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.
Here are the complete rankings:
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 is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology.