The definitive metaphor for social media

There has been a rush with the social media consultant groups and evangelists about how to define this thing called “social media.” Chris Brogan defined it as cafe-shaped conversation. And many people jumped on that metaphor.

Hubspot got a bit lively when they published a video and blog post about not measuring ROI on social media. That got a lot of comments, many which attempted to define social media so it can be measured.

It seems like everyone is struggling to define this thing called Social Media and how it correctly fits into how business will be conducted. While social media may be better defined as the elephant in the room with five blind men, a perfect metaphor popped into my head this morning when I sent someone a link to MildFire and their response was, “How do you find this stuff?!?”

The real answer was I grabbed it off a Twitter stream as I was sitting and zoning between tasks. But, the answer I heard coming out of my mouth was: “It’s like this huge asteroid belt that flies by my desk all day long.. something catches my eye and I reach and grab it. Sometimes it is a shiny rock, sometimes it is a nugget of gold.”

So, the definitive metaphor — at least for Twitter — is it is an asteroid belt.

As for MildFire, I’m not sure yet if they are a nugget of gold or a shiny rock, so they go into the drawer until I have time to asses their value.

4 Replies to “The definitive metaphor for social media”

  1. I have to argue that a tool (Twitter, social media) which was not designed to serve one specific purpose or niche market, cannot have a definitive definition. Social Media in general serves a multitude of purposes, as it was designed to “BE” what ever a “USER” defines it as.
    For a dog, i would have guessed it would be a huge “Poop Scoop”, not something as powerful as an astroid belt.. Nor do I believe the short term “pop stars” or social media will all turn into “Guy” type god’s in the long run. Too much emphasis on one marketing outlet without tangible cash flow production, will eventually undermine any company. Balance should be sought.

Comments are closed.