Mia Dand at the Marketing Mystic blog had an interesting post the other day where she asked if Social Media is only about influence. The spark behind her post was the impression that she has been getting lately that many of the so-call experts in the field are evangelizing this – as she puts it – uni-directional model which seeks to confine social media to this single purpose.
She goes on to point out that this influence management model is based on the idea of leveraging a handful of influencers in order to reach (influence) a large audience because it is a more effective model than trying to create a 1:1 relationship.
The sad part about this; and where Social Media is getting hijacked, is that it isn’t about a one-to-many relationship. Social Media is about something much larger than managing influence. It is about the many having a say and an influence over the few (general those in positions of some sort of power, whether it be political or business). It is also about a many-to-many relationship where common ground is found from which change can be brought about.
Social Media isn’t – and it shouldn’t be bastardized into being – the voice of a favored select few just because they can get big numbers on services like Twitter or Facebook or any other social web oriented service. Unfortunately this is what is happening which doesn’t bode well for the long term viability of a social web.