The corporate marketing demon has turned us into TRAFFIC MEDIA.

Hootsuite being down this week proved something to me once again…we are just a bunch of freaking marketers. We are…and we want our coveted little Hootsuite to continue to be our traffic department. Yes…we freaked out when we could not schedule some tweets.

Where the heck is this thing going? First of all, I quit using Hootsuite about a year ago especially when they began the process of charging a monthly premium for there online services. Yes, they wanted me us to pay a monthly fee if you wanted to manage multiple accounts. I have always been a TweetDeck fan, but Hootsuite was a great solution, especially in the corporate world. WIth all the company owned laptops and desktops, IT departments have been restricting company users to download and install programs like TweetDeck. Hootsuite was perfect since everything was web based.

Now…I will admit that I did train people to understand how to use the scheduling option. I even schedule Tweets to go out on TweetDeck. But where have we gone…this social outlet is turning into a traffic outlet. For the past few weeks, I have reached out to people on Twitter and they normally respond. It took them a few days to say hello and some did not even reply. Why, they are freaking scheduling all of their tweets. The corporate marketing demon has possessed our souls.

We have succumb to this inner possession and the group think of this social web. We are scheduling our social-ness. No, I do not mean we have pulled out the calendar to schedule what party to show up to…we have scheduled what we say in the social space. We have become drones to our marketing outlets, sending out tweets, status updates, etc…

It is similar to going to a party, having a conversation, then stopping mid sentence until our brain can release the next sentence based on the schedule we set that morning. Can you imagine that. Remember Star Wars during the Battle for Naboo (Episode 1),  all the sudden all the clones stopped fighting because someone pulled the plug. Well that is what happened when Amazon had trouble with their cloud computing services, causing Hootsuite to shut down. The clones quit tweeting. Yes…

Who am I to blame…it is a brave new world and the audience lie in social outlets. Corporate marketers have moved lots of their dollars into the social ranks, investing in promoted tweets and hashtags and other places to spread the branded message. But…oh; but…it is no longer social media. This same model holds true in reality television. You mean to tell me that Big Brother and the Bachelor is true reality television. It is not capturing reality, it is creating the reality “it” wants audiences to perceive. The same holds true in the social space…it is no longer the social space, pushing the line away from center.

I have noticed that many of the conversations I used to have on Twitter are now migrating to other spaces. I am seeing a shift away from spaces like Twitter for real engaged conversation. I have really locked down my Facebook page, only allowing certain people in that space. I am finding more and more conversations happening there. If I post a link that interests me…many of my online buddies are using those links as places to expand conversation into rich, thought provoking debate. This paradigm is allowing a conversation to flourish beyond the 140 characters.

Twitter has become the mass media beast with lots of noise to sift through. It has become the new age outlet for our PR & Marketing Engines to share our branded messages. Their is a shift beginning and it will be interesting to see where those, who are truly socialites, will co-exist and engage in social, online discourse.