exec summ: mole·hill | pronunciation: ˈmōl-ˌhil | function:noun | date: 15th century
1. the small mound of earth thrown up by a burrowing mole
2. make a mountain out of a molehill to exaggerate an unimportant matter out of all proportion
motrin. domino’s. pizza hut. some of the turmoils sweeping through the SM community remind me of when I volunteered for howard dean’s campaign in 2003. our first meeting we had maybe ten people. the meetings got bigger and bigger, as did our righteous indignation at any perceived slight by the media or political establishment. cool beans, we were agents of change! we had an exclusive license on how things should be.
as the primaries continued, however, many of us came to realize that not everyone agreed with us or even cared about the things we thought were so important. not that we gave up, we just got some perspective. there were many others, however, who were too drunk on the koolaid to understand that they and whoever had dared to piss them off that day were not the whole of the universe, let alone a majority.
dean and a bunch of the volunteers went on to brilliant success with the dnc and changed the political landscape. the social media early adopters can take pride of ownership in the changes we are already seeing in how businesses engage with their customers. but the real success stories to emerge will be the folks who understand how to integrate and build, rather than lead a dwindling troop of ranters from one teapot tempest to another.
I was thinking about this after reading about a harris poll last month. the march 2009 poll showed that less than half of americans use any social media service. the poll results I saw failed to indicate what I really wanted to see, the change versus last year. even so, it gave me pause to consider how much of my time and energy goes toward something of which most people have only a vague awareness. I’m not quitting, mind you – just getting up above the mole’s eye view.
my thanks to stuart foster, whose post today inspired me to actually write something down.