Ok, that title was the attention grabber (at least I can admit it, unlike Yahoo!). More specifically, are people more knowledgeable if they fit these criteria:
(1) They are in the tech community (e.g., web marketing, WordPress programmer, etc)
(2) They have far more connections/followers than the average user of a given social media platform
(3) They use social media platforms on a regular basis to gather information
(4) They interact with others in true social media style
(5) They recognize high quality content
Power & The Micro-community
Information is power and it stands to reason that the more information you have coming to you, the more knowledgeable you get. I would think that this is especially true with good filtering and a strong ability to integrate new knowledge into your existing understanding of a topic.
An individual as a hub would be the focal point in their own micro-community. For example, I’ve been on many event organizing committees and have discovered that by being in charge or someone of importance on the executive board, interesting, useful and often gossipy bits of information would flow up to the top. On that basis alone, I could learn a lot about happenings that I would otherwise have never heard about.
Now suppose this were true in the online marketing world. If you had a lot of social media connections, I would surmise that a lot of information flows your way. Probably more so than the average marketer. Does being at the top of your micro-community and being a hub of information flow make you a better source to receive and process information? Is it a chicken and egg scenario where you begin as a good information processor which leads to becoming a focal point, with a very large number of followers?
Is it restricted to individuals in the tech industry? Can we generalize this idea of connections making us “smarter” to the rest of the world? Exponential growth in your personal knowledgbase reliant on the number of social media contacts must lead to something more. In the physical world, socializing brings you more information. A loner may have limited opportunities to acquire new information but a popular student has many friends in school where they learn more about parties, and other points that make them more knowledgeable in their own respect. Do you become a magnet for information, friends, followers, and similar social capital?
If a lot of people are sending you information, how much can you retain in what period of time? This is especially true for the Internet marketing industry where the best people keep up with that they can. It will become increadingly difficult for freelancers working in a bubble to get anywhere.
On the other hand, of course it all comes down to definitions. (I went to psychology graduate school where I administered IQ tests, not to mention developed some of my own behavioural measurement tools, and can assure you that defining “smart,” “intelligence,” “knowledgeable.” and related terms is tied to intended use).
Texting is certainly a form of communication. That in particular allows us to get more information faster. Is the way we process information changing? With shorter attention spans, we may not be able to handle the process of taking a lot of information in at the same time, especially complex information needed to achieve great things.
I welcome your commentary.