BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

A bit of a rant ...

I realize that it's probably sort of "meta" posting about this on LiveJournal, but I've been thinking about the proliferation of social media platforms. Now, as readers of this space know, I've been in a LONG (and demoralizing) job search, in which Social Media plays a significant role (both as a vehicle for my search, and a featured skill set), so it's something that I've been rather immersed in over the past few years.

Every few months, something "new" pops up and is the "new shiny" thing that's getting buzz and traction. Recently this has been Pinterest, but it's previously been Empire Avenue, FourSquare, and dozens of others. I find myself in a somewhat unfortunate position that, as I'm applying to a wide array of jobs (in which various programs/platforms/etc. might be on the hiring managers' wish lists), I'm having to develop at least a familiarity with every new thing that comes out. Frankly, on most of these I don't see their usefulness, and especially as a "business tool" ... but there will always be some would-be "social media guru" trying to "build their brand" by cranking out blog posts about "How {current hot platform} Is ESSENTIAL For Your Business", which some bean-counter at a company gets wind of and the next thing you know it's listed as something for which they're looking for a hire who has five years experience in managing it (this is a bit of an in-joke for the Social Media job scene, as frequently one will run across "requirements" for experience in a platform which run many times the length of time that said platform ... or even category ... has been in existence!).

The fact that I've been looking for work across a wide spectrum of "communication" jobs (PR, digital, writing/editing/design, meeting planning, video/audio, web development, and, of course, social media), has produced a situation where I've had to be somewhat defensive in any given situation in that, while I may be conversant on a listed program (to pull a name out the air, Adobe Creative Suite, for instance), and up-to-speed with similar open-source programs (and so looking at a very brief learning curve), I'm likely to never have had the opportunity to have worked with the (very expensive) "industry standard" program being specified on a requirement wish-list for a particular job. Multiply this across a dozen job categories, and you get the sense of my frustration.

I guess that this is the "realistic" downside to the "polymath/Renaissance-Man" position ... everybody out there is looking for a "ninja" or "rock star" version of the particular mindless gear that will fit in the empty space in their machine ... somebody that can be dropped in now (and not in a week or so once I've figured out where the various buttons are in a program) and have all the wheels spin.

The same is becoming true in the Social Media space ... something comes along and, now matter how much of a stretch it is for being a brand marketing vehicle for most operations (didn't anybody learn anything from Second Life?), somebody will be out there flogging it as the new can't-not-have platform, and the next job description will be fixated on how you've successfully implemented this previously (even if it doesn't have a "previously").

This all popped into my head thanks to a combination of a lot of "ink" (the digital version) on Pinterest of late (which everybody seems to want to go all-in with because it drives so much web traffic ... despite having a dynamic that is inherently counter to almost all IP laws, and is increasingly being blocked and/or generating suits), and Tweets I've read about "hot new things" which at the latest shiny out there. Personally, I don't "get" Pinterest (yes, I have an account, but have never managed to find anything that makes sense to be to "pin on a board" ... although I've had this explained to me as "because I'm a boy", and Pinterest is the "grown up" version of my 12-year-old daughter printing out pictures of Johnny Depp to tape up on the walls of her room!), but it's an example of something that I still need to "know about" ... predictably, there's been a cascade of "similar" services out there, but I suspect they're all going to be short lived (in their current forms) once the legal issues get worked out.

Anyway, needed to rant ... and you're the lucky readers who get to see it.

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