November 23rd, 2010 by Tim Greenhalgh
Milo Yiannopoulos had a hissy fit at the Telegraph this week. [click on hissy} Strange, because he usually walks the sometimes intelligent middle line. He spluttered, raged and nearly cursed against the â€œblood-sucking social media gurusâ€ that have inserted themselves, much like a virus, into the corporate body of UK business since 2007.
The immediate antecedents and provocations that engineered his rant are open to discussion as is his key point that purveyors of social media expertise are salespeople that use snake oil to shower daily.
There is no doubt that there are many, often young, inexperienced, people in the UK now who have seen the promised land in much the same way that people saw a similar online chimera in the mid to late 1990s. And in a similar way, they have nothing to offer.
That Milo mentioned a single company, which in his eyes, is doing the right thing in social media is confusing but no matter. More important is the insertion of his influential, if emotive, ideas into the commercial body of the UK at a time when the right ideas about social media engagement are sorely needed.
In my experience, companies are uncertain, scared and unwilling to engage socially with the very thing they must engage with â€“ the consumer who is in control.
Miloâ€™s exposition may win friends on the conservative side of business who intuitively feel the need to regain control of the relationship with consumers. This is not a practical view because that level of control has gone, forever.
It would have been more positive for Milo to rage against the â€˜chimeristsâ€™ but at the same time to place social media more strongly at the centre of developing UK commerce, which is where it belongs; more, where it actually is.
Interestingly for me, he does not offer a new path, methodology or explanation of social media. Put simply, he rages but does not explain. If Milo was serious about the need for ways to engage with social media, he should have enriched his bluster with effective ideas.
Does that mean he dismisses social media? Apparently not. He points out the pathfinder quite clearly but does not go any further. That is a shame.
Iâ€™m with Milo on the dissolution of the insidious snake oilers, and this will certainly happen. But Iâ€™d hope he would look wider and see the many, many people who are working to engage, make stronger connections and build UK businesses through social media.
A propos of little, hereâ€™s one of my top five songs. It may have bearing on the trifle above, more likely not.