Academia and practice in social media – two different worlds?
Not many people I know in the social media world went to the Oxford Social Media Convention in September. Actually, no one I knew went.It didn’t really market itself to social media practitioners yet it was replete with examples of social media work in both the USA and UK.
The essential character or soul of social media
My conversation with James Kemp from Nominet Trust and with Matthew Hindman, author of The Myth of Digital Democracy got me thinking about the professionalism of social media practice.
I like the ‘hacking’ atmosphere of social media. The hands-on try-it-out ethos is its history and its style. And for many of us, it is also its essence.
Would professionalism be counter to our ethos?
But I’ve begun to wonder – are we ready for more?
Are we ready to manage ourselves as professional units? Could we retain an ‘A’ team like quality – flexible, inventive, supportive and with specialized roles?
Who would be Faceman – smooth talking marketer? Who is B. A. Baracus, the man who can solve any technical problem? Who is Vin, the guy who can land a plan anywhere even though he is nuts? And who would be Hannibal? Who would strategize and adjust our prioities as the plan meets the enemy?
I sometimes get the impression that we all want to be in charge of everything and at the same time, work exclusively on parts we love.
We can’t really do both.
How can we build strong teams of social media specialists?
But if we are to build up teams and have the professional strength of working together, what would the first step?
No one discussed the formation of social media firms at the Oxford Social Media Convention. I want to discuss the formation of social media firms.
Maybe we can have a session at the Social Media Mafia unconference in London on December 17?