Like many a few years ago I viewed the dozens of videos claiming the interweb was trumping all other media at nuclear-pace. In particular was one video designed beautifully to position its creator and author of a social media book, as a legendary expert in an industry not yet 2 years young.

I tried to find the source documents to support the author’s claims. And as is typical of much that purports to be real online, there were none. Just a slick use of statistics stated within high production values of a video, so they must be real.

Realising it would take a lifetime to gather the correct statistics myself, I was about to give up when I found a brilliant article by Gisle Hannemyr in Norway. He is a researcher and lecturer at the Institute for Informatics, University of Oslo and created the his first website in 1993.

Gisle Hannemyr, author The Internet as Hyperbole

Gisle Hannemyr, author The Internet as Hyperbole

He’d had the same concerns I had and had done something about it. He published a brilliant article called The Internet as Hyperbole. It examined the over-hyped claims of adoption rates of the internet versus existing technology, like television. Take a minute to read it, you’ll be fascinated.

This was part of the resources we used to create this video about social media.

But moving forward to the latest piece by Mark Ritson whom I quoted in last week’s post about social media numbers.

Mark has done an experiment whereby he tracked the number of articles about social media by the marketing and advertising magazines in Australia.

He says: “Given the average Australian marketer is spending 5 per cent of their budget on social media and the average consumer dedicates 8 per cent of their (media) time to it, we would expect a similar ratio of coverage in the marketing press.”

What do you think the percentage of articles about social media is versus the coverage of other media channels?

10%? 20%?

Try 50%

That’s right – we are being hoodwinked by the trade press into believing the social channels are far more important or successful than they really are. The digi-zealots are conning us big time. And that’s because they are living in fantasy land themselves.

As Ritson said: “As the recent debacle about the Oreo Superbowl ad (a Twitter post during the blackout: “You can still dunk in the dark”) demonstrated, only in social media land can a two-line Tweet seen by 150,000 people be deemed more effective than a 60 second TV ad for Budweiser watched by over 100 million people.”

I did an experiment once whereby I tweeted a piece of research that claimed most tweets were just pointless babble. It was never retweeted and I was attacked for doing so. Then I tweeted a piece of positive research about twittering and the twitterati retweeted it with enthusiasm. Gotta luv a self-fulfilling fan base.

But I have to go – need to post this article on my social media. I hope someone reads it…