R.I.P. Claude-Jean Bertrand
On the death of a highly regarded media owner

Social media is too important to leave to self-proclaimed experts

Social media is something you have to engage with yourself to fully understand.

I've previously voiced my fears about how many companies seem to believe they can outsource that whole 'Web 2.0 thing', leave it to third party providers, though just where I made that point escapes me right now (Update 29/11: I made a few notes on this here and here). However, this is good stuff:

I've seen this post by Reuter's CEO, Tom Glocer, widely linked up (and deservedly) commended during the last few days, but Adriana, as always, brings some interesting thoughts to the mix. Here's my favourite part of Adriana's post (full post here):

"Tom Glocer is spot on about the nature of expertise. Recently I noticed how people in business are starting to approach learning about social media second-hand, listening to the self-proclaimed experts* rather than jumping straight in themselves:

I believe that unless one interacts with and plays with the leading technology of the age, it is impossible to dream the big dreams, and difficult to create an environment in which creative individuals will feel at home. This does not mean that the ceo needs to program a third-party app on Facebook, but I believe it is ultimately more useful in understanding business concepts like viral marketing, crowd-sourcing or federated development to use a live example rather than wait for the Harvard Business Review article to appear in three years time.

We should all feel comfortable to follow our own paths. What counts is the results, not living-up to some outdated view of what “work” looks like in the 21st century.

"Indeed. This is an area of exploration that no CEO or other executive should leave to others. If part of the job of a business leader is to see the big picture, well, there is no more distinct big picture out there than what is happening at the crossroads of the web, technology, media and human interactions within networks and outside traditional organisations and institutions.

"*For the record, rather than consider myself an expert on social media or Web 2.0 or [fill in the web buzzword du jour], I’d prefer to be an ‘expert’ at shifting people’s mindset and helping them understand what is the web and what’s possible on the web."

(Everything in quotemarks is Adriana's words, italics is Tom Glocer, emphasis (bold) is my formatting)


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