Is this the end of the social media purists?

Jason Falls

I have never used this community to comment on another person’s blog but today I’m just so happy, so enthralled, so downright giddy that I could kiss my keyboard.  One of the social media purists has finally discovered the bright, clear light of capitalism.

And it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy — Jason Falls.  Jason is one of my favorite bloggers but has historically been one of the stalwart “keepers of the conversation.”  You know the type — the social media country clubbers who set the industry’s tone with a relentless mantra of “it’s all about connection” and “conversation” and “relationships.”  In fact, a few months ago, Jason went so far as to write that any company expecting to make money off of social media will fail.

But a new day is dawning.  Yesterday, in a post entitled “Why Social Media Purists  Won’t Last,” he wrote:

Each time I discuss the business goals or reasons why a client wants to use social media, the answers come down to one thing: selling more stuff. It’s a harsh business reality. If you don’t make money, the business goes under. If you don’t make more money, people lose their jobs.”

The social media purists have laid down the law and, so, to participate in social media as a business, you must do things like, “participate in the conversation,” “engage your customers,” and “talk with us not to us.”

I’ve got news for you. In the world of business, all that talk will get you exactly nowhere. Conversations do not ring the cash register. Engagement does not sell more product. Talking with people just means you have to take time to listen which prevents you from spending valuable time selling more product.

Halleluia.  Maybe I’ll finally have some company out here in the social media netherworld of business rationality.

And if this isn’t enough reason to celebrate, read what the Ultimate Blogging Machine Chris Brogan wrote just a month ago:

Think Like a Business – if you’re in this for business, always ask yourself how this work ties to more sales (and if you’re not trying to make money, think of “sale” as whatever you hope to convert. Hint: it’s not “more audience.”). If you’re just writing to write, shooting video to get it up there, tweeting because people said you should, rethink all that. Decide what’s going to ring your register and work on that.

What???  Ring the register?  Not seeking “more audience?”  Could this be an era of enlightenment for the guy who recently yelled at his audience:  “This is NOT about you and your STUPID COMPANY” ?

What’s happening around here?  My guess is that both have recently had a big dose of the real world.  Falls went out on his own and had to come out from behind the P&L  protectionism of agency life.  Brogan’s sudden emergence on a bigger stage probably got him in front of experienced business people instead of the sycophants who dutifully re-tweet his every blog, bluster and burp.

So this begs a new question.  Are my days as a contrarian coming to an end?  I mean if Brogan’s in, the burp tweeters will fall right in line. If the social media elite are finally figuring it out, what do I write about now?  Hmmm.  How about, “It’s all about the conversation?”  : )

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