Ready to call yourself a social media “expert?” Or hire someone who claims to be? Read this post, from Chris Penn, a blogger of too many accomplishments to list here, first:
In the last blog post, I shared the old-school Japanese martial arts analogy of apprentice, journeyman, and master as it relates to social media. Here’s the quirk in that particular analogy: because social media as a field is new and evolving, there really can’t be any lifelong masters yet. So what’s a social media practitioner to do, and how does one become an expert?
Again, looking to the past to see into the future, there was a practice called musha shugyo, loosely translated as a warrior’s quest. Typically, after a samurai learned everything he could from a teacher, his teacher kicked him out of the school and forced the practitioner to go wandering the countryside, looking for opportunities to test his skills. The practitioner would look for warlords to serve, other schools to spar with, opportunities to put to use the skills he had learned under the tutelage of his teacher.
After the warrior quest ended, the practitioner would have a deep knowledge of their skills, tools, and contexts in which they could be helpful. The insights they gained during their years-long quests would serve to inspire them, and would eventually transform them into masters.
For social media practitioners, that’s more or less where we are. Once we’ve learned the basics of social media – blogging, podcasting, presence networks, etc. – we can pursue a few different options for our future.
Full post here.