Module 09 – Social media doesn’t make you awesome

April 14, 2009 at 2:33 pm 1 comment

Bill Cosby: I said to a guy, “Tell me, what is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful,” and he said, “Well…it intensifies your personality.” And I said, “Yes, but what if you’re an asshole?”


I had the opportunity to spend last Friday at Module’s Midwest Digital Conference, listening to some heavy-hitters in the field of social media, including Scott Monty of Ford, and uber-blogger Chris Brogan.


During the panel discussion at the end of the day, one of the speakers, Jeremy Tanner (@penguin on Twitter), made a comment that really stuck with me. I’m not sure if I got it verbatim, but the basic point was this:


Social media doesn’t make you awesome, it just exposes what you already are.


Jeremy was talking specifically about companies trying to build a social media presence, but his insight is just as relevant for job seekers and young professionals. Technology and social media tools are great resources, but they’re only helpful when you have great substance to back it up.


LinkedIn can help you extend and visualize your network, but it can’t give you networking skills — you need to develop them on your own.


Twitter provides access to thought-leaders in your field, and an avenue to connect with people based on nothing other than a shared interest. But you’ll have nothing to contribute to the conversation if you don’t bother to do some of your own learning first.


It’s very important to use these tools to your benefit, and there’s great advice all over the web on how to do just that. But don’t think for a minute that any of these things is a silver bullet to make your job search a successful one. So join some extracurriculars, volunteer, and get an internship, because there’s no substitute for practical experience in your field. Make time in your day to read good books that broaden your horizons and force you to think in a way that you never have before. And by all means, learn how to network, because it’s the same thing whether you’re online or face-to-face.


The social media tools available to you right now can expand your network, amplify your message, and boost your knowledge, but they can’t change what you are to begin with.
So ask yourself: is your inner-awesome worth exposing?

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Entry filed under: social media. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ryan Stephens  |  April 14, 2009 at 4:38 pm


    I really like your approach with this post b/c there’s so many people out there that “just don’t get it.” Our society is lazy, and people get on Twitter, post 5 messages to nobody in particular and wonder why the job doesn’t fall in their lap.

    I like that you mention tools, because that’s all social media is, tools to HELP get you where you need to go, but you still have to steer the wheel in the right direction, and you definitely have to know how to drive. Thanks for including a link to my blog.

    All the best.



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