Where IS the Intelligent Content In Social Media


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Q: You’ve commented that you think the vast majority of content in the social mediasphere is superficial, and even misleading or wrong factually. Could you elaborate?

A: When you remove all barriers to entering something — a profession, or use of a medium or media, you get a terrible downturn in quality. “Professions” like training are an example where the reputation and even value of what is offered is tarnished by the people who are simply terrible, but could enter the profession just because they wanted to. You know, most people are not terribly interesting, or terribly knowledgable, and particular, most people aren’t great writers, although most of us think that somehow we are special or are way more profound than we really are. So we tweet, update, blog, etc, and the results are pretty sad.

Self-publishing whether it be in print or in the social media is still an attempt at self-expression without standards external to oneself, and that’s why we get so much crap. Why? Because nobody is forced to think, edit, reflect, or otherwise work at being good.

Q: Are you finding good content anywhere?

A: Yes, actually, I’ve recently started spending more time on LinkedIn on their groups and discussions, and when I started participating I was pleasantly surprised. If you browse the discussions, it’s pretty lame, and most are filled with spam and self-promotion, but when you actually write posts and get responses, then it gets better, since you can attract the small percent of people who have interesting things to say. I’m kind of liking it at the moment. Of course, I think MY posts are so profound that other really really smart people recognize my brilliance and respond in kind <grin>.

Q: What about blogs?

A: I’ve stumbled across some amazing writers in blogland, despite the fact I can’t stand blogs. Some of these people clearly have the talent to write professionally, even if they have other careers.

Again, though, because there are zero barriers to entrance, any idiot can write a blog, and apparently there’s a good supply of both. The thing that bothers me most about blogs is there seems to be some weird need for some to try to come up with catchy titles for posts, just to bring people in, and often the titles have nothing to do with the actual content. I don’t like being tricked.I don’t like blog posts about research and numbers when the person writing doesn’t understand either. I don’t like blog posts that just repeat what another blog post said. Ain’t it likely we can’t run out of letters, tho!

Q: Worst platform for content?

A: Keeping in mind I don’t sample every different platform, I’d still say Twitter. Even the chats are superficial while at the same time being self-congratulatory about how smart the chatters are, and it drives me crazy. Look folks, I’ll let you in on a secret. The toughest things to write are pieces that are short and profound. Very very few people on the planet can do it well, and you don’t do it by not thinking. You do it by working at it.And knowing stuff. Just because you have an opinion, doesn’t mean you have something valuable.

Let’s face it. If you want a profound, indepth conversation about astrophysics, or whatever your passion might be, you gonna go to Twitter for satisfaction? No. The best and brightest are not using Twitter to have indepth conversations. It isn’t FOR that. Hence, even though it’s not about what someone had for breakfast, it’s not much better than that.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Bacal
Robert began his career as an educator and trainer at the age of twenty (which is over 30 years ago!), as a teaching assistant at Concordia University. Since then he as trained teachers for the college and high school level, taught at several universities and trained thousands of employees and managers in customer service, conflict management and performance appraisal and performance management skills.


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