On Tuesday night May 25th I spoke at SMCSeattle, at Hale’s Brewery. They asked me to do a talk based on two posts: questioning gurus, and calling BS on social media. This was awesome. How many organizations invite outsiders to poke holes in the rhetoric of their field’s experts? Very courageous to do this and I wish more groups did. Kudos to SMCSeattle.
Slightly edited to better reflect what i said without my voice talking over them.
References from the talk, Listed by slide #:
6. You too can be a social media guru, www.72ave.com
11. Buddha quote
16. BP press releases – Fascinating example of of PR’s function being detached from reality
26. The Strength of Weak ties (PDF) (wish I had a better link, sorry). This paper is often referred to as evidence of social media’s power, but the paper was published in 1983. If you want to claim “radical transformative fundamental shifting blah blah” then you should have recent research as the backbone to your claims. If you don’t, stop with the “radical shifting blah blah” talk.
31. Social Media Revolution (Refresh), Notion of Hobson’s choice. The video is fun to watch – however there are assumptions suggested by how some facts are presented. And if someone makes misleading claims about the past, I am unlike to trust their claims about the present and the future.
32. Industrial Revolution – My point is if you compare almost anything to the industrial revolution, and you actually look up what the industrial revolution meant to people’s lives, it sounds like hype. But the bet is most people won’t sit down and study the Industrial revolution, so your claim can get people excited, based on their ignorance. Advertising works on these principles, but wise viewers/readers should work to defuse them.
35. Age Distrubtion in the U.S. since 1950 (wikipedia)
44. Simple language gets shared more on Facebook – My use of this example is that it’s someone claiming science without giving sufficient information for someone else to repeat the study and support the claims. He might be doing science, but we can’t verify based on the limited data he provided. I’m criticizing any expert that reposts this and calls it science, without asking basic questions. I asked Dan myself and he responded quickly, and he deserve praise for this – he added more details to his posted methodology (See slide 51). But why was I (likely) the first to ask? An expert should both ask this of other experts, and expect them to ask him/her.
47. Empirical Research – My understanding is that science (in part) hinges on repeatability and sharing details – there can’t be secret sauce. If you want to claim secret sauce, don’t call it science.