A few days ago, I was listening to an all-sports radio show when Twitter jumped into the discussion. From the get-go, one of the three in-studio personalities started to dismiss Twitter as irrelevant and having no value. While not everyone needs to be on the social media bandwagon, what surprised me was the complete lack of knowledge of Twitter and the benefits it offers.
The person, who will go unnamed, works for the sports section of a large newspaper in Toronto, which is focused on embracing social media – like most other newspapers trying to taken viable and vibrant. There is no doubt Twitter has a key role in giving the sports section new ways to deliver content and, as the same time, drive traffic to the Web site.
Yet this sports journalist has little interest in Twitter. Given the frivolity of the discussion, his comments may have been made to offer entertainment value. Or they could have reflected his lack of knowledge and/or use of social media.
Even so, it was striking to hear someone be so dismissive of one of social media’s most popular services, particularly at a time when Twitter is being touted as a powerful real-time news source. You would think that a high-profile journalist would look to leverage Twitter in some way, shape or form rather than not give it the time of day.
If anything, it illustrates that despite the enthusiasm for social media and the large number of people using it, we’re a long from social media being as ubiquitous as the Web. Not everyone gets social media or wants to get it.
It could social media has little use or value for social media in their personal or professional lives. It could be a demographic or generational thing, otherwise known as you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Many people are so used to what they know, it’s difficult to get them to consider or try something new and potentially interesting.
You could describe this as failing to see the big picture, a lack of curiosity or interest, or lack of knowledge. However you want to slice it, it’s also a troubling and puzzling approach given how social media is affecting many of our professional lives.
To not see the impact and use of social media means not recognizing the new competitive reality. It’s easy and perhaps cheeky to poo-poo social media but the danger is some of your competitors are taking the exact opposite stance.