The realm of social media is making fuzzy the idea of content creation and origination. Are we moving to a world where we value editorial expertise rather than original thought?
Exhibit 1. Recently a (relatively well known) blogger picked up on a case study someone had written on the (social media) work I'd painstakingly planned and executed over the last 18 months. The case study was written by someone who had met me once at a seminar and proceeded to document my work from other web articles and references. I was involved in proof reading & fact checking the article, but was never interviewed directly. The blogger than picked up this article, summarized and published it. No additional commentary was added and to be fair he did refer to the original article. However what was amazing was the blog comments he got on how great his writing skills were and what a master of getting to the point he was. None of these were replied with "I'm just summarizing, I must give credit to the author etc.". Nope, just "thanks, you're too kind." Plus to some comments he proceeded to explain my strategy and approach as if he'd met me and was involved. I've never met the guy. And whilst i have no problem with the publicity its the implicit claiming of the origination of the content i detest.
And when I chipped in to say I'm happy to share my story (I really am) he replied by spouting nonsense about him being good for my personal brand. Plllllease.... Exhibit 2. A well known business consultant frustrates the hell out of me. He's clearly trying to promote himself as a "thought leader" but when you follow him on Twitter you'll notice he has very few opinions of his own - preferring to retweet other content. Even retweeting bursts of 10-20 tweets in 2-3 minutes. Even if you're buying into his editorial expertise, loving the way he's acting as a content filter just for you, how can he possibly have read fully 20 or so articles in 2 minutes, digested the content and decided it's fit for sharing? (remember he's also filtered out 40 or so other articles that weren't fit).
These guys exemplify all that is bad in social media. Especially Twitter. A world full of watchers from the sidelines, gurus who talk, not do. Gravitate to the shiny popular guys. Its not what you know it's who you know. And ultimately don't create, just share.