Image by: Deviant Art
If you have been following my blog, thank you if you have and Facebook-like to you, you will have noticed the first ever blog post on Tweet That! was about the Kony 2012 campaign. Here, I am referring to my post on 23 April.
I thought this Disney style story, pitching the villains against the hero’s, would be a good place to start the, “once upon a time” of my blog.I’m still not sure if I was right, but never the less, onward we march into May, month number two of Tweet that!
What a highlighted in the post was the potential of social media and networking to initiate the viral. I do not mean the small infectious kind of viral that hops in and yells “open gates” to all his friends in your immune system. Instead I mean the kind of viral that yells “open gates” in your newsfeed and timeline instead. The kind that can cause an issue to take over in a couple of minutes, infecting you with a potentially deadly case of, “Oh my word, did I really just read about Kony on my Facebook again?”
The comments I received on this blog post, however, were perhaps even more important than my sarcasm-infused opinions on this issue. Once again, another virtual High-5 (Facebook-like), to you dear reader.
Comments on my post raised the issue of content. What happens if the entire Kony 2012 Campaign is rubbish? Why does the fact that Kony 2012 went viral even matter, if it’s all a hoax?
Social media undoubtedly has the potential to springboard all kinds of rumors. Most of them, even more misguided than Lindsay Lohan. For example poor James Blunt had a busy week this past week, after having died on Thursday as result of cardiac arrest.
He later commented on his death by tweeting, “Not sure if this rumor is true or not, but if so, I can report that the afterlife looks remarkably like London. http://fb.me/1KbyAxVMY”.
Look at that, God is British.
Although this would make for a much more interesting blog post if he was actually tweeting from some sort of European heaven, James Blunt, unfortunately for you dear reader, was actually still very much alive. Obviously! I mean everybody knows there’s no internet connectivity in heaven!
A mischievous or more likely just extremely bored 20 year old student spread this rumor on an internet site, created to look like CNN. A few people read it and before James Blunt could skip a heartbeat he was “dead”. Dead and then alive. Jesus Blunt.
And so this entire “viral” parable meant absolutely nothing in the omega. A whole lot of nothing.
Social Media after all is just the distribution phase of any idea. Although social media can relay information to feed the 5000, it can’t change water into wine. It can’t make nothing, something.
The fact that Jesus Blunt’s death went viral, didn’t make it any more true. It didn’t make it mean more. At the end of the day it was still just rubbish.
This brings home the idea that as professional communicators, we need to focus on the content of our media. The viral nature of media doesn’t matter in so much as the quality of our content does. Why jump around like a chubby kid at Easter when your content goes viral, if you’re content doesn’t mean anything to anyone?
Social media is just the distribution phase of any piece of information. Let’s invest more energy in creating valuable content.
Sure let’s milk the social media cow. But more importantly let’s milk the social media cow right.
Please have a look at my Podcast on this issue.