How little do people understand about how social networks work and how should we relate to that reality?
Why don’t people understand Social Web 101 by now? I imagine the literal answer is “because they’re busy, success doesn’t seem accessible, there aren’t good role models, people are disinclined to experiment, etc.” But sometimes I’m still in shock.
This morning Gary Vaynerchuck put up a blog post pointing out that anyone can post to a hashtag and be discovered by people who click on that hashtag, whether their content is “on brand” or relevant to the originator of the hashtag or not. How little attention are people paying to the internet that they need to be told this? Are they talking about hashtags but never, ever clicking on one in the wild? (Here’s one for Twitter: #workingoutloud)
I’m just going to come out and say it: hashtags are not ownable. Period. https://t.co/EUxRpU1wvH
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) February 11, 2015
Last night I was listening to an episode of my new favorite podcast, the Geek Whisperers (“Social Media and the Employee Clone Army“) and Amy Lewis said that she talks to people regularly who ask her “people on the internet – how can I make them listen to me?”
Amy laughed and said the secret is clearly: be interesting.
But I don’t know that it’s a laughing matter. Is the networked social world so radically unlike everything that’s ever existed before that it’s unreasonable to expect people to pay attention and experiment a little?
Sometimes I think “this is a great opportunity to help people learn, there’s so much opportunity!” But other times I think like Amy Lewis said, let’s give people access to tools and get out of their way. Either they’ll embrace them or they won’t, there’s no sense trying to force horses to drink water.
Anyone else’s thoughts about how best to relate to the apparent mystery of all this would be much appreciated.