If you’re like me, you’ve noticed a massive influx of articles and pointers by new media d-bags telling you how you can increase your friends, followers and fans by five million percent in fourteen minutes. “New media d-bag” is not a term i invented, although i do wield the term “d-bag” like they’re about to take it away from me. The phrase pulls up three hundred thousand hits in Google. This is one of my favourites:
It’s enough to make you wonder what kind of impact people are having on the Internatz if they’re all about marketing, linking to paid content, and building up massive, meaningless lists of people tricked into following social media accounts. Well, enter one clear victim: LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a social network targeted at professionals. It’s like Facebook with a tie, or MySpace with socks and a shirt. You’re probably already familiar with it. You create a profile, and instead of bragging about how many cases of beer you consumed on the weekend, you write down your most up-to-date work resume lies and harass former employers into writing something nice about you.
i didn’t really appreciate LinkedIn until i discovered Groups. Groups are like LinkedIn email forums where the members share a common interest. i’ve belonged to a number of groups since late last year:
(i’m sensing a theme here … )
Since then, i’ve seen the quality of the content on these groups nosedive to the point where i can’t tell the difference between a LinkedIn group and a Snuggie commercial.
Here’s a sampling of the posts i’d see a year ago:
- Is the Casual Game Space Recession-Proof?
- LA Games Conference – looking for panelists for the topic below
- Other earning models: Is revenue share an interesting model among developers/designers?
- The Good and Bad of Strong Game Sales in Dreadful Economy
- Call for Papers: The Philosophy of Computer Games
And here’s what i see piling up in my inbox these days:
- One dollar one dollar one dollar over here one dollar
- Watches! i got watches!
- Sucky sucky! Me so horny! Me love you long time!
Is this what the new media d-bags have wrought? Is this the natural evolution of all these “1001 SEO Tips” and “Gain A Million Followers in a Minute” articles? Nearly every single post on my LinkedIn groups is a plug for a product release or service, often veiled with a headline that makes it sound like legitimate discussion. Things started going downhill on these groups when one poster would throw up headers like “Is the iPhone Gold Rush a Boon or Bane for Game Developers?”, and the ensuing post would be a recruitment scheme to get people to join his scam iPhone developer network. And the same guy posted and re-posted the same thing with different headlines and slightly re-worked wording. When i took him to task on it, he said he couldn’t help himself – he was getting so much business from LinkedIn that decorum be damned.
Now, to be completely honest, i’ve let fly the occasional self-promotion on LinkedIn. But i’m always careful to temper my marketing with useful comments, opinions and assistance. There has to be a little give with your take. My rough formula is 80% helpful, insightful community participation, 10% self-promotion, and 10% links to videos with chimpanzees riding on Segways.
And that’s the way the Internatz should be, dammit.