Social Media Makes my Head Hurt!

I participated in a social media learning workshop yesterday, “Social Media for the Creative Soul,” conducted by Brody Dorland, social media strategist and founder of Something Creative, Inc. The day before I led a group of fellow International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) entrepreneurs in a discussion on the “social media release,” a digital evolution of the traditional news release. I like to think I’m somewhat knowledgeable about social media, at least from the conceptual standpoint. And my hands are a bit dirty, having functional accounts with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Yesterday, however, towards the end of what was really an informative session, my head began to ache. As Brody mentioned the last few new acronyms and social media tools, I began to hear an old Billy Joel song in my head, “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” The song’s machine gun-paced lyrics rattles off familiar names of pop culture dating from 1949 to 1989, then hits you with the similarly paced chorus. Remember these lyrics?

(“We didn’t invent the net” sung to “We didn’t start the fire” by Billy Joel)


Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio

Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I” and “The Catcher in the Rye”

Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Ending verse:

We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
Will it still burn on, and on, and on, and on…

Please consider my updated version of this song, referencing let’s say the last couple of years as social media has exploded onto the scene.
Twitter, Facebook, SEO
Metrics, Analytics, Show me some dough

Flickr, YouTube, Google Reader
Aggregation, aggravation, blogosphere

Cyberspace, Permalinks, RSS feeds
Bing eats Yahoo, mash-ups, WordPress
Oh it’s just a hyper mess


We didn’t invent the net
It was Al Gore’s folly
And it just keeps us churning
We didn’t invent the net
But we try to tame it
And when we are gone
It will tweet on, and on, and on…

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