Don’t believe the hype

I think we’ll do a whole series of infographics. Infographics are such a useful learning tool… but they can also be so misleading. I came across this one on Pamorama’s list of 35 Great Social Media Infographics.  It’s from Social Reflexion. Is it great? What’s your opinion?


[an elaborate flowchart showing the billions of visitors you'll imagine you could get when your content magically gets bounced around every social media platform]

 It has its strong points: it is a good illustration of what can happen after you post great content. Sure, it can ricochet around the internet like it’s in a really high-scoring pinball machine.

But this infographic reminds me of that South Park episode with the underwear gnomes. “Step one: stealing underwear! Step two…. Step three, profit!!”

It’s like, “Step one: create content. Step two…. Step three, profit!!”

I just enjoy how their graphic implies that your content will automatically hit Digg’s front page (Digg? How old is this graphic?), that when one member of your audience posts it on Facebook you will somehow get all of their 126,000,000 unique visitors… and if it’s great, it can even end up on AOL or Yahoo! (If it’s not great, how did it end up on somebody’s Facebook status, much less on the front page of Reddit?)

What made me sad was this comment on the Digital Buzz blog: “Oh how I’d love to get a few posts onto DIGG’s home page! ” That’s how images like this make people feel, right? We’re rubbing our hands together, gazing with longing at the juicy promises being dangled before us. That could be you! Why haven’t you made it onto all of the front pages yet? Why aren’t you featured content on AOL or Yahoo?

Don’t believe the hype. That box at the top is more important than anything underneath it.

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we tend to gaze longingly at the gleaming, juicy, wonderful internet. Here’s the thing: YOU are the one who makes it an amazing place to be, as much as anybody else does.

YOU can create the wonderful things that people come here to find.

YOU can be the authority, the star, the entertainer, the helpful friend. Your content can be twice as “sticky” for your intended audience as anything they scroll past on Twitter or Reddit. You can share information that creates so much joy, so much enthusiasm, so much “brand loyalty”, that the idea of trying to make it onto the front page of whatever never even crosses your mind.

If your focus is on crashing their party, your content will look like everybody else’s. Throw a good enough party of your own, and people will come to you.

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