they’ll build your business then eat your face

I can’t just leave well enough alone, so I’m going to jump in and stir the pot with both feet (or something):

This article came out last week, featuring the innovators of Vancouver’s Social Media scene. That’s cool – social media is the hot new bandwagon for companies to jump on, and for once I agree that it’s a useful and increasingly important thing. I don’t have an issue with the article, or the people who were featured – but the pictures are driving me crazy.

I know most of those people, whether in passing or in their underwear. They do not look like that! Take Monica (#13), for example – she is gorgeous and warm and personable, yet the pictures do not do her – or any of the others – justice. I mentioned this on Twitter, and the general consensus is that the photographers were going for “rock star aloofness” with the images, and I have a huge problem with that.

It’s SOCIAL Media. The emphasis is on the SOCIAL part. Taking glorified mug shots of people in some downright unattractive photos and saying “here are the key players in Vancouver’s Social Media scene!” is a joke, and does no favours for anyone. The Vancouver SM scene is already seen as cliquish and difficult to break into – god knows I’ve been trying for years and I’m barely above a non-entity – and these images are supposed to convey a sense of welcoming to others? I don’t see these images and think “these are the people I want to know; they can help me turn my business into a buzz word!”; I think “I would hate to meet any of these people in a dark alley”.

I don’t understand why they needed to go for aloof. Was it too much to make these “innovators” look somewhat welcoming? These are the people that others are going to look towards for the next big thing. The photographers managed to make their subjects look downright intimidating, dour and unfriendly. Maybe they were going for edgy – look at these people who are masters of social media but haha they want to punch you in the kidneys – but I just don’t get it. To me, it comes across as a big disservice to everything Social Media is supposed to stand for.

Maybe I’m too old school. Maybe I’m doing Social Media all wrong. Maybe it’s NOT about the people, but the image. To me, Social Media is about sharing information and building relationships, not mass murder and bodies chopped up with a hatchet so they fit into the freezer. But what do I know? I’m not an innovator; I’m just some girl who likes to smile and make friends.

so•cialadjective

  1. pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations: a social club.
  2. seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable; gregarious.
  3. of, pertaining to, connected with, or suited to polite or fashionable society: a social event.
  4. living in companionship with others or in a community, rather than in isolation: People are social beings.
  5. of or pertaining to human society, esp. as a body divided into classes according to status: social rank.
  6. involved in many social activities: We’re so busy working, we have to be a little less social now.

look at me, i'm an innovator!

11 thoughts on “they’ll build your business then eat your face

  1. yeah… we were asked to stand feet hip width apart, arms at our sides and look straight ahead with no smile. Muck like a passport photo or mug shot, yes.

  2. What ticks me off about that article is how it pretends to create celebrities within a media/channel that is fundamentally grassroots and populist. There are zillions of other people in Vancouver using social media, zillions of people with big followings (many bigger than the ones listed). You’re right, the photography is totally contrary to the vibe of social media, too.

    Sometimes I think the people who get quoted or asked to speak the most often are just the ones who do the best job of covering up how much they are full of shit.

  3. You are right, the photos do not show warmth that when you meet or see these people in snap shots show. You can be edgy and warm at the same time. For businesses looking towards integrating social media image is everything. These photos do not say,”Hi nice to meet you”, they say “Hi I am stuck at a border crossing in Chechnya for smuggling goats without a permit.

  4. I feel like they’re using tilt shift photography here, not because it actually adds anything, but because it’s the hip new thing this year. Or last year.

  5. Pingback: mmx in review « delicious juice dot com: unapologetically inappropriate

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