I like Bob Hoffman. He sounds like the kind of cranky bastard who would prefer a stick in the eye than admitting he was wrong about anything (he also inspires swearing in blog posts). However, I can’t help thinking he is right more often than not and I can’t help but be admirative reading someone who would fly in the face of the new internet common thought train by slinging out this pearl:
The ascendancy of “branding”, “engagement” and “new media” means that nobody knows what the hell anyone else is talking about anymore. There are no actual facts, just mind-numbing jargon and fancy opinions.
You can say pretty much anything and get agreement from the other 10 people in the room who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about either.
If you try to introduce facts you get shouted down by cliche-mongering jargonistas and their dreadful android technobabble/religion of “conversations” and “meatballs” and “twitters.”
If you’re not frustrated, disheartened, and exasperated, you’re not paying attention.
Is there anything more pathetic than “social media?”
Way back in the old days, there were chat rooms. You went on line and talked with people you didn’t know. It was like dialing random phone numbers and chatting with strangers.
Now that people are bored with Facebook and MySpace, Twitter is all the rage. Following the pathetic lives of dorks, 140 characters at a time.
TAC predicts that social media will continue to be ridiculous and unstable. It’s going to be very tough for anyone to figure out how to make any money with them. They’ll arrive with a bang and, like chat rooms, they’ll just evaporate.
Sell ’em short.
I don’t really know who is right or wrong. Or even if there is a right or wrong. The people making the most money out of the idea of communicating in an age of conversation are those who are trying to pin it all down and find handles which will stick on the sides. And I suppose even if Hoffman goes down in history as a dinosaur who resisted as long as possible, this alone deserves some respect.