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The Art of Community, Second Edition by Jono Bacon

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Chapter 6. Social Media

“In labouring to be concise, I become obscure.”

Horace

You are all wonderful people. Every last one of you; even you, Peter in Boston.[2] You are all so smart, so intelligent, and…have you lost weight?

Astute readers may have detected a hint of ass-kissing. Well, guilty as charged. This is not without good reason, though; unfortunately, I am going to say something that might not sit well with some of you. I would be remiss, though, if I wasn’t honest and frank with you lovely, intelligent, attractive…forgiving…people.

Social media is completely overrated.

OK, now that we have that gristly chunk out on the table, I can try to claw back your respect and explain exactly what I mean.

Back in May 2008 I sat in a hotel in Prague in the Czech Republic at the twice annual Ubuntu Developer Summit. On the sleepy Sunday afternoon before the event started I was working in the lobby with a group of colleagues and community members. One of those community members was Alan “popey” Pope, a friend of mine who I got to know through LugRadio and who was an active member of the Ubuntu community.

That afternoon, Alan and a few others were raving about Twitter, which at the time was starting to build momentum but was still largely the forte of geeks and computer nerds. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Twitter, it is a website in which people can send short messages and follow one another’s messages.

Alan had become a big fan of Twitter and extolled the many benefits, uses, and ...

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