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Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to DevelopYour Business Online by Chris Brogan

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Chapter 11. Snake Oil in Social Media

Justin Kownacki, creator and producer of the hit Web sitcom, Something to Be Desired,[61] friend, PodCamp Pittsburgh organizer, and many other things, had a great post[62] questioning what qualifies someone to be a social media expert. Quite rightly, he questioned me about my application of the term expert to my experiences and understanding of the space. In this community, it's important to question, to be critical, and to keep our motives and our expression of these things clear and transparent. This led me to consider the label of "expert" and to parse what it might mean to people seeking information in the social media space.

EXPERT OR ADVISER

Hours after reading that post by Justin, I was rereading a part of David Maister's Strategy and the Fat Smoker, an excellent book on how to get people to do the things they know they should be doing. Maister points out that labeling oneself an expert is sending the signal that the expert is in control, that he or she is to be heeded above others, and that the client needs the expert to complete the transaction.

Maister goes on to say that an adviser, on the other hand, is someone in a relationship with the client, someone who wants to offer opinions based on his or her experience, while adding into the mix a level of give-and-take and conversation. An expert, in Maister's parlance, is someone seeking a one-night stand, whereas an adviser is someone looking for romance. (I highly recommend Strategy and ...

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