Thursday, February 12, 2009

Everyone's An Expert

I am increasingly amazed at the number of people Tweeting and Blogging who claim to be experts in the field of new media, internet marketing, and so on.

In my day (hello... sounds like a lecture from my dad coming up...) you would probably expect to spend a few years specialising in something before your peers might reluctantly grant that you might possibly be considered something of an expert in the field.

These days, any spotty oik with a PC seems to think that posting a few grammatically incorrect irrelevancies on a blog entitles them to claim the aforementioned titles of "Internet Marketing Expert" or "New Media Consultant".

I was followed on Twitter by someone of whom I had never heard yesterday, so I did a little digging. His Twitter biography states
"Well I'm a internet marketer,infopreneur, enterprenurer,and a sports fanatic...and love to help people with there problems."
and alongside it is a headshot of an individual wearing a hoody. No, really!

OK... where to start....

Quite apart from the obviously bogus claims (more on that in a minute), it's hard to take seriously anyone who (a) wears a hoody in a pic designed to promote his professional services, and (b) cannot be bothered to spell check his main biography entry. Of course, even if he had managed to catch "enterprenurer", my guess is he would still not have realised "there" should be "their"... ah well....

So this guy - who doesn't actually have a web site of his own - is offering his professional services as a PR/media consultant to help promote other people's sites. I am not sure how anyone could resist his sales pitch:
"hey havent talked to you in a while....but remenber when we talk over email,i offered to promote your website with all kinds of differnet ways to promote your website.......well I'm gonna do us both a fab....and I'll do it for free....if any one eles out there wants website to be promoted talk to me and I'll do it for free all i ask is when you start making sales give me 5% of it"

Sounds tempting, huh? He even claims to have a team of people "wot he has trained" ready to help out (probably the other teenies in his skateboard gang).

But then he goes and spoils the professional pitch by revealing less-than-impressive technical credentials such as (a) he is in his final year of school (so plenty of business experience then?) and (b) by asking basic web-related questions of others, like:
thanks....hey how do i creat a website like you....telling the world all about you do

Awwwwww... I was so close to offering him a job, too. Thing is, I am not picking on this kid (I have not named him, and will not), and if this was a solitary incident I would be more inclined to offer him a few pointers. But it is not - there are hundreds of examples of this nature which I can actually find, which means there are probably thousands of these guys peddling their (there) sub-standard wares to an unsuspecting public.

Hopefully, not even those new to this "new media" gobbledegook will be suckered into employing one of these yahoos - surely spelling and basic presentation skills still count for something, even if we no longer require you to have several years of experience in a subject before deeming yourself an expert.

With every man and his dog claiming to be an internet marketing "expert" these days, we should all remember that classic definition of the word: "X" = the unknown quantity, and "spurt" = a drip under pressure....

(PS. Before the arrival of the inevitable caustic comments regarding my own spelling, I should point out that (a) I am aware that "hoody" can also be spelled "hoodie" - both seem acceptable (in terms of spelling, if not in terms of fashion sense) - and (b) I am British, so all those words you are going to complain about do in fact end in "ise" in the Queen's English, and not "ize" as you might believe)


Anonymous said...

My dad used to define "expert" as:
ex = has been
spurt = drip under pressure

Perhaps in this kid's case is should be "never was" instead of "has been"


Alex said...

Oil doit for 4% - Innit