“Fry warns on social media” – yes, it’s PRWeek again. (Or, if you’re in the States, it’s PRWeek – but monthly. Of course.)
Englands most treasured national treasure, the warm, mellow, avuncular and perhaps, even, a little tweedy, Stephen Fry (for all those of my faithful blog snorkellers who are not familiar with this afternoon-tea-and-crumpet of a man – he’s a middle-aged, rather camp, comedian) has pronounced on social media. This is the same man who made a complete Twit of himself – he had a Call-me-Dave moment with a surfeit of Tweets – not many weeks ago, so I suppose he has the experience to back his pronouncements up. Anyway PRWeek pounced on the pronouncement (I’m channelling the spirit of Stephen here) and published it (issue dated November 27 2009 – if you haven’t seen it, go out and buy one for £4.22, or whatever spurious cover price they’re featuring this week, it’s a collector’s item, in that there’s not going to be a print version for much longer). (Apparently.)
Anyway, summarising wildly, dear old baggy, arch, loveable Stephen has (apparently, again) ‘warned communicators of the risks inherent in using social media as a new type of PR channel’. (Welcome to the party Stephen! Better late than never, I suppose.) He went on to say (according to t’Week) “All new means of communication have been derided and decried because they are seen as encouraging demagoguery of the worst kind. It may be that there will be dark days when social media are seen to cause genuine damage and even death by inflaming people wrongly.’
By which I think he means that every new type of communication that comes along gets hi-jacked by the snake oil salesmen and the charlatans, and, if a majority of people continue to insist on using social media as an extension of the nasty, murky dark bit in their heads, then there could be fisticuffs.
And it’s not that he’s wrong – rather that what he’s saying is so dreadfully obvious and has been done to death on fora around the world. As Mr Fry is an enormously clever man, I can only take from this that there is nothing more interesting, relevant or current to be said about social media.
The conversation – which, after all, is what social media is all about – appears to be over.