Rule #4 broken: Always follow Seth Godin’s advice

Becky Blanton is a prolific and seasoned freelance writer who broke all the rules of social media not because she was a heretic, but because she simply didn’t know the rules.

A while back a client asked Blanton to write more like Seth Godin. At the time, Blanton didn’t know who Godin was so she started reading his blog and his books. She then joined Triiibes, Seth Godin’s invitation-only social network, and starting posting a lot. So much so that Seth Godin emailed her personally, saying she was being too personal, posting too much, and that this was not how social media is done. She was shocked and taken aback. All this coming from the master of social media.

But for some reason that warning didn’t deter Blanton. She responded to Godin explaining that this is who she is and she’s just going to keep posting this way. Fellow Triiibes members supported her and responded by calling her the Mayor or sometimes the Queen of Triiibes. Eventually, she won over Seth Godin too, who asked everyone to wish Blanton “Happy Birthday,”

As far as Seth Godin being the “master of social media”, I’d beg to differ. Seth Godin is a very smart man, an insightful author with a very readable, almost entertaining style, and a true media POWERBROKER at this point. Which incidentally makes it so that he really doesn’t (have to) participate in social media all that much:

1) His blog has no comments, only trackbacks. (Which implies that you can comment on your own blog about his post, and maybe, if you’re lucky, might he leave a comment on your blog… certainly a damper on conversation.)

2) He doesn’t participate on Twitter.

3) Yes, he set up Triiibes, yet it is a closed society/walled garden right now.

Which brings me back to my point that he is mostly exhibiting/branding himself along the lines of “The Powerbroker” and also “The Creator” (author) archetypes. The former almost by definition makes it unlikely to also exhibit “The Loyalist” (friend, buddy, follower, etc.) archetype that lies at the heart of all social media.

BTW, even if he used his Twitter account (now a shell only), this makes it unlikely that he would follow back too many people besides maybe his inner circle of fellow powerbrokers/”gurus”/etc. Classic Powerbroker move, restrict access.

[Still doesn’t seem to make too much sense that he’s not making use of Twitter to get tens if not 100’s of thousands of followers (a la Kevin Rose), which he surely would, and of course may yet decide to do tomorrow.]

Now look, I am not saying that Seth Godin isn’t saying all sorts of interesting and poignant things about social media, and marketing in general, but I would hold that by now there are people that (possibly based on his initial prompting, etc.) have gotten more experience in the TRENCHES of social media usage than he has.

Seth Godin is more of a general, he thinks about the “battlefields” of social media in the abstract. So Mrs Blanton’s story is not that surprising… women after all do tend on average to be more socially oriented than men. Including online with SOCIAL media.