Social Media and Highlander Complex


 

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This article is interesting though has little information.

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A myriad of folks seem to be prescribing one right way of doing things in social media — and piling onto anyone that diverts from the prescribed path.

Purists are claiming it’s their way or you lose while evangelists seem to be pushing you towards their latest shiny new distraction.

This applies to everything from asking FriendFeed vs. Twitter to paid vs. earned and brands approaching platforms like Twitter as open or restrictive.

Some of it is well-intended. But some of it is part of what I call “The Highlander Complex.”

“There Can Be Only One”
I’m dating myself here, but the recurring line in the 80s sci-fi movie cum cult classic Highlander is the phrase “there can be only one.”

And while I understand how it applies to the Highlander plot, I’m confused as to why this is the case in social media.

There is a lot of sword rattling when someone takes a different path. Smart folks use it as an opportunity to learn another perspective and make their own decision.

At the end of the day social media is about individuals. Individuals make their own choices.

And when businesses are involved, there is a business case that influences their decisions. What works for Best Buy will work differently for Wal-Mart. Some brands might use IZEA; others will take a more organic, less campaign-oriented approach to Twitter.

It gets messy, and we all have our own preferences and POVs on this. But it is what it is.

In fact some of the brands we point to now as model social media citizens started out by screwing up.

Experiments Yield Innovations
Choosing your own path is usually the best part about social media. Some paths will certainly be more productive than others. But no one’s going to learn if we all follow each other around the echo chamber.

Do you have The Highlander Complex? It could just mean you’re very passionate about a certain topic. But that doesn’t mean you have to go chopping someone’s head off for not agreeing with you. Try to see it from the other side first before banging out an angry reply. Just sayin’.

http://prblog.typepad.com/strategic_public_relation/2009/08/social-media-the-highlander-complex.html

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