Social Media Experts. Real or Fake?

9 03 2010

I’m sick of hearing that ‘there is no such thing as a social media expert’.  I hear it a lot.

The latest protagonist was Bloom Media’s Alex Craven talking to The Drum magazine. To be fair to Alex he actually supports his argument by referring to the Wikipedia definition (you need 10,000 hours experience to be an expert – although it requires a citation).

What I dislike is that most people who proclaim the absence of social media expertise are doing so to show just how much they know about social media i.e establish their own expertise.  As an aside I’m conscious of the internal irony of this rant and I’ll try to avoid it becoming too meta.

The simple truth is that there are quite a number of genuine social media experts out there.  Chris Brogan is an expert on social media, Todd Defren is an expert on PR in the social space, as are David Meerman Scott and Brian Solis.  Journalist Aleks Krotoski has an encyclopaedic knowledge of social media.  With the upcoming UK election people like Mark Pack, Stuart Bruce and Iain Dale will be in demand for their expertise in politics and the social web.  Philip Sheldrake is an expert in social web analytics.  There are many more of you I know.

I have a slightly different view on the notion of ‘gurus’.  If you encounter anyone that describes *themselves* as a social media guru (or a guru in anything at all for that matter) I suggest you give them a very wide berth.

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