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Misuse of Terms for Social Media- Expert and Guru…

It often makes me shake my head at the number of people calling themselves “Expert or Guru”… I have over the last few years been studying, incorporating and keeping up to date some with Social Media, Technology and the many different file formats that are on the Internet… It astounds me how many misuse these many file formats and the set ups and use of Social Media, when there are true professionals out there that do understand the many uses… Problem is, there are a lot people that are trying to sell him or herself as being an “Expert” or “Guru” of these new media types of communication…

An expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. An expert can be, by virtue of credential, training, education, profession, publication or experience, believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially (and legally) rely upon the individual’s opinion. Historically, an expert was referred to as a sage (Sophos). The individual was usually a profound thinker distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.

First I would say if someone were stating they are an “Expert” or “Guru”, stop and wonder if they truly are… Look at their numbers on Twitter, FaceBook and their reputations, who are they following and follow them… Look at their blog and websites, what truly warrant’s their being good at Social Media- do they have awards… And then ask yourself Are they really what they say they are, or are they just using “Buzz Words” to entice you to think they are an “Expert or Guru” of Social Media…

During the 90’s, I had a chance to see the upcoming popularity of computers hitting desktops all over the world. Along with this also came the possibility of people being able to print their own materials, what they called “Desktop Publishing”. But being an artist that also is an Illustrator and Graphic Designer, I had the chance to see so many miss use this term, often they just printing out a brochure or two or a catalog they started calling themselves Desktop Publishers, and if you where to ask a real Printer about their view, get ready for some Sailor type cussing, as they ended up having to do the Real work that Graphic Designers normally did, with getting things Truly Ready for the Printer… What is the Difference Between Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing- http://desktoppub.about.com/od/professional/f/gd_vs_dtp.htm

I have seen many websites that people have charged professional prices for, that end up being online web design software, using templates and the client’s text and a couple of photos with lots of clip art and charged HUGE amounts of money… One as an example was a local Professional Attorney who had paid for a web designer to design his business website, little did he know, the person used an online web design service with templates and used clip art… Something I could do in an hour or two of sipping coffee, but to charge $900 for that, I feel the lawyer was ripped off, and didn’t hire a true professional… Just because you buy the tools of the trade, doesn’t mean you’re a professional…

I have been doing Social media since before it had that title, using Chat in 1989 when Chat was mostly between universities and then after graduation in 94 when it was called eWorld and then changed to TalkCity… I was able to start to get free-lance design work and web design work through chatting, and my knowledge of web design… But even though that puts me in the 20 years of experience in using the internet and Social Media, I do not refer to my self as “Expert or Guru”, and find those “Professionals” and I use the term loosely, a sign they are just using a Key Phrase to attract people to think they are expert… My grandfather taught classical Organ music at Julliard for over 40 years, but never called himself an Expert though many referred to him as a Master or expert of classical Organ music…

Recently I received an invite to a Social Media event, where there are a few panelists speaking on their use of software and time on social media… Granted they all did have kinds of business that relate them as being Professionals in their fields, but I wouldn’t call this group “Expert or Guru”, do to the fact that of the 150 million people on Twitter, all of them had less then 800, and even less on Twitter… My girlfriend’s daughter who just graduated from High School in a town of only two stoplights has more followers…

So look at the numbers of followers remember that Twitter allows you to follow 2000 people before they set a 10% follower ratio to it… FaceBook, if the person is using a “Friend Page and not a Fan page, difference being the choice of a “Like Button”, they are setting up their professional area in the wrong way… All business and Organizations are suppose to by the rules of FaceBook set up a Fan Page and group pages, and not Personal pages for doing business… Personal Friend pages are just as they state, Personal and not for doing business on… it is one thing to link to your business, but FaceBook Rules state all business should be done via their more professional area… You can read the official Difference by FaceBook here: http://www.facebook.com/help/?ref=pf#!/help/?faq=12850

More often, those who are truly an Expert in Social Media, don’t use this phrase, they just advertise they are Marketers in Social media or consultants, but try to include on who can also include a Social Media Plan of action… This can include the use of Blog/s, Video, Twitter, FaceBook and possibly a few other services to link to your Main Business Website…

Remember too, a Blog is not a website and if they aren’t able to describe and explain the difference you should also wonder of their experience- the major point here is security- Blogs aren’t very secure, though you can link to secure areas for ordering, they still aren’t very secure… The simplest HTML website is the most secure… If a person doesn’t not include a Blog, twitter, FaceBook fan page, and possibly a few other 2.0 Web applications that link to your main Business website, they probably aren’t an expert at all, even if they might have lots of number followers…

Using TweepSearch, there are in Twitter over 17,000 people that have “Expert” and over 9,000 have “Guru” in their profile… If a person states in their website they are an expert and don’t have more then 2000 people following them, they really are a beginner at using this new media…

Beware of those who call themselves Expert or Guru in Social Media…


One Response

  1. I agree it’s a term used too liberally. In my business, why I consider myself pretty knowledgeable there is someone who always know more. Check out their content. Does it make sense? Do they seem like an expert. That’s why blogging is such an important tool to use in social media marketing.

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