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June 30, 2009

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Jonathan Kranz

David, the video links seems punked itself...

George Nemeth

Proud to be.

Andrew Careaga

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

Video not working. And it's not on Engage ORM's website, either. (Or at least I can't find it.) Is this some social media version of the Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle?

Jake LaCaze

Punk and social media are alike because they go against the "style over substance" formula. Most early punk bands had no real talent, but their passion and voice compensated. I suppose it's similar to journalists hating bloggers because they often have no real credentials. But does it really matter,as long as people are listening?

David B. Thomas

I was late to punk and while I liked the music, I never lived the life. Since I do social media stuff for a big company you could argue that I'm not very punk in that regard either. (In fact I wrote a post this morning inspired by yours called, "If social media is the new punk rock, I guess I would be in The Knack.")

The big effect of social media, just like that of punk, will be how it spreads and adapts and changes what comes later.

David Meerman Scott

The video is working fine for me. Here is a direct link to it on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LzR6pCdtoA

Andre

Yep, video is working fine. And it's great! And David, I know exactly how you feel about punk. Back then I actually was a punk musician. Never thought of it before, but I do like the comparison of punk and social media. The impact of both was / is just so huge. Against the grain, the preconceived assumptions. Thanks so much for this post.

Ron Arden

This brought me back to high school and college. Loved seeing the Dead Kennedys in the Boston underground scene. I agree that we are the new punks, shaking up the established way of doing business. At some point, we will be the oldies radio; think about that.

Russ Somers

I loved the DIY ethos of the first wave of punk rock and I listen to a lot of that music today. The Ramones' Roundhouse performance in 1976 directly resulted in the formation of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Souxsie and the Banshees, and The Damned. Folks like me picked up guitars and formed bands in response as well.

As the movement spread it fragmented quickly, perhaps because it was clearer on what it was not (we're not Emerson Lake & Palmer) than on what it was. I remember scornful discussions in the late 1970's of which band "wasn't really punk" because they had branched out, experimenting with reggae rhythms or otherwise departing from the louder-harder-faster ethos.

Do some current discussions in social media echo that? If we replace 'louder-harder-faster' with 'join-the-conversation' as orthodoxy, whose valid work are we dismissing because it brings in strains from marketing, PR or other fields? Punk worked best when it existed to break rules rather than when it imposed its own 4/4 rulebook, policed by mohawked Pharisees.

Let's all think about that the next time we're tempted to say "here's the right way to use Twitter" or "the social media press release must do x, y and z."

DStConti

Their parting words are most important, "Listen and respond with respect." It's about attitude/intent. Good stuff! Thank you for sharing, David.

David Meerman Scott

@Russ -- Excellent point. I totally agree with you.

I remember people arguing if a band was "really punk" or "lame." U2 fell into that category when their (great) first album "Boy" came out in 1980.

Many people are now self-proclaimed experts peddling "the ways to do social media." (To some degree I fall into that category, although I try to be very open in my suggestions to people and not be hard and fast with my "rules".)

Great comment worth re-reading from time-to-time.

David

laurie ruettimann - punk rock HR

I hadn't seen this video, but Corporate America won't learn the lessons of social media. I'm okay with that. Let them fail. It's about time.

Nick France

I graduated from high school in 78 - I get punk, hell I'm wearing a Ramones shirt as I type, ironically enough. I'll be 49 in a few months, working in Corpcom for a utility and trying to push social media to the execs. Trust me, this is not the analogy you want to make.

DaveMurr

I always enjoy musical analogies when it comes to the social web. My only concern is that like Punk, Social Media will not have a long life span before it becomes the big business marketed mainstream music of the 80's. Though I would take a Talking Heads version of Social Media any day.

Jason Bradford

Absolutely love it. When I meet with clients I love letting them know that what they are doing is completely dumb and ass-backwards. It's fun.

Of course, I'm not always a punk about it. Gotta 'help' them!

Thanks for sharing!

Nate Holland

Posted by: Andrew Careaga | June 30, 2009 at 09:41 AM

Punk and social media are alike because they go against the "style over substance" formula. Most early punk bands had no real talent, but their passion and voice compensated. I suppose it's similar to journalists hating bloggers because they often have no real credentials. But does it really matter,as long as people are listening?


-- That was a great analogy. Bottom line is, it doesn't really matter how you do whatever it is, as long as people like it, then it should be a success. lol

Chris Plamann

I've noticed that those in the punk movement that considered themselves "core" were often left behind as the genre grew and matured. Even The Ramones went in search of popular relevance after their first few albums.

Think the same might be said about social media. The so-called "experts" of social media risk failing to develop with the medium as it matures by rejecting all that they deem not to be pure to the movement - or "core" to stay with the punk analogy.

So just because a newer punk band like Rancid (a favorite of mine) adds a horn section doesn't mean they aren't punk. At least The Ramones didn't seem to think so.

Check out this clip of the two bands getting together on 53rd and 3rd. Great stuff.

http://tiny.cc/A9pU8

David Meerman Scott

@Chris P -- great point.

Something that I thought of as I read your comment was some of the things Billie Joe Armstrong has said how that many of the bands that were part of the scene when Green Day was up and coming labeled them as "sell outs" when they got popular.

Most people would rather be successful social media sell outs than hard core.

Scott McElman

Great comparison... one which I never thought of before, but still excellent. It goes to show, once again, that only through disruption of the norm, can a society truely innovate. A few years ago, Lynda Applegate published a great article on how disruption is a viable source for innovation (http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5636.html#) It is certainly worth reading if you find this topic interesting. Today, more then ever before we need to innovate in order to evolve or simply survive in business. Will "the corporation" get this message though? They better... keep in mind that Peter Drucker once said "..the business enterprise has two—and only these two basic functions: marketing and innovation." Good fortune ;)

Brenna

Great discussion! The analogy is perfect.
"Punk, Social Media will not have a long life span before it becomes the big business marketed mainstream music of the 80's."

Hm. Seems we're pertty much there. The Punk-Social Media was like 2 years ago, I feel. it's getting so over-used, watered down and not "punk" anymore. We need to keep innovating and using it in creative ways to keep it edgy, as the bands did (and still do). Just look at any counter-culture bands today that don't subscribe to the norm. I feel, PUNK is just a term that exists to describe that which lies on the fringes of "normal" culture.

John West

In American prisons a punk is an inmate who is regularly sodomized by bigger and stronger inmates.

The political and social punk movement will eventually be socially and politically sodomized for ... well ... being stupid weak minded punks whose purpose is destruction and anarchy. Those are not winning goals.

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