From its inception, social media has always been about the romantic notion of connectivity. Full connectivity. Whether it’s being able to interact with the Internet in a more open manner than we’d ever known previously, or connecting with other like-minded people to share, advise and learn, social media and full connectivity have gone hand in hand. Until now.
I read a lot of blogs – some by the biggest names in social media, some by the rising stars, and some that are just entertaining reads by people starting to find their feet in this whole social media world. Then there are the non-niche blogs that are worth anybody’s time.
What I like most about these blogs (and the others that are recommended to me by friends) is the openness and free-to-all approach that they offer the reader. There’s no hidden agenda here – simply the proponents of social media and those interested in it, sharing views along the way.
Recently though, I’ve been leaving many of these blogs with the feeling that the authors are beginning to believe a little bit too much in their own hype. Instead of sharing openly with their readers and asking for opinions on how they view social media, the authors are instead preaching how to approach the medium.
This would be okay if it was merely helpful advice from someone who’s been there and done that. Sadly, it’s becoming less so. Instead, we’re treated to people virtually attacking the medium that gave them such a popular voice to begin with.
Example – there’s a particularly well-known tech blogger that recently chastised other bloggers for not name-checking thousands of blogs a day, or for not using tools like Google Reader in their sidebar to let other bloggers know what they‘re currently reading. This irks me.
Not everyone is (or wants to be) a professional blogger. Many simply use the medium for sharing their innermost thoughts with a curious world. So what if someone doesn’t want to link to another blog, or website, just for the sake of linking? Does that make them any less of a person (or blogger)? Does it mean they don’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as this tech blogger that raised the point in the first place?
Of course not.
There are many ways that bloggers can show appreciation of the work of others without blatant shout-outs and name checks all the time. Blogrolls, or links, for example. Or using an application like CommentLuv, that shows the last blog post of anyone leaving a comment.
Blogging shouldn’t be a private playground where the ’privileged few’ set the rules. Nor should social media. Instead, both should be methods of bringing people together to ultimately make the world a friendlier and better place. Shouldn’t we try keep it that way, before the snobs ruin it for everyone?