People Don’t Scale. How Does That Affect Social Media?


Jeremiah Owyang describes how many top/celebrity bloggers use virtual assistants to tweet, man their Facebook accounts, even answer their emails. The reason they do this is that humans don’t scale:

Many of the top social media news blogs are on a race to see who can publish the fastest, why? whoever gets the earliest time stamp often gets the credit and links from other blogs, and will risest fastest on the techmeme tower or google news gauge. As a result, many of these blogs will publish the headline, then adjust, edit, format, punctuate, and add links to the post in real time.

A few authors that have published one of the thousands of social media books outsource their content to ghost writers who create the majority of the content. Although it’s the headlining author’s name that drives book sales, in many cases they don’t actually write the content.

Many of the top celebrities or top social media names don’t even write their own blog posts and tweets, they may outsource it to others.

So what does this mean? It means the social media space is starting to look like just about every other industry that starts to get mainstream. Social media is often the premise built on 1:1 relationships, and even with technology, that clearly doesn’t scale, and I can relate.

This is an interesting look at social media not as an intimate, organic movement, but as an industry. Chris Saad posted an interesting reply to Jeremiah’s post, claiming that the people using ghostwriters are missing a main point of social media, which is to be authentic.

What do you think?

Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.