Filed under: Digital Strategy
Jye has asked me to recreate a Coffee Morning rant. I’ll do my best….
We were talking about ‘social media experts’.
Now I no opinion on what people to choose to call themselves in the workplace. I’m no big fan of titles or labels but do agree that it would be very nice if people would curtsy when they’re introduced to you…anyhoo.
The notion I want to explore here is: “Is it possible to be an expert in social media?’
We’re trying to talk about an emergent discipline. We’re all still making up the language as we go. This means there’s a lot of new nonsense, heaps of obscure semantics, and quite a bit of confusion as our taxonomy is not set, we haven’t agreed on the discourse…we’re all still a bit muddled and unordered in our thinking because what (I think) we’re doing is in the Complex and Chaotic realms.
In the light of this my answer on the possibility of expertise is: No.
To add to the verbiage mentioned above, here’s my supporting case. I’m a huge fan of Dave Snowdon’s Cynefin framework which puts forward some really interesting thinking on how to make sense of complex environments
- It would seem to me that you could only be an expert in systems that are ordered, where cause and effect are repeatable and the relationship between cause and effect can be known
- This is better explained by Dave himself in his story about how expert fought against the idea of Longitude
- It would further seem to me that social media sits in the unordered realm, where cause and effect are coherent only in retrospect and where results are unpredictable
- You couldn’t be an expert in a Complex environment as no good or best practice documentation can be handed over to another practitioner with the guarantee that they will get the same results for any tactic/experiment
- What I believe you can be is a ‘practitioner with experience’, someone who understands the ‘probe-sense-respond’ agility that is required in this non-linear unpredictable (superfun!) environment
- There is no frickin’ spoon- try it it will make your life quite a bit easier.
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