Anybody out there want to follow CED on Twitter? Think on that for a second and I’ll be right back to you.
I just found this in my INBOX:
Supercomm added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know Supercomm in order for you to be friends on Facebook.
A whole trade show wants to be my friend. That’s it. I have Officially Had It™ with social networking.
Facebook has its pluses, but do I really need to know that my friend Agnes is looking forward to her weekly acupuncture session? Or that my buddy Dave can’t wait for the premiere of “Imagine That”? Or that my pal Jody wants me to take a quiz that will ascertain which Rush song I am?
Turns out I’m “By-Tor and the Snow Dog” – go figure. But I digress. …
Just so there are no misunderstandings here, the answer to each of those questions above is: (Expletive deleted) no.
But I’d come to an accommodation. Those among my friends who wanted to share their lists of Songs About Insects could do so with each other, and Facebook could thrive with me popping in only every month or so, just in case.
Which brings us to Supercomm trying to friend me. Is that the stench of sweaty desperation from a show that changed its name, almost died and is trying to re-establish its brand? Yes, it is.
In our humble opinion, social networking is, by definition, a social phenomenon. I understand co-opting new applications for corporate purposes has a long tradition. The Web was a predominantly social phenomenon until about 1997 or so. Since then, it has been equal parts social and commercial. Co-opting social trends can be a successful, perhaps even profitable, endeavor.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s OK that corporations have exploited the Web, because Teradyne and Telco TV and Triscuits do not clutter my INBOX with solicitations to visit their Web sites.
But Supercomm has gone over the line. I do not want Supercomm – or ConAgra, or Cox Communications, or Canada Dry – asking to be my friend.
I especially do not want to hear from corporations via Twitter. If I were to get tweeted all day by companies about their carrier Ethernet compliances and their 10-percent-greater port densities and their SDKs for APIs, I think I would go out of my mind.
I hear tell there are companies writing applications to filter backlogs of tweets, from which I infer that some people are getting so many tweets that they save them all up to wade through later, and that process is becoming burdensome. Is it just me, or does that defeat the purpose? I’m leaning toward “that defeats the purpose.”
Seems everyone wants to get into the social networking act. My buddy Mitch Wagner over at Information Week is reporting that the U.S. military thinks it needs to figure out how to use YouTube and Twitter “to reach young people” (article here). I think most patriotic Americans will join me when I say: Oy.
And now my corporate IT department is cheerfully telling me that CED can get on Twitter, and we can start tweeting y’all as soon as I’m ready.
So all of that apparent dithering up above actually had a purpose. I am deliberately demonstrating that when it comes to the subject of using social media for corporate purposes, I am a crank, and I know it, and so on this subject I dare not rely solely on my own opinion.
So: You can get 140-character headlines from us all day. Better still, the instant I post a blog entry, we’ll send you a tweet about it. Would that be useful to you? And what about Facebook? CED wants to add you as a friend on Facebook; will you confirm that you know CED in order for you to be friends on Facebook? Send me an e-mail.