As I'm sure you're all aware, this week is SMEG Awareness Week. Social media expert guru (SMEG) numbers have been increasing in New Zealand in the last 12 months due to a combination of the tidal impacts on the Orinoco river and the recession. So here's a handy field guide to help you spot them.
There are two main varietals of SMEG. The common garden (SMEG common) variety is usually a young male child that has exaggerated ideas about his own awesomeness and entrepreneurial abilities. The SMEG aspires to be a dot com silicon valleywag and is convinced that his ideas are new, original and destined to make him billions next Wednesday at around three o'clock so he can soar to the heights of global digerati fame and success and buy a Prius. Like that guy that owns Mashable.
SMEG commons are essentially harmless and can be correctly identified by asking three simple questions.
- Do you like Sam Morgan?
- Do you you have any credit on your prepay phone?
- Would you consider working for contra?
SMEG commons will answer 'no' to question one and two because they are jealous of the actual real life success of proper real life digital entrepreneurs and because they don't have any money ('Who is Sam Morgan?' is also a frequent response).
The third question will often return a false positive. SMEG commons will say 'yes' because they are desperate to appear as if they actually have clients, but due to their delusions of awesomeness may also say 'yes, that will be $5,000 for a one hour workshop' (anybody half decent at what they do hates contra and will automatically answer 'Hell no, don't be such a tight arse, I've got bills to pay. Do you think this is charity?').
The second variety of SMEG is slightly more sinister in an 'old man's beard must go' kind of way. The SMEG exotic is characterised by an accent and is usually British, American or Australian. Exotic SMEGs provide risk to the personal safety of the executive team as they have an uncontrollable pathological desire to leg-hump chief executives and senior managers at networking functions and conferences.
The exotic SMEG can be easily identified by the volume of bullshittery they spout about conference appearances, travelling in airplanes and how 'flat out' and 'busy' they are. It's almost as if the internet wouldn't run if they didn't get out of bed in the morning. They have a shapeshifting ability of false modesty and will say things like 'I'm not an expert but...' while they present case studies about campaigns from overseas on big, sexy brands like Coke that they had nothing to do with.
It pays to remember the exotic SMEG has been shunned from his own people, much like Edward Scissorhands when he kills that dude and goes back up to the scary house with the broken roof. SMEGs are dangerous and they are starting to infect New Zealand culture.
We are also seeing new varieties of hybrid, New Zealand wannabe exotic SMEG-erry (SMEG native) which is both concerning and worrying.
What should you do if I see a SMEG in the wild? You should run away to the safety of your personal computing device and seek verification via the Interpol database named 'LinkedIn.' Any job titles that suggest douche-baggery such as 'serial entrepreneur' , 'digital exploration deep sea diving tour leader CEO' or 'director of innovative interactive digital strategy anthropologist' mean you probably have a SMEG on your hands. Profiles will claim they were the fourth person in the world to join Facebook and Twitter 26 years ago and they will be a member of 112 industry organisations.
Previous job titles will be from completely unrelated functions like 'Tax Accountant'.
How do we eradicate SMEGs? Starvation through lack of conference appearances and by not letting them hump your leg.
Where can I go for further information? The internets.