I have this shout-it-from-the-rooftops mentality when something threatens my world and SOPA would be a good example to illustrate the kind of proselytizing I've been doing lately. While it seems that the great majority of those in my circle have taken action to contact their representatives and discuss it with others via Twitter and Facebook, there is one faction of personage that, shockingly, I have not seen active in evangelizing the message against SOPA - Indy's supposed social media elite.
I would like to know why, when such a egregious bill is presented before our elected leaders to debate, those that stand the most to lose from it are silent? When a human is facing a threat of some kind, a fight-or-flight response kicks in. However, in this case, it seems that a majority of so-called social media experts have chosen flight over fight. I'd like to know why, although I'm pretty certain already of why this is.
Social media experts have no response because it's painfully clear that they have no clue what they're doing. They cannot form a cognizent thought regarding SOPA because they really have no knowledge on the subject and therefore cannot speak intelligently on the matter. They want to save themselves from who they really are deep down - marketing professionals that wanted to "get with it" and join the 21st century. It's clear to me, now more than ever, that these "social media experts" are nothing more than overqualified college degrees who have run amok in society, feeding the poor bastards that pay them for the priviledge of being misled under the guise of consultancy.
Let me be clear: just because you know how to use Twitter doesn't make you a social media expert. Just because you know how to upload a video to YouTube, doesn't make you a social media expert. Just because you have 5,000 friends on Facebook, doesn't make you a social media expert. Getting lucky with a few clients you've fed advice to a handful of times, doesn't make you a social media expert, guru, or scientist. It does, however, make you a new media douchebag.
Those that seem to know the most about social media and content production are those that specifically don't use the label of "expert/guru/scientist". They are the one's who call themselves ghost writers, content specialists, and bloggers. It is these people who are doing the true grunt work of the industry, not those that choose to puff up their resumes with false titles and ego-inflating bravado.
While most have stayed silent, some have chosen to make their voice heard - in their own little groups. Ultimately this benefits no one and it only stands to serve their own self-inflated egos about who they really are. They should be asking everyone they come in contact with to take action rather than make a time-sensitive blog post to capture their essence in a wrapped up package, designed to sell their image, rather than effect real change. The television and cable media aren't covering this groundbreaking story because they stand to gain from it. Therefore it is up to the social media types to spread the word (aren't they always preeching about content, message, and "going viral"?), but they're failing to do it. I've heard things like:
"This bill is so ridiculous that it will never pass." "People are still debating it in committee and it's nothing to worry about right now." "DCMA is a better system and when compared to SOPA, it's obvious that will never succeed."
This isn't the time for triteness or complacency. This is the time for action. Assuming that it's garbage (which it is), isn't an appropriate response. Those who truly understand how our political system works know that the heart and soul of a law is formed in committee. Rarely does the spirit of the law change entirely when it gets to the House or Senate. If you think that the power of lobbying dollars by Big Cable and Big Media aren't powerful enough to have trash like SOPA passed into law, you're more than sadly mistaken, you're flat-out naive.
It's become painfully clear that this is why social media experts have been so silent on SOPA - because they aren't truly experts: they are naive psuedo-professionals that fail to understand the basic concepts of American government. For all the bitching they do about how the Judicial Committee are a bunch of old dudes who don't understand TCP/IP and how DNS works, these experts too are the dudes that don't understand how the game is played.
Much like our politicians, they too are just frauds with a title.