Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Anti social media

A bunch of crotchety old geezers have been kvetching about the invasion of marketing into social media platforms and how if it doesn't stop it's going to ruin the the entire online world.

Here are a few examples:
If one is using Twitter, they are “tweeting” not “twittering.” By the way, if you use Twitter to promote your product to me, you are an ASSHOLE.
They see all of this free and open communication occurring. And, being Marketing Fucktards, their first thought is "How can we piggyback on this shit and manipulate it, without people knowing we are manipulating it, and use it to sell our useless crap to people...
On the other hand, these social media promotional tactics are too close to shilling for my taste. Shills were shunned when the Internet was still a collection of crazy-blinking mile-long one-page framed sites of horrible colors, and they haven’t gained in popularity since. That doesn’t stop them from trying.
Essentially, these social Luddites are saying you're a sucker if you take advantage of your social network to get free stuff. I'm not really sure how that makes sense, then again I'm not a demented old fart suffering from dementia.

They also seem to be suffering under the misconception that these forums for social interaction are free. And I guess in a certain, very limited perspective this is true. After all, the end user doesn't pay a purchase price or subscription fee.

Unfortunately, this is the same perspective that concludes that Skittles are made from unicorn poop.

Here in the real world, there is no such thing as free. Somebody always pays a price for something. You know that time you posted on Twitter about how you just ate lunch at the Who Gives a Shit Cafe? Well, someone had to pay for the servers, bandwidth, application development, etc. that made it possible for you to keep everyone updated on the excruciating minutia of your day to day life.

Look, I hate to fail your whale here but in the real world when consumers want content but they don't want to pay for it, it's usually the advertiser that picks up the bill. That's true for all media -- radio, television, some magazines and newspapers -- and yes, even the Internet.

Social Media websites are no different from any other website -- a vast number of which are supported by advertising. In fact, if you don't like advertising and marketing, you might want to stay away from all moderately popular websites/applications/TV shows/radio programs/podcasts/concert venues/etc. Because here's another news flash for you, marketers like to go where the largest audience is, where they can more efficiently spend their increasingly shrinking advertising budgets.

So Twitter and Facebook, with their combined 114 babillion users, are prime marketing opportunities for advertisers.

Like it or not, there will be advertising. Marketers want it that way because they're interested in getting their messages to the audience. The users want it that way because (despite the ill-conceived objections quoted above) they want the "free" content.

And you know what, Twitter and Facebook and other sites/services also want it that way. They want the money. Believe it or not they aren't doing this for the sole benefit of the whiners who hate advertising.

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  1. Great post. I have a little bit of a man crush on you right now.

    (Sponsored by Orange Crush Soda)

  2. Actually if you voluntarily post about eating at the G-A-S cafe that particular restaurant doesn't pitch in to pay for any costs of anything. They might consider but they don't. If you get a free can of Grecian formula and write about, they still don't pay for the costs. That's why all the social media companies have hard time monetizing their huge traffic. How many ads did you click on facebook. As soon as they want some money their cheap-ass users (me) just move on. Lastly, you are old enough to be my father. P.S. I am resisting writing another post about this, don't make me.

  3. I have no problem with ads, per se - but if you follow me on Twitter just so that you can promote your product to me? Suck it, Trebek. It's 21st century spam, only instead of sending it via email they're doing it through a site like Twitter. It's not like Twitter is getting a buck - hell, it is actually consuming their resources and we get the fail whale problem.

    And I have no problem with people getting free stuff - knock your socks off.

  4. Great post, man!

    And "I hate to fail your whale"...I'm totally stealing that.

    My problem with advertising in general is the manipulation. Unlike the mindless zombies on whose souls the marketers feed, I like to make my own decisions.

    If I decide I want or need something, I will research the available products, bypassing as much advertising as possible, and try to make an objective decision based on facts and consumer reviews. Advertising is worthless to me.


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