Consensus is that social media is on the verge of ‘tipping’ this year coming, so as we go through the generations it makes sense that we see comments from ‘experienced’ PR bloggers criticising ‘new’ PR bloggers. I’ve seen it happen before.
Jennifer Mattern on NakedPR really doesn’t like the so-called PR Blog Party. She thinks it’s a little clique of bloggers who promote each other. Given that Jennifer expressly doesn’t like rankings or interviews, I suppose I’m a prime target for her ire.
A while ago Steve Rubel issued a call for getting our mojo back through good, original content. I have no problem with this but then Scott Baradell ups the ante by saying that while “the same people are writing about the same things they were when I started”, he sees that “more people are inserting themselves into the ‘conversation’ to make a quick buck every single day.”
I’ve seen this happen before. Pre-blogging, I forumed (is that a word?). I spent several years as a fairly active member of the Computer Music forum (which seems to have been reincarnated yet again).* Some established members could be extremely scathing of people who popped in to ask the basics all over again: “which is better, Mac or PC? Analogue or Digital? Cubase or Pro Logic?” They branded them ‘noobs’ and simply posted ‘OLD’ in response to their questions. It was one byte short of bullying.
What better way to poison a community? Surely the ‘noobs’ are simply reminding us that the same issues are at play? Don’t we all need reminding of the basics from time to time? I remember feeling pretty bad if I received that kind of feedback. All I was doing was making my first tentative posts about a fairly in-depth subject.
So this year coming, watch out for the bullying. Watch out for mentions of ‘little cliques’ which are also small communities. Keep an eye open for criticism of the same old issues when, really, they’re the same new issues.
The word on the forumosphere (or whatever it was back then) was generally “live with it, improve it, or leave.” I think that still applies to the blogosphere now.
* Explanation: I initially signed on to the CM forum as ‘Brendan’. Then they relaunched it, I had to sign up again, so I became ‘Brendan again’. Then they did it again, so I was ‘Brendan again again’. By the fourth relaunch my name was so long that it broke the columnar formatting so I summarised it – and future-proofed it – as ‘Brendan again etc’. Now the forum’s moved, perhaps I should sign up again as ‘Brendan again etc again’?