Do we REALLY need to get our hands dirty?

I’ve been thinking about the difference between thinking and talking about social media and actually doing it. I am in the camp that you have to actually do it to get it to talk about it.

Sure, there are plenty of things you can go off about without ever experiencing yourself – life on the bottom of the sea, the inside of a star, dinosaurs, etc. But the whole point of social media is that it’s put the tools for production out there for all of us to fiddle with. Maybe the stuff that gets made isn’t always awesome, and maybe it’s misunderstood – but the thing is you CAN make it.

Apparently, not everyone agrees. In a post today on Larry Weber and the social Web, Scott Kirsner asks (tongue in cheek):

I guess it’s possible to really understand this stuff in the abstract, without really using it?

Dinosaurs we can understand in the abstract. Social media? There’s no reason NOT to get your hands dirty.

[tags]social media, Larry Weber, Scott Kirsner[/tags]

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3 thoughts on “Do we REALLY need to get our hands dirty?

  1. Tongue in cheek? Probably not. Social media is not understandable to people who don’t use it. It’s only barely understandable to people who do use it because it is in a state of constant flux and growth. I think that the premier experts are young teenaged children and they don’t have the capacity or the interest in making money with it, yet. They also don’t understand what the old world looked like and how desperately the old wants to use the new world. Just watch, when they figure that out, it will change dramatically and perhaps morph again into something not fully knowable. There isn’t enough time to fully understand it. Poof, it’s gone. You’ve gotta get your hands dirty. And by the way, we know about dinosaurs, but we don’t really know them either. Now if we could clone one, then we’d have a better expert.

  2. gpc says:

    In this case, I think Kirsner was being a little facetious given the fact that Weber does present himself as an expert but doesn’t deign to actually try these things himself.

    For the most part I don’t buy the whole “the kids get it” perspective. I’ve surveyed the staff here (about 100 people with 75% under 30 and half that under 25) and while people are using social media it is mostly Facebook or watching videos on YouTube. The ratio to creation to consumption is as lopsided in social media as it is anywhere and the people who are creating here come in all ages.

    In some ways, I think that older people may feel a greater sense of liberation – of finally having the means to make and do and say things they couldn’t in the past, while the young may simply take some of these things for granted.

  3. I totally agree with the fact that if you want to really understand social media, you definetely need to use them.
    Until then, you may talk about them, but soon or later your lack of knowledge will be discovered by those social media users who may be among his audience. (And that is just the “best image” ).

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