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What do you spend time on when you’re stuck in an airport? While killing time in the San Diego airport for nearly 5 hours last week, I started thinking about things in life I don’t understand. Here are 21 things that I still don’t understand about social media. Most of them, I probably never will, but if you’ve got some ideas about any of them, please share your social media insights!

1. How Chris Brogan is such a rock star on Twitter (and in social media circles), but when you ask a large non-social media conference crowd if they’ve heard of Chris Brogan, two people raise their hands?

2. The reverence granted some people who have lots of followers, update all the time, and yet are clearly banal.

3. Spammers who use egg avatars along with every other clue signaling they are spammers. If you’re going to spam, maybe you could at least try and be a BIT mysterious about it.

4. Why people flock to narcissism and all other kinds of blatantly self-serving content?

5. The perennial popularity of stale quotes on Twitter.

6. Blog posts I care about intensely getting overlooked.

7. Blog posts that feel thrown together receiving lots of attention.

8. Companies who treat Twitter as if every tweet is a 140-character press release.

9. Why people think we care about the personal crap they share ALL the time?

10. Why most people tweeting “FTW” seem like “losers”?

11. The fascination with bacon and the term “douchebag.”

12. The need for people to describe themselves as “gurus,” “experts,” and “mavens.”

13. Who to friend and not on Facebook. (My list is a mishmash . . . I have to admit)?

14. Professional people over 40 who refuse to do anything with social media.

15. Unmitigated enthusiasm for all things social media.

16. Unmitigated antagonism for all things social media.

17. How the aggregation of people with scant, but disparate, knowledge results in exquisite insight?

18. People who dump 10 automated feed tweets in a minute and then go silent until their next dump.

19. The apparent willingness to let marketers have access to essentially all parts of your Facebook account.

20. The hatred, in general, for most of the “Mike Browns” mentioned on Twitter.

21. How behavior that could only be judged as “bitchy” in real life, is enough to attract and sustain a huge following online? – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call 816-509-5320 to learn how we can develop an integrated social media strategy for your brand.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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16 Responses to “21 Things I Don’t Understand about Social Media”

  1. Alexis says:

    LOL!!!!! I agree with all and #18 resonates with me the most!   Fools. 

  2. Kscanlon says:

    You had me especially with #2, #11, and #21. What’s with that stuff, anyway?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Who knows Kelly? 2 and 21 are among the biggest mysteries for me too!

  4. Good list of questions, with emerging technologies things don’t always makes sense. I’m also especially puzzled by number 6 and 7 – and guess it relates to knowing what our audience wants instead of what we think they want. Gauging the popularity serves as kind of barometer and that’s helpful but still often puzzling.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think no matter how well you know your audience, David, there are random and impossible to know factors which seem to dictate what people react to when it comes to subjective things, such as blog content. That makes it a bit of a numbers game: keep putting content out there and learn what you can from what resonates and doesn’t. 

  5. tannerc says:

    It’s the things we don’t understand that we must pursue. Or something.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ll get right on that, Tanner . . . the pursuing part. Or the “or something” part. Still have to decide.

  6. Joe Cox says:

    Great post Mike!  

    How about:  Why are auto-responders on Twitter so damn popular still?  

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a great one Joe!

      Sheree Johnson also added “Why do some people consistently use Social Media sites as their shrink?”

  7. Why do people apologize for errors in their tweets when they can just delete them?

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