New Media Experts mustn’t say MUST

Important rule for New Media: Be very, very careful of anyone, including me, who says you MUST only use New Media in a particular way — you must only update your status once each day, you must connect your Twitter feed to Facebook, you MUST tweet only about professional things, you must only tweet about personal things.

New Media experts like to think they have a corner on the market of New Media knowledge. Even worse, they like to think that they have all the right answers, all the time, for everyone. Despite that statement being ludicrous on its very face, more and more pundits seem determined to make everyone act…just…like…them.

MUST

For myself, I try to couch any advice in these terms…I have found these particular methods to work for me in accomplishing my unique goals. You mileage may/will vary, because your life and your work are individual to you. Hopefully, you can find some commonalties between my experience, my life, my work and your own.

I know it doesn’t have quite the ring of “YOU MUST DO THIS”, but I feel better about it. I also think that too many MUSTs is exactly what turns some people off on New Media Experts. Even the newest person to New Media knows that someone can’t be right 100% of the time. Conflicting advice abounds and yet some experts proclaim their version of the New Media truth as if it were etched by fire into stone tablets. They might not realize it, but being “too sure” about something can seriously damage your credibility. Provide only one version of “the truth” and someone is almost assured to come along to prove you wrong.

So, when you are confronted with a lot of New Media Musts, let this be a warning to look elsewhere for opposing opinions and look deeply for similarities between the experts situation and your own. Critically think about their advice and your experience and how they might mesh rather than blindly following their dictates. Sure, there might be some great advice there, but only you can decide if that advice is right for you.

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