Web Traffic Secrets has recently posted a collection of videos of Seth Godin in which he discusses the ways in which Social Media can be a waste of time.
Even scratching the surface of Social Media takes time. It takes effort to become familar with blogging applications and the myriad of networking, bookmarking, and aggregating applications that support and interconnect with them. Much has been posted on becoming aware of the dreaded ‘Time Vampire’.
Is Seth saying anything new though? Imagine if I baked a cake today with scant knowedge of cooking, the ability to understand and follow recipes, and ineptitude in the cooking process. If the cake I baked didn’t rise and didn’t taste very nice then I might conclude that ‘cooking’ was a waste of time. Obviously it isn’t.
Take a look at any major management initiative of the last 15 years and the same reasoning can apply. Many management fads have been written off as ‘wastes of time’ when they have been deemed to have failed. Business Process Re-engineering, TQM, Organisational Learning, Searching for Excellence, CRM, etc.
Social Media is no different to any of these. You waste time with them if you don’t devote time to gain a deep and true understanding of their philosophy and intent. You waste time if you don’t devote time to drawing out the value and purpose of the activity. You waste time if you don’t devote time to continually questioning your reasons for doing something.
The only way you will waste time with Social Media is because you have a half-baked understanding of it.