Social Networking Blog

Guy Clapperton on the evolving new media

Social networking ‘experts’ and ‘gurus’

Digitage Web 2.0
Image by ocean.flynn via Flickr

Someone asked what I thought was an odd question when I started this blog a month or so ago. “So, you’re going to become a social networking guru then,” they said.

Once I’d picked myself up off the floor I asked them why they thought so. “Well, the socialnetworkingblog.co.uk domain name, the book coming out…” I could see how it was looking. But I’m not. In fact I hate people who describe themselves as ‘gurus’ or ‘experts’ in such new areas – I don’t actually believe they exist yet, we don’t know how social networking will evolve over time because it hasn’t had enough just yet. I was delighted. therefore, to be shown this piece on people styling themselves as such describing them as idiots.

It did make me think a bit about my objectives for the blog. First, this blog exists as a statement: I’ve been commissioned to write a book on social networking and I’d look ridiculous if I didn’t walk the walk and other such cliches. It’s a good repository of links I might come across that will help me, and if I can share some of the insights I gain with other people along the way, fair enough. When I found the socialnetworkingblog.co.uk domain name was available I couldn’t resist it, which is pure vanity, but if I have a book in the area coming out it might yet be useful for marketing.

And I do a bit of speaking in the area, it’s true – I enjoy that part of my work (actually I enjoy most of my work except the filing and record keeping, but nothing’s perfect). And if the blog brings a bit more of that work through, great. Sharing your research is a new way of working for me, but I’m finding it highly pleasurable.

None of which makes me anything like a guru. A guru knows stuff. A guru offers guidance, vision and direction. When the book comes out it’s going to be a lot more about practicality than the vision thing, and accommodating social networking into a business plan. Simple brass tacky stuff is what I want to offer, nothing high-flown. And there are so many people who claim they’re some sort of social networking know-it-all! Frankly even if I did know everything about social networking I wouldn’t call myself a guru, it would put me in the same league as so many chancers!

I was talking to a colleague – who I met through social media of course – about this only today. She thought of a new term I could use. I don’t have to be a guru, I don’t have to claim to be an expert somehow, I just have to use this new term and it’ll work fine. I think I’m going to do it. As of right now.

That’s it, then. I am the social networking antiguru. End of!

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April 3, 2009 - Posted by | Unexpected things happen | , , , , ,

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