Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, Social Media

Engage ORM has put together an entertaining analogy comparing the evolution of punk rock with the changes we are experiencing in social media.

[Feedreaders, click to view video]

It’s an interesting perspective, and one that I think could be easily compared with other historical movements in music. The rapid growth in hip-hop and rap went from an underground club movement to making mainstream headlines, almost overnight. Now, fans of indie rock bands seem to be experiencing a similar situation as the bands that were once unknown outside of their small group of friends, have started to seep into mainstream television shows like The OC and Grey’s Anatomy.

So what’s the problem with this transformation? As Engage’s video notes, the passion and participation that surrounded these music movements tended to get watered down in order to be sold to a wider audience.

Actually, I find it hard to criticize any musician or band that “sells out” to hit it big. I mean really, who wants to ride around in a stinky van for the rest of their lives when there is a massive tour bus within their reach? But when it comes to social media, watering down the passion that got us here won’t help us reach a wider audience. I’d argue it will only lose you the community you’ve worked hard to grow and lead to social media becoming just another media channel for consumers to ignore.

So what’s the answer?

Engage suggests listening and responding are the keys. I do believe that is a part of it, but there’s more to it than that. Assigning an intern a Google Alert and the login information to a list of social networks won’t cut it.

It’s about being providing value, engaging and empowering people, and most of all, being human.

Otherwise, what makes social media any different than any traditional form of media?


(Video via: Greg Verdino)