Beware the Telephone Guru

Telephone SkillsPolybius, the Greek historian, was a smoke signal guru if there ever was one.

If Alexander Graham Bell were alive today, do you suppose he’d call himself a Telephone Guru? Probably not. In fact, no one does. Except maybe this guy.

Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, and Biz Stone certainly don’t call themselves Social Media Gurus (though, they probably could without much resistance).

How many years of analyzing different forms of media does it take to become a Media Expert? How long do you need to study people and social situations before you become a Social Expert? So why does it only take a Twitter account and a merging of those two words to earn people’s trust and the ability to steal their money?

I’ve never met a Social Media Expert, though I’ve met several people who claim to be. I’ve certainly met people who are knowledgeable about certain platforms. But only rarely someone who was so knowledgeable on a specific platform that they should be called “an expert”.

Having taught weekly classes on social media tools, I can safely say that I am not an expert, either. What I can say is this: beware the Guru. Challenge their credentials at every turn, because it takes some serious effort to learn enough to even *teach* these tools.

Clear results speak for themselves; truly talented social media practitioners rarely have to (their audience does it for them).

(Photo credit: Charles Roffey, creative commons license)