Wednesday 25 January 2012


How social is your social media or indeed how social are the areas of responsibility within a company dealing with the social aspects of a company and the overall well being of those within it. The first thing is that all social media are commercial operations they are not charities nor free well meaning divisions put forward for the benefit of the public at large. Even towards ourselves we have to obtain from somewhere a revenue stream in order for us to be supported and access food and shelter and live at the same time. The volumes of "social media" platforms that are entering the market are enormous especially as some companies specifically run such operations on behalf of either companies or individuals for a nominal cost and place your logo or design as a front for the next best thing in networking and boast of clientele in their millions and of a high calibre. There's very little to choose between the bad and the very bad and the soft sell that starts, then the restrictive usage that creeps in then of course that inevitable "Upgrade" upon which the world will then be available and you'll have access to the secrets of life or more likely the endless stream of "wannabes" and hopefuls who have nothing better to do.

Like most new entrants into a market, the originals usually survive because they evolve, some don't but many do, they learn as they go on initially without competition and their brand name starts to get a fix too, which helps in it becoming almost generic in nature. Bit by bit there are those who jump on the bandwagon which is not a bad for competition but not that often do they reach the size or stature of the original. The few exceptions are hotel chains and restaurants etc, but copycats have really to pull a 'rabbit' out of the hat to make an impression and few have that kudos. But going back to the social aspect of life, interaction between people in theory is great, let's have more of it, people talking to people getting a better understanding of life, the world, issues, problems, whatever it is that you need to get off your chest you can do so, to as many or as few as you deem expedient. So where's the catch, there isn't one really but the bottom line is for most people except the small "Social media / networking" platforms that seek to make money out of the desperate as they have to be housed and run, and that costs, is data. In come the marketing teams, the PR teams and the new Social Media teams all gathering statistics and data and then advertising revenue follows hopefully to perpetuate the platform and increase and logistically grow it into a mammoth enterprise, which a few are today.

Social media is now a part of marketing, it's no longer that of a "benefit" anymore with a moral undertone, not that there is anything immoral about what is executed today, but Social media is rigorously implemented into a structure that commands knowledge and is encrypted with subliminal searches for "buzz words" messages, types, styles, phrase, mixing and matching with the speed of light to find patterns and algorithms that set a president and a pace way beyond the often mundane chit chat of system users. There's very little that's social about any organisation or enterprise today, companies are by nature becoming mean, cold, aloof, distanced, even contacting a company today is almost a feat of dexterity and trying to actually talk to someone in a company is akin to a nightmare. It was once deemed that banks and airlines always had advertising ahead of the product, i.e. they extolled the virtues of their product but never lived up to the reality of people enjoying it, today almost every company has joined in the affray by writing so many conditions and exclusions into the identity of the product that whats offered is applicable to an ideal model and not a general use by the average public.

Social media is what it is, it's good and great and if you decide that joining one of the many up and coming ventures for a fee that will overnight put you in touch with millions of others then at least you know you are not entrepreneurial, that you are a "wishing and hoping" type of person, a small time player seeking greater kudos. You can pick and choose who you have in your circle of friends which is ideal, but you can also get hooked on having an almost impossible following striking up new "friends" every day as an excitement and entertainment and forget last weeks new people over this weeks new people, and as for those the week before, you can't remember a thing. Nothing in life is without repercussions and events, what can be great for some can be a downfall for others. The word social today has less of a humanitarian aspect to it, it has less regard for moral issues and well being, it's now part of marketing, and that means somewhere down the line they are after your money. 

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©John Rushton / The Life Alchemist 2012

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