Social Media evangelism is kinda like this:
A lot of ideas, a lot of talk, but nobody really knows what they’re talking about. There’s anectodal evidence, there’s even some hard numbers in cases where businesses improved their sales greatly when they started engaging with customers in the Web2.0 atmosphere.
But there’s a lot of “cluetailtipinomics” out there, if I may use the expression coined by David Jones. Basically meaning (and correct me if I’m wrong) the mistaken assumption that social media IS a valid business model; rather than a means of supporting a valid business model.
There are critics who claim that social media evangelism is a bunch of fluff, that they aren’t about conversations but about self-promotion, and they do nothing for businesses.
Let’s consider Socrates, the famous Greek philosopher who lived about 2500 years ago, and is recorded largely in Plato’s dialogues. He was ridiculed in famous works like Aristophanes’ “The Clouds“. Socrates was portrayed as drifting around with his feet off the ground and his head in the clouds. He’s reputed to be a dead-beat dad, a street peddler, and more!
He’s also credited as a founding father of Western philosophy. His ideas surrounding justice, democracy and goodness are wildly influential to this day. He founded the Socratic Method, in which he asked questions, with one leading to another, eventually narrowing into a more focussed answer. This was a precursor to the scientific method of testing a series of hypotheses in order to arrive at an answer.
So, while the “Social Media Evangelist” may or may not be developing great business models, acquiring wealth or serving any immediate, measurable and practical purpose… They may be onto something. Great thoughts often come from people who are passionate enough to give their life for an ideal. And those thoughts and the people who hatched them, could be spoken of for millennia.