Social Media Jobs: Now You See Them, Now You Don’t, Now You Do

On October 1, an article by HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes on Fortune’s website proclaimed “The social media manager is dead. Long live social media.

Just two days later, PR News’ blog was sharing an infographic about “The Rise of the Social Profession.”

Infographic: The Rise of the Social Profession

So which is it? Are social media jobs increasing or decreasing?

As with any set of numbers and statistics, it’s all in how you look at it.

With the infographic, data was collected from LinkedIn over several years. Based on that, social media positions have increased on the network by 1,357 percent since 2010.

Holmes’ piece referenced a Quartz story from September 12, which notes job postings that mention social media in their description on the site Indeed gained 89 percent since 2012. While that’s not as much growth and a shorter span of time, both the Indeed data and the LinkedIn data seem to agree that job postings mentioning social media are growing.

So why did Holmes’ proclaim the social media manager dead? Because while social media continues to grow as a desired skill in job postings, it’s not only for postings that have social media in their title. Shel Holtz noted on his Facebook page that several articles have been written over the last couple of months about the decline in social media manager job postings, but that organizations still need someone to coordinate things like tools and governance. This led to a lot of great discussion amongst several “heavy hitters” in the social arena.

I’ve been inclined myself to lean in the same direction as Shel. While I think integration of social media into many different jobs at different levels of an organization is ideal, I’ve also felt that there needed to be some strong leadership – especially in a very large and disperse organization. If everyone is in charge, then no one is in charge.

But, maybe I’m looking at this too hierarchically. Have my many years within the corporate world where, despite goals of meritocracy, titles still carry weight, led me to confuse leadership with organization? Are leaderless teams chaos or true democracy? Does a social media leader within an organization need the title of social media manager to lead?

Some of this line of thinking was spurred by an article in Harvard Business Review titled “When No One’s in Charge,” and the comments on it such as this:

“BUT, of course, leaderless does not mean there is no leadership… rather it means that leadership is distributed or devolved …decades ago i convinced my prime minister to run a leaderless cabinet office… it was a theoretical master-piece for a full 6 months..everyone love it…it worked a treat, well almost…it was fine internally but it was a disaster externally… all the departments around it, which depended on it for direction and control, were hierarchical bureaucracies and they could not work with a free-wheeling policy unit at the core of the government…it was disbanded before it celebrated its first birthday…as with many great ideas it is ‘the unintended consequences’ that accompany their implementation that restricts their success….leaderless entities will become more common in our digital global economy but they will have to be a good fit with their purpose and their environs if they are to survive….”

One line of thinking is that social media is a tool that everyone will use and it will become as ubiquitous as email. I said myself upon my last job change: “Social media won’t be my job title, but it will certainly remain a part of the way I do my job. And that’s exactly the way I think it should be.”

But… even if it is as basic a tool as email or the telephone, within an organization there still remain today departments with people who are responsible for making sure that email and telephones work. Sure every manager must play a role in hiring, managing and sometimes firing employees, but most do so with the guidance of a Human Resources professional.

So while the title of social media manager may be dwindling, and true leaders in social media don’t necessarily have to carry such a title to lead, someone still needs to be tasked with managing the infrastructure.

I wonder what their title will be?


Exploring God Through Old Media, Social Media and Content Marketing

Questions about the impact of social media on religion are as old as social media — although certainly not as old as religion.

Many other bloggers and journalists have opined on the topic, books have been written about it, and a Google Scholar search turns up more than a million results.

There are the major players like the Pope who’s “Selfie Blows Up Twitter,” the grassroots themes of sunrises and sunsets inspiring digital adoration of God as artist, and even the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently announced that missionaries will do less door-to-door proselytizing, and instead, use the Internet to recruit new church members.a billboard in Austin, TX, with #ExploreGod on it

But much closer to my home, I’ve been watching with great interest as billboards began popping up all over Austin with simply “#ExploreGod” on them. I only wondered a short time what it was all about before I heard at my church that we were joining more than 300 other churches in Central Texas, from at least 12 different denominations, in a four-month campaign to invite people to investigate questions about God in a non-threatening way.

It was evident that social media was part of this campaign when billboards sporting hashtags popped up, but ExploreGod pulled off a truly integrated marketing campaign with their website, out of home advertising, online video, DVDs, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, livestreaming broadcasts of Q&A forums, daily messages that could be delivered to your inbox or cell phone, and… of course, the powerful word of mouth from the pulpit with a sermon series on seven common questions about God and faith. Talk about your content creation!

My own weekly Bible study group made up of members from two different non-denominational Christian churches, and one mostly agnostic skeptic that likes to play devil’s advocate, has been using the DVDs and study guide.  Last week’s question of “Is Christianity Too Narrow?” was one of my favorites so far.

The well-produced videos have sparked good conversation, although our agnostic hasn’t really changed his stance. But, I don’t think the goal was really conversion, so much as encouraging conversation.

Too many people proclaiming their Christianity today are doing a lot of talking about what they think God wants people to do and believe, but they’re doing little listening and showing little grace, and this creates an environment where other Christians fear conversation about their beliefs will alienate or offend. So ExploreGod says, “If our work here can start a good conversation and give you something valuable to think about in your own life, then we’ve done what we’ve set out to do.”

For that I applaud them. And as a communicator, I admire them for their ability to create such expansive content, leveraging just about every modern marketing tool plus the old reliable ones, and to bring together hundreds of different congregations in support of it.

Surprisingly, the church with the Instagraming Pontiff was not one of them.

Write Hard. Share Soft.

Writing has been on my mind a lot lately, even though you haven’t seen much of it here this month.Lapel pin that reads "Write Hard. Die Free"

Two posts on writing crossed my radar this week that I wanted to share – the first of which is actually about how much you should share on the Internet.

Since this is a personal blog in the sense that I’m not trying to generate any business through it, my topics can sometimes be of a personal nature. Alongside a lot of posts about social media, I’ve blogged about vacation trips and parenting, issues facing women and girls, books I’ve read and talks I’ve attended.

But, there have been times when big things were going on in my personal life that I didn’t share here. Sometimes because I’m thinking about how they might reflect on me personally and professionally, but often because I’m thinking about the impact on other people involved and what their comfort level is with me sharing.

Sarah Kathleen Peck shared her personal rules for this on her blog this week when she asked “How much should you share with the internet, anyways?

Peck says she only shares about a quarter of the things she’s written, if not much less, but she still writes to process things that will remain private. “Share everything with yourself. Put your words down, write your heart out, and keep that journal flush with ideas,” she suggests. Perhaps it’s something I should consider doing in an old-fashioned paper journal.

If I get to the point where I’m typing it out long-form, I’m probably going to post it, so for me there’s a lot left unwritten. Unlike the many emails I’ve typed saying what I really wanted to say in response to someone, but deleted before hitting send. <wink> And, I have often censored myself on Twitter. Learned that lesson early.

The platform of Twitter was a big part of the next essay that caught my eye – “The Ongoing Story: Twitter and Writing” where Thomas Beller ponders how great literary figures might view Twitter and how much we currently think in public.

He also hits on reason I might like Twitter so much: “…because it is a medium of words and also of form. Its built-in limitation corresponds to the sense of rhythm and proportion that writers apply to each line.” He also notes that it brings a sense of performance to writing, because it’s being done live.

I’m not sure I’ve written much about it here, but a somewhat dormant passion of mine is dancing. When asked in a creative writing class once to write about my favorite place, the dance studio with its well-worn wooden floors and walls of mirrors was the place I selected. But, the stretching, the learning, the practicing done there is all about taking it to the stage. As much satisfaction as I get just from the act of dancing, there’s something to be said for the validation of hard work through the applause of an audience.

But writing and tweeting are different from dancing because they involve words rather than movement. Beller ponders if putting an idea into a tweet makes it public and whether that fact diminishes the chances it will grow into something “sturdy and lasting.”

I’ve often thrown out tweets with the hope I might get some nibbles of interest in the topic, so I could then use the resulting conversation in a blog post. But, more often than not, they simply drift along the twitterstream like one of many fall leaves in a creek. Lost in the multitude and not eliciting any response.

Are they unseen or is the topic just not intriguing to others? Beller asks in his piece, whether writing that is never seen by anyone other than its author even exists?  I think I know what Peck’s answer would be.

I started this blog as just a writing practice exercise and I try to remind myself that is all it is, rather than worrying about Google Analytics or how many comments, shares or likes each posts receives. But, I’d be lying to say I don’t get a little joy whenever someone does say they like what I put down here.

My thanks to both Peck and Beller for their thought-provoking pieces this week. May they start their weekend on a high note knowing that someone out there was listening.

Image via Creative Commons by Mel Green

Good News from Pew Research on Teen Social Media Use

No time to give this a proper read and digest, but since my last post was about keeping our kids safe online, I wanted to quickly pass along some optimistic survey results released today.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project announced the findings of their “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy research.” It notes that while teens are sharing more information about themselves on social media sites than they did in the past, they take an array of steps to restrict and prune their profiles.

A few good news items include:

  • 19% post content they later regret sharing (could be much worse)
  • 20% share their cell phone number (I thought it would be higher)
  • 16% automatically include location in their posts (good to know they’re aware)
  • 61% have decided not to post something because it might reflect badly on them in the future

According to Pew, the typical (median) teen Facebook user has 300 friends. The larger a teen’s network, the more likely they are to have a wider variety of friends and share more personal information. This image shows how those with 1-150 friends share, but you can click on it to be taken to the interactive version and compare the difference with larger friend networks.

Teens on Facebook: What They Share with Friends - Chart by Pew Research

They’ve also got a site to let you build an interactive profile to explore what teens post and prune on their own profiles.

One of the things that caught my eye there was the finding that teens whose parents have higher levels of education and income are more likely than teens whose parents have lower levels of education and income to share videos of themselves on social media – a finding Pew thought may be influenced by the tech assets of the family.

An Associated Press writer‘s attention was caught by how the results showed teens moving increasingly to Twitter to avoid their parents and the ‘‘oversharing’’ that they see on Facebook. And, Huffington Post declared “The Facebook generation is fed up with Facebook.”

But, Pew researcher Mary Madden told USAToday  that in focus groups, conducted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, “we repeatedly heard kids saying that they knew their parents were watching.” As a parent, I’m glad to hear that. To me it is encouraging to know that more parents are getting involved and watching what they’re kids are doing. It’s not about being Big Brother, but about being a parent.

Helping Your Kids Be Smart Online

“Have you used Snapchat before?”

“Just once when we were sending a photo from [friend]’s phone. You know what Snapchat is?!?”

That last sentence was said a bit incredulously by my daughter and that filled me with both pride (yeah, I’m a cool mom who knows this stuff) and worry (after all our previous conversations about online safety she still thinks she knows things I don’t).

What had prompted this conversation was the fact that she was looking over my shoulder when I tweeted a link to a story about how someone has figured out how to recover Snapchat photos.

“On May 8, researchers at Decipher Forensics, a company in Orem, Utah, announced that they have figured out how to retrieve the supposedly self-destructing photos from the popular now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t photo-sharing app Snapchat. And will do so for a fee,” Businessweek reported.

Yes, I knew about Snapchat, but I had hoped that she didn’t. I try hard to keep up with new technology and not be quite as clueless as the parents in this video:

The company that makes that monitoring software also has an ebook titled “15 Digital Safety Rules Every Household Should Follow” that could be helpful for parents who, like myself, believe that talking early and often about online safety is more powerful than a big brother app.

I may hesitate on the “don’t friend anyone you don’t know in real life” rule, because if I’d followed it myself I’d have missed out on meeting some pretty cool people. But, there are some good nuggets of advice like:

  • They should not put anything up that they wouldn’t say to someone in person or would be embarrassed to have their school principal read,
  • They need to be aware that the possibility exists that the person on the other end of the profile isn’t really what he or she claims,
  • If you wouldn’t show the photo to Nana, don’t send it in a text, private chat or post it to social media, and
  • Never post, put in an online profile, or share with someone you don’t know in real life the following things: full name, address, telephone number, parents’ work address/telephone number, school name and location, or names of siblings.

On that last one, let me take a sidebar and speak to parents directly. You need to remember these tips when you post yourself. When you comment on your friends’ Facebook posts with things like “Johnny looks so handsome” or “Way to go [enter name of kid’s school] chess club” you are doing what you don’t want your own kids to do. Your friend might not have given out their child’s name or school, but you just shared it for them.

So, how did I leave off the conversation with my girl? With yet another admonition to never, ever, ever take photos of herself or let someone else take photos of her without all her clothes. If I say it enough, I’ll believe it will never happen…

Ten Years In to LinkedIn. From Basic Resume to Visual Portfolio

LinkedIn just celebrated its 10th birthday and while co-founder Reid Hoffman chose to thank employees today for all they’ve done, last week CEO Jeff Weiner was talking about how he really wants the rest of us to stop thinking of it as just a digital resume.

I have to admit, that’s exactly what I thought of it as when I joined back in 2006. (To find out when you joined, just go to the Settings and it’s listed there under your name.) I initially resisted the invitations from colleagues to join in the same way today I resist all the My Calendar invites Facebook friends send.

It didn’t seem necessary since I wasn’t looking for a job at the time. (My Calendar really is unnecessary because Facebook will tell you when it’s my birthday if I want you to know it.) But, the invites kept coming and it began to make some sense to start creating an online network of professional associates.

Seven years later, I’ve got 500+ connections in that network and LinkedIn itself has over 225 million members, more than 3,700 employees and nearly $325 million in revenue according to The Next Web.

And LinkedIn has pretty consistently added new elements to their service over that time which have definitely taken it further than a basic online resume. There’s a visual timeline if you’d like to review their history.

Recently, they began rolling out “the ability to showcase your unique professional story using rich, visual content on your LinkedIn profile” to members in English speaking countries. Last year, I wrote about leveraging Pinterest to create something similar.

I haven’t had time yet to try adding the same visual elements to my LinkedIn profile, but here are some examples of how it could work:

Have you tried it yet? Any tips and tricks to share?



Hashtags: Out at Pinterest, (Likely) In at Facebook

Geek Flashing Hashtag HandsignYou see them in tweets, you see them in print ads, you see them in television commercials. Last month, desperately-trying-to-stay-relevant Disney star Demi Lovato released a music video chock full of them.

I’m talking about the humble hashtag that started life as a simple tweet asking “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” according to “The Short and Illustrious History of Twitter #Hashtags,” in GigaOm.

A user-led invention from the pre-search days of Twitter, what hashtags do is create a way to find information based on keywords or topics. They’re especially useful for events, even if sometimes confusing (should I be using #sxsw or #sxswi or the session-specific tag?).

And they’re not just for Twitter. That same hashtag works the same way on Tumblr, Instagram or Google+. But, that sort of cross-platform functionality seems to have recently taken one step forward and one step back.

Most of the attention paid to Pinterest’s recent redesign has been on the visual elements, but along with those they removed the functionality of hashtags. While touting “More Ways to Discover What You Love,” Pinterest actually took away the most egalitarian of ways to do that. The Verge feels that with this sort of backend change — and a much-anticipated API — it could set the stage for big changes in the months to come. The changes noted here certainly seem to indicate Pinterest is trying to take more control:

Features lost in the most recent Pinterest redesign

On the other side of the issue, the Wall Street Journal noted that Facebook was working on incorporating the hashtag into their platform, although, “the feature isn’t likely to be introduced imminently.” Presumably, doing so would allow Facebook users to filter updates around a topic of theme – if Facebook really does adopt the hashtag. They’re not officially commenting on it.

A Los Angeles Times headline proclaimed the very “idea of Facebook adding hashtags incites uproar,” based on a few users they interviewed that didn’t want Facebook to be more Twitter-like. Ironically enough, these users evidently took to Twitter to express their unhappiness.

Hashtags on Facebook have the potential to be useful to community managers who could gain another outlet for organic visibility for their page updates. And, ClickZ reports that “Marketers [are] Eager for Facebook Hashtags,” because, as one commented: “Visibility is the name of the game on social media and hashtags are going to increase that.”

But, a New York Times social media editor says in a Neiman Lab post that hashtags don’t attract an audience and are aesthetically damaging:

“I’ve heard before: What’s the harm? Why not at least try to include #SuperBowl if every little bit helps? Somewhat of a fair point. Using a hashtag does no harm in the same way wood paneling does no harm to your station wagon, or a misspelled tattoo does no harm to your bicep.”

I guess I fall in with the “what can it hurt” crowd. I love the grassroots origin of the hashtag as something users themselves wanted and didn’t wait for platforms to create for us. I think that more cross-platform usage of it broadens its acceptance and makes it that much more of a beneficial tool for users.

What about you? Are hashtags useful for organizing and discovery of content, or are they just visual trash taking up valuable characters?

Hashtag hand sign image via Creative Commons by Kenneth McFarland

I’m the Reason Google Killed Reader

Photo of my family burial plots in Bastrop, LouisianaRecently, Google rather unceremoniously announced as one bullet point in a post titled “A second spring of cleaning,” that it was shutting down Google Reader, one of the world’s most popular RSS readers, effective July 1, 2013.

It caused much more of an uproar in my social circles than the deprecation of Search API for Shopping or retirement of Google Building Maker that were also announced in the same post.

Mashable wondered “Will Killing Google Reader Increase Global Censorship?” and called it “A Blow to News Junkies.” And, The Economist noted that “Many websites which have come to depend on the service to power their news feeds now fret that Google’s decision will cost them millions of readers—and with that lots of advertising revenue.”

Back in October 2011, when Google announced the removal of Reader’s share features, Dave Winer – one of the early developers of RSS in the 90s – said it was scary to see so much of RSS use in one app and that “Google seems to have the power to either seriously injure RSS, or perhaps set it free.” At the time, The Atlantic surmised it was part of a Google push to get people using Google+ for following, friending and sharing links.

The official reason Google has given this time for completely ending the service is “usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products.” I believe them because I must confess “I am Sparticus”-style that I have killed Google Reader.

With the launch of Twitter seven years ago, the ever-increasing growth of Facebook, the use within my employer of Chatter, and even ye olde email, the number of links to interesting news shared with me on a daily basis has made the need to search out news in an RSS reader irrelevant.

Back in the early 2000s, I was an avid RSS fan. My first favorite platform for reading feeds was Bloglines. When it went through some uncertain times being sold, closed, re-sold and re-opened, I moved over to Google Reader. Like a custom online daily newspaper, reading feeds was once was the way I’d start my day. But now I honestly can’t remember the last time I actually looked at my Google Reader.

Now that Google has announced Reader’s sunset, Winer says “I don’t doubt that people will be well-served by a newly revitalized market for RSS products, now that the dominant product, the 800-pound gorilla, is withdrawing.”

And if you still have no idea what RSS even is… here’s a little slide deck I put together almost eight years ago when I was working on the team that first brought the technology to – before Google Reader even existed:

It’s pretty funny to me to look back at that presentation and see how it mentions that Windows Vista “will have” support for RSS, since we’re two revisions of Windows OS past that now. Much like how operating systems continue to go on without a majority of people paying attention, I agree with Winer that RSS will go on. I suspect it will just get pushed further back than it already was from the purview of mainstream users.

However, if you are a Google Reader user looking for an alternative, lifehacker, emoderation, unclutterer and many others have compiled helpful lists of other platforms for managing and reading RSS feeds. Or, you could do like me and Don Reisinger and simply let Twitter be your RSS reader.

 Geoff Livingston sees it as an impetus to “shake things up by purging, and moving toward a new direction.

I see it as just the minor footnote Google played it to be when they combined its death knell with that of several other obsolete services.

How about you?

Pope Benedict XVI Truly Part of the Silent Generation

Why would someone who is adventurous enough to leverage new communication tools like Twitter, suddenly think they’re too old for their job?

That’s what I first wondered when I heard the news that Pope Benedict XVI was stepping down citing his age as the reason.

Perhaps it was others within the organization that pressed him into the new social media world, rather than his own embrace of it, though. Maybe it even played a part in his realization that he was just not able to perform his duties in the current world.

But, then CNN reported that the pope’s Twitter account would close when he left office and I thought maybe he really was a part of what I call the Digital Generation. In my mind, this refers not to the kids growing up in today’s digital world, but the people I’ve encountered of all ages embracing new technologies. They’re the grandmothers I met in Second Life and the moms who embraced blogging and Pinterest.

At a recent Social Media Breakfast Austin meeting on “How Different Generations Use Social Media,” someone called them outliers. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book of the same name to try to explain the careers of really successful people. At its more basic sense, though, the term describes something that is outside the norm – in this case, outside of the typical behavior of a certain generation.

Sherry Lowry, who represented the Silent Generation, on that SMB Austin panel, is part of my Digital Generation. But, she’s not necessarily an outlier in my opinion. As she described it that morning, her generation rebuilt the U.S. economy after World War II and did so by working together – transparently and collaboratively.

Key aspects of social media or social business have always been transparency and collaboration.

Sherry said the lack of that in the way generations that came after hers did business will lead her generation to one day leave their wealth not to their kids, but to their grandchildren or great grandchildren. They are of generations that also embrace collaboration and transparency and have never known a world without the ability to leave comments on a company’s Facebook page, write an online review of a restaurant, or tweet directly to the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict, it turns out, was probably not part of my envisioned all-ages Digital Generation, although he was a member of the Silent Generation. It was later clarified that the @Pontifex account would not be deleted; leading me to believe that it was indeed the organization, rather than the man, that embraced it. Since his departure, Vatican has deleted the individual tweets and archived them on their website; but the account remains live, “Sede Vacante,” waiting for the next pope to fill it with Instagram pics of communion wine.

And if the humor of that doesn’t offend you, you might also be interested in this mashup from Religion News Service of March Madness and the conclave of cardinal’s voting on the new pope:

Make your picks in the Vatican’s Sweet Sistine brackets!

Basketball Tournament-Style Brackets with Names of Cardinals that Might Be Pope

Real-Time Marketing and Facebook Drama Has Given Me Social Media Fatigue

I need to start this post with an apology to Ramon Ray, and a disclaimer that my penchant for being an early adopter may have led to, actually, a late adoption of the social media fatigue Gartner saw back at the beginning of 2011.

You see, Ramon was nice enough to send me an advance copy of his new book “The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing” so that I could review it. I’ve been reading it off & on for the past couple of weeks and I think it’s a terrific reference for small businesses. He’s got lots of great illustrations, tips and quotes from business owners who’ve been there themselves.

But, I’ve had the hardest time finishing it and writing a true review. Luckily for Ramon, others I know, like Gene Marks and Anita Campbell, have carried the ball I dropped. My slacking is no reflection on the quality of the writing or the content. It’s just that the girl who used these slides in 2010 to make my case for launching the Dell for Business Facebook page and who still manages content on the five-year-old Social Media for Business – Powered by Dell page is disillusioned with the platform.

I’m not saying I don’t think businesses should be there. I still think it can be a valuable part of your marketing mix. It’s just that after the EdgeRank algorithm change that reduced post reach, brought cries of extortion and even prompted Mark Cuban to tweet that he’d be moving his business to tumblr or MySpace back in September, was… followed up by adamant declarations that the launch of Promoted Posts had no impact on the news feed reach of the average Page and that poor reach was simply the fault of Page owners putting out poor content, Facebook now… makes a much less-hyped admission that a bug in Page Insights actually was responsible for a real change in reach, well… they’ve just lost credibility with me.

Like Cuban clarifying his statements, I’m not saying pull out of Facebook completely. I’m just saying it wouldn’t be top of my list of budget items. I have no trust that an investment in content creation and engagement will really show a return equal to the creative and human resources that takes. For a small, local business with a much closer customer base, there might still be opportunity and for them I would definitely recommend Ramon’s book. But, does it still make sense for large brands to invest in building up a fan base only to have to continue paying for sponsored posts to reach them post-acquisition?

Maybe that’s why Twitter is the new darling for them and the real-time marketing movement that leads me to my next jaded commentary.

As usually is the case, when something good happens, everyone wants to duplicate it. When your sports team wins a championship, you want them to keep winning. When I got FastCompany coverage for a lesser-known unit of my employer’s organization, managers of other teams immediately wanted me to do the same for them. When OREOS reached millions beyond their initial Twitter followers with funny images during the Super Bowl blackout, every other big brand wanted to do the same at the next big event.

And this brings us to the Academy Awards ceremony.

Tweet from @Owyang about Oscar Real Time Marketing

There were a lot of companies trying really hard to re-create a magic moment and a lot of marketing/advertising people debating the tactic in the same real-time it was being leveraged. AdWeek called it a “fingernails-on-the-chalkboard crescendo.” I mostly tuned it out.

Between my husband’s complaints about me watching the Super Bowl with Twitter rather than with him when he was in the room with me, and the excessive snarkiness in tweets about what people were wearing or saying (yes, I know we all do it, but some seemed really bad – although not all as bad as The Onion), I mostly kept my Twitter-addicted hands off my smartphone during the ceremony.

In his post titled “The Content Crash,” Mitch Joel asked what I think is a very prescient question: At what point do consumers push back, unfriend, unfollow, unplus and whatever else? Surely I’m not alone in feeling like I don’t really want to get tweets from the snacks I’m eating while watching an event.

Maybe I’m just part of the “Angry Mob Fun Run” pictured on this post about “Why the Content Marketing Backlash is Getting it Wrong.” The whole concept of – or maybe the hype of the concept of – content marketing just makes me tired. I have to wonder, then, if it’s true disenchantment or just temporary burnout that can be cured by a good vacation.

Well, I’ll be testing that out soon as I am getting ready to leave Austin at the exact time each spring when everyone else it seems comes to town. For the first time since 2007, I will not be attending SXSW Interactive. I will instead be trading the crowded panels and parties for long Spring Break lines at Disney World.

In the past, SXSW was actually the place to learn about those new technologies I crave, meet interesting people doing creative, crazy things and get inspired to apply the tech and the ideas to my work. But, I didn’t leave with that feeling last year, so I’m not terribly sad to miss it this year. And, there are only so many years left when my girl will actually be asking to take a family vacation.

So, SXSW will go on without me and we’ll just have to wait and see if that means I miss that next big thing that will take me from jaded to fresh, energized and enthusiastic.