Ranking the Worst and Less-Worse Social Media Titles

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Maven. Ninja. Evangelist. Guru.

These are the most popular names social media people give to themselves. We know this because B.L. Ochman at Ad Age counted the most-used social-media titles on Twitter

Shudder. 

Here are the complete rankings:

socialmediagurus.jpg

I look at this list and I see two competing strategies. One is all business -- consultant, specialist, marketer, professional -- the other is Play It Cool. I've been hoping that as social media matures and the markets for SM services grow, we'd see a switch from the friendishness (yes, I made that word up) of ninja and evangelist to the more corporate titles. So far, though, that's not happening. Maven, ninja, evangelist, and guru are all more than twice as common as any of the businessy names. 

In case you were wondering, I do, in fact, have my own rankings. I favor the forthright: 

Specialist > Marketer > Professional > Consultant > Marketing Expert > Pro > Veteran > Freak > Authority > Evangelist > Master > Ninja > Warrior > Maven > Guru > Wonk. 

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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