincing from a number of sources to make a thing happen. So please continue to offer an array of information and I will read everything you write, every day.

  • Jeremiah – I for one am grateful for the effort you expend in educating novices such as myself

    Simon

  • The more novices you can help, the more valuable new media becomes. More people in the space means more interaction. Keep up all your great posts.

  • I would like to encourage you. You’re right, you can’t please everyone. I think you are doing a very honorable job of walking the line. I’m sure it’s difficult and it’s something I am going to personally be embarking on very soon. I’m not sure I’ll be nearly as successfully prolific though.

    As long as you continue to evaluate and iterate there will be interest and value. You are engaging in conversation & enabling conversation. That’s what it’s all about.

  • Thank you all for this support. It fuels me forward.

  • Just want to say thanks for your info Jeremiah.
    I am definitely a novice, but use some of your information to further my small business endeavours.
    Its great to be able to scan your articles and if something is relevant to my world I can delve deeper into knowledge of it.
    Thanks again

  • Jeremiah please read my response to David on his blog.

    You do great work here Jeremiah, if you didn’t then I don’t think you would have so many readers, and I definitely don’t think someone like David would have ever responded to you.

    Keep it up.

  • Paul Grant

    I also have responded over yonder.

    You are doing a great job walking the fine line. It can be a shock to take that kind of criticism, but you will see from people’s reactions that you are playing a key role in the industry – globally.

    Back to my comment on your post the ‘3 Impossible Conversations’, it is ‘hard’ to accept input of any type at a personal or corporate level. Even praise can be a tricky one.

    A couple of wise proverbs:

    ‘Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.’

    ‘The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but man is tested by the praise he receives.’

    As you say, press forward.

  • Adam Gershenbaum

    Jeremiah you do walk a fine line but community is your brand and when you build trust amongst your audience it goes a long way. You are using the same elements of social media marketing to provide an educational and often validating look at the industry while still reserving enough of you’re expertise for the clients.

    As far as novices I thank you for talking about the basics to more people because it will only help the industry grow and more people will understand what I doo when I tell them my title is Social Media Coordinator. I get a lot of friends I run into that look really puzzled at that term.

    Thanks keep up the good work.

  • Jeremiah, keep up the great work you do. It is greatly appreciated. Looking forward to your SXSW visit.

  • Jeremiah,

    The way I explain your tone and level of writing is this:

    Not everyone in this tech blogging world loves the echo-chamber. You have a unique audience, in that they’re not in the echo-chamber (probably don’t know it exists) but are genuinely interested in this topic.

    Don’t let the naysayers tell you this isn’t a valuable position. It is.
    Thanks,

    Nate

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  • I’m a “thumbsucker” and I appreciate your writing.

    One day I expect to move up to your “medium” or “Webstrategy” levels, and maybe even David Charbuck’s “201” level, but for right now your “101” writing is feeding (no pun intended!) me fine.

    Thanks for what you do!

  • Two points bring me back to the value of writing for thumbsuckers:

    1) In a new area such as social computing, most of us are thumbsuckers. We’re still on the north face of the adoption curve. Writing exclusively for advanced users smacks of elitism and writes off the majority of users over the long haul. (Not to call David an elitist and I appreciate his thoughtful work).

    2) As one becomes a Zen master in an area, one regresses to the simplest principles. Not to call myself a Zen master marketer, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to bring less advanced but more sophististicated marketers (typically fresh MBAs) back to simple principles like “who is the customer and how do you know.” Tom Peters embodies this with his uncomfortably simple questions

  • ann

    Thumbsuckers. Huh? Whatever.

    I've been thinking about and practising social media since the days of Eudora. And I still learn something new every day — often from your posts.

    I also pass your posts along to others, because often the people holding the purse strings have less experience than the people with the know-how and it takes convincing from a number of sources to make a thing happen. So please continue to offer an array of information and I will read everything you write, every day.

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