Saturday, December 5, 2009

One Prediction and Three Actions for 2010

I just read Amber Naslund's post in which she forgoes predictions for 2010 in favor of planning some actions for the coming year. Rather than write a huge long comment on her post I figured I'd just write a post about it myself with a big hat-tip to her for inspiring me. I LOVE the idea of actions instead of predictions for several reasons. First, because reading predictions gets tiresome. Now there are approximately a bazillion "social media gurus" out there and each and every one is bound to do their own predictions post, and those predictions are likely to all look pretty similar. Namely:

  • There will be a huge glut in hiring for social media jobs--because there already is one.

  • Facebook and Twitter will continue to grow in popularity--duh.

  • "Mobile" and "augmented reality" will be big buzzwords--because they already are.

And so on...

So me writing a post expanding on those same ideas wouldn't be very interesting, would it?

Therefore I will just add one prediction then use Amber's post as what will hopefully be the beginning of a more interesting meme--come up with a few things that I plan to do differently in 2010.

My prediction:

It will become too crowded in the social media space and mass chaos and bad blood within the space will ensue. Ok, I admit that's not really a prediction because it's already happening...but I predict it will continue to get worse. And hopefully peak and start to evolve into a space that is less about rockstars and unknowns and more about lots of different levels of specialization where people will begin finding their niches and settling in. Because there are so many facets to social media and, other than the tools, most really don't have too much in common with each other. For instance: social media marketing to boost revenue and social networking for the sake of information sharing, advancing ideas and fostering relationships. Same tools, very different methods and outcomes. One person's dream "social media" job is probably very different from another's.

Ok, for actions, here are 3...I could have kept going but I'm limiting to 3 in hopes people might actually read them.

  1. Make peace with the notion that if everyone doesn't buy into social media, the world won't end. David Gammel wrote a great post that inspired this epiphany--not that he's the first to ever say those things but after letting his post sink in for a few weeks, somehow it just resonated with me. He says in his post
    Here’s another thing: you don’t need everyone to ‘get it.’

    And you know what? He's totally right. I admit to being more of the mindset that everyone DID need to get it and it was MY JOB to show them the light. Now, after some cool conversations about this and some time to ruminate on David's post, I realize that what's important to me is helping people who want help find the best tools and strategy to achieve their goals. Not converting each and every person to a social media believer.

  2. Help bring clarity to the issues of social media titles and salaries. I've said it before and I'll say it again--I'm somewhat obsessed with this issue because it drives me crazy that there is such a lack of benchmarks in the social media job sphere. Titles,'ve got everything from VP to director to manager to unpaid intern, all with some degree of overlapping roles and with salaries all over the map. As if the confusion wasn't bad enough just for the sake of making it hard to know if you're being compensated fairly in your social media role, a recent report revealed that there is a growing disparity in social media salaries based on gender. There are enough areas in life where women are valued less than men; to have this be the case in the social media sphere too is just too much. There are so, so many amazing, smart thought leaders in this space who are female--it is NOT OK that we let ourselves be marginalized in a sphere that we dominate. My association-world friend (I can say friend now that we met in real life, right?) Ben Martin is doing a social media salary survey and I'm going to do my best to help him collect as much data as possible, because the more concrete data there is about social media roles and salaries, the harder it will be to keep disturbing trends like women being paid less than they're worth under the carpet. I know there is lots of interest in this subject because more and more of my blog traffic is coming from searches for "social media salaries"--so if you've landed on this post as a result of such a query, go check out Ben's social media salary survey.

  3. Use my powers for good. Ok, with fewer than 200 subscribers, I'm certainly no Dooce and, consequently, probably won't be getting luxury appliance manufacturers to donate stuff to women's shelters by virtue of my influence. However, I do want to put my money where my mouth is and use my knowledge of social media to promote causes I feel are worthy. Therefore, in 2010 I'm going to try to spread the word about an organization I feel is doing important work: the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). No, they are not paying me; they don't know who I am, other than a member who receives their newsletter and Friday updates, and who follows them on Twitter. Don't worry--I won't be getting too TMI on this blog, but plan to do more blogging on my other blog about de-stigmatizing mental illness. So if you're a fan of the TMI side of me, feel free to check out my personal blog.

Ok, now would usually be the time I tag a few people to see if I can get them to do their own actions for 2010 posts, but because the holidays are a busy time for everyone, I will spare people the burden of feeling they need to post about this--but if you want to, by all means, go for it and feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments of this post.

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