Social media as the ‘Wild West’

Strumpette’s Brian Connolly sees social media living up to its “Wild West” reputation. “We need to re-inject control back into the Web.” (run time: 1:26)

Thanks to heavy traffic on YouTube following yesterday’s Presidential Inauguration, availability of this video has been delayed. Hang in there.

Referenced in this video: Lawrence Lessig

Thursday: ROI of Social Media


2 Responses to Social media as the ‘Wild West’

  1. Jeff Davis says:

    Bill – Thanks for this series. I like to hear all sides of a story so am wondering why some folks in PR don’t want me to be exposed to these interviews. Could somebody out there please enlighten me with a reply below? (And if you choose to respond, it will be more credible if you don’t do so anonymously or with a fake email)


  2. Bill Sledzik says:

    Let me take a quick shot at this one, Jeff. This is my take:

    The folks who most object to the exposure I’m providing Amanda Chapel and her creators are those who’ve been in the PR blogosphere the longest. They ventured into this space inspired by the authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto — a seminal work that I require my graduate students to read. In fact, last spring semester Cluetrain co-author David Weinberger was kind enough to join our online discussions. I admire the Cluetrain authors and the vision they described. But I don’t consider criticism of the social-media movement to be heresy. I consider it part of intelligent inquiry. Like her or not, Amanda Chapel was part of that criticism. It’s up her readers to decided it if was, indeed, intelligent.

    The Cluetrain view of “Web 2.0” (it wasn’t called that back then) was pretty utopian, and it was all about “the conversation” and all about an inclusive community in which we all would have a voice. For the most part, the blogosphere polices itself, but in the PR realm at least, I haven’t found it terribly tolerant of diverse views. Amanda didn’t help matters much.

    Amanda was NOT about the conversation. She was, as Brian has pointed out, a satire of a PR person. Her writers were among the first to challenge the true believers on their own social media turf, a sweet irony. The criticism didn’t sit well, especially given that Amanda was outspoken, often mean-spirited and, yeah, even a bit obscene at times. I don’t have to tell you, those are not characteristics one looks for in conversation partners.

    The Strumpette blog was biting/humorous commentary that was very much one-way communication unless you were nuts enough to tangle with Amanda. I found it on par with the Onion — or for us old foggies, like the writings in the old National Lampoon. As I said in my defense of her a year ago, I saw Strumpette a refreshing diversion in a business that takes itself way too seriously. It was like a day at the circus every time I clicked.

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