Browsing the web I’ve come to the conclusion that everyone is an expert these days. It used to be you went to school for years and years, read everything on your topic, and published articles and books in your field and then, and only then, you were considered an expert in your field. It doesn’t seem that is the case anymore, especially with emerging technologies and trends. I’m looking at you Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Experts.
SEO Experts are charlatans trying to sell you snake oils. Many of them are extremely shady, using shady processes to get the “guaranteed” results. You’re not an expert because you’re able to get your website higher in the rankings on Google, especially since it is a field that Google can switch up at the drop of a hat and especially since their complete algorithm is still secret. I concede that there are things you can do to get your rankings higher, but because you know those things that will get you closer to the top does not make you an expert. Anyone with a few minutes of time and an internet connection can find your entire wealth of knowledge on the subject. In fact, any web developer should do those things as standard practice. I could go on and on about the shady practices of many of these so-called experts (I’m sure as soon as I publish this post I’ll get a ton of spam because I said SEO) but let me tell you about the other group of experts I really can’t stand: Social Media Experts.
Social Media Experts have to be the most arrogant, full of hot air, BS spewing people in the world. Just because you have MySpace, Facebook and Twitter doesn’t mean you’re an expert. Yes, your degree might be in marketing or advertising, so you may know how to reach an audience, but because you also know how to get on the internet doesn’t mean you are a Social Media Expert. Wow, so you signed up your company on Facebook, Youtube, Digg, and Twitter. Big deal. You are a user. You want to know who the real social media experts are? People who came up with the software you’re using to promote your crappy products and services. MySpace was a great idea. They found their niche in artists and hit it early on (anyone remember Soundclick? They failed.). Facebook did the same thing (Oh, how I long for the days when it was just the people you went to college with on FB). Twitter took a simple idea and let it explode. These companies are the real experts in social media (even if Twitter has still yet to make a dime). Because you use it for your company, makes you a user, not an expert. Come up with something original for your company and make it truly social, then we’ll talk (and no, your Ning site doesn’t count). Until then, please stop promoting your BS and remove the title from your resume. It might as well read that you are the leader of the Republic of Elbonia. Means just as much to me.
(Edit: I know I’ve ranted about some of this before but something set me off at work and I felt I needed to rant more).