Five things about social media I’d be thankful to see change

Used w/o permission from Hugh McLeod's Social Media Strategist Series (
Used w/o permission from Hugh McLeod's Social Media Strategist Series (

So the week before and during the Thanksgiving Holiday I was on overload with family stuff, house stuff, work stuff, music blog stuff — you know, stuff.

But like anyone who uses the words “social media strategist” AND “egoist” in his bio, you would think I would pay closer attention to my Google Alerts.

Looks like Mr. Mike Keliher tagged me on a pretty compelling topic, “Five things about social media you’d be thankful to see change. That is, things you don’t like or could be better.”

I know it’s past the day we all eat turkey and forget to be thankful, but I’m going for it. And I’m feeling cynical and snarky, so you can tell I’m a blogger.

#1 Ageism: I was taught, and more or less still believe, old age equals wisdom. Have a major life decision to make? Ask your parents or grandparents. Naively think Obama will change the world in his first 100 days? Ask someone who has lived through more than 10 Presidential elections…you get the idea. So when I was 15, I knew lots of older people who drove cars. They taught us in driver’s education classes that the more experience you had driving a car, the better you would be. My great-grandparents even still drove their car at the time. They must’ve been great drivers, right? But what happens when you’re the older person — the Baby Boomer or Traditionalist — and you’re being exposed to new theories and technologies that make you anxious? You either fear it, dismiss it or seek out information to understand it. The continuing misperception that young people are wasting time or not investing in worthwhile activities through social media is getting old (pun intended) and something I would be thankful to see change.

With that comes #2, the Continuing Education Gap: When did marketers start thinking they could stop learning once they mastered the 30 second spot and how to write a press release? Humans evolve. Technology evolves. Let’s all agree that nothing is constant and see if we can stay on the bleeding edge more than once a decade. Attending a Webinar once a month or listening to a panel of “experts” share their opinions on the evolving marketing industry is a great start. But it’s a start. You didn’t get that college degree by showing up to class once. I would be thankful to see the education gap narrow.

#3 Twitter evangelizing: I’ve been a Twitter power user for so long, I’m utterly exhausted at explaining what Twitter is, why it’s essential, it’s potential impact and how it’s the only reason I have friends in Minneapolis (true, btw). I’ve proselytized the Twitter doctrine to the skeptical, recently converted and fellow brethren, and more recently, have been hoping for it’s rivals to make a stand for the next generation of mobile networking. I heart Twitter more than I can stand, would pay them for reliable service and praise the portal to anyone who asks. However, I can’t wait for it to die so the next big thing will rise in its place. I would be thankful for it to hurry up and happen.

#4 Blogging software: Supposedly Blogger, WordPress and Typepad have made blogging so easy that anyone can do it! Well, they can if they either want a crappy looking templated blog or know CSS, HTML and other programming that I don’t know enough to even write about. I would be thankful if a company made free blogging software that was fully customizable without knowing a speck of code, allows for widgets, custom headers and doesn’t require me to know how to install/update it on a server. is on WordPress 2.0 because I have no idea how to install the new version on my server. is on and doesn’t let me customize it all all. Perhaps I am just stupid and this is easy. In that case, I would be thankful to see that change, as well.

#5 Slow internet: I live in Chaska, MN – home of one of the state’s first municipal wi-fi networks, and it’s slow as hell. But you know what? Even my cable internet is too slow. How are we supposed to fully transition to a fully integrated, connected, video culture if all of my neighbors and I are subject to bandwith meters that discourage us from pushing the Web to its full potential? This is like buying a Ferrari and installing a governor to ensure you never go faster than 50 mph. I would be so ever thankful to see this change.

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One thought on “Five things about social media I’d be thankful to see change

  1. 1) It’s never too late to be snarky…er, thankful, I mean.

    2) I’m with you on #3. But when that next thing comes along, aren’t we going to have the same trouble explain the magic of that?

    3) You need this: the WordPress automatic upgrade plug-in. It’s awesome. I’ve given money to the guy that made it. It’s saved piles of time and, more important, brain power.

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