Social Media

The Social Media Superhero

November 17, 2009

Answer the following questions with a simple Yes or No:

  1. The only way you can fly is in an airplane.
  2. You know where and what everyone is doing thanks to Facebook.
  3. Your leather belt is the closest you’ll ever be to having a utility belt.
  4. The Fail Whale cowers in your presence.
  5. The only way you will look like Wolverine is if you don’t shave.

  6. You wonder why Batman needed Robin when you have Twitter and Facebook
  7. Calling your car the Batmobile is like calling a dog a cat.
  8. If the Twitter Bird could talk, it would say your username.
  9. Your archenemies are spammers and spoofers.
  10. More people know your username than your real name.

If you answered Yes to all those questions, you might be just be a Social Media Superhero. You may not have superhuman strength or be able to outrun a train, but you help social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook continue its success. For every spammer and spoofer that joins these social networks, arises a Social Media Superhero.

Your Powers

Just like how Batman keeps Gotham City safe from criminals, as a social media superhero you serve a very important role. Without you, who would share great content from sites like TechCrunch and Mashable? Who would tweet out the crazy comments that Lindsay Lohan said? Who would find the blog posts that help us become better entrepreneurs? If Superman disappeared from Metropolis, criminals would run rampant around the city. If you, the “Social Media Superhero,” disappears, sites like Twitter would lose its true value: community engagement.

Although your ‘powers’ aren’t flashy and mind-blowing as others, they are just as important.

The Core Of Social Media

At the core of social media is community engagement. Sites like Facebook and Twitter weren’t built upon the premise of sharing links with each other, but rather by connecting users. As a result, when spammers and spoofers join these networks, they not only become a nuisance, but they become the ‘enemy.’
To understand the problem that spammers and spoofers have on social networks, it is helpful to compare it to spam email. If email had no spam box, then you can imagine how bothersome and difficult it would be to filter through all the emails you get each day. Now come back to sites like Twitter and Facebook, and you are presented with the growing problem: social media with no spam box. While this may not be a problem for users who follow/friend fewer than a hundred, for users that go for the ‘more is better’ route, spammers fill Facebook and Twitter feeds with garbage links that would light a virus scan on fire.

While social networks try and weed out the culprits, for every spammer or spoofer they get rid of, 10 more are sure to pop-up. Being the social media superhero you are, you can’t let this stand. While it would be possible to report each one to the appropriate admins, the right approach is to counter their efforts by bringing value to the community through quality content, networking, and being responsible.

Kryptonite: Automatic RSS feeds

While the word Kryptonite and automatic RSS feeds are in the same sentence, by no means are automatic RSS feeds bad. When it does become a problem is when that is all a user shares with their ‘community.’ Many times you see an account setup for a ‘person’ and they have 0 ‘personal’ tweets and 100% feeds, sharing the links from sites every hour. While the links themselves might be useful, that doesn’t mean that that user is.
If a user is going to only have feeds with their account, then they should make it clear that it is a news feed and not an actual user that is going to interact with you.

Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook are growing everyday and with it comes the swarms of spammers waiting for you to click on links to find out your IQ and Nigerian scammers on Facebook.

When others become disgruntled at not being able to read their Twitter news feeds or by spam on Facebook, remember that you don’t have to be. You are a social media superhero.

No Cape? No Problem.

Photo by AndyC

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1 Comment

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