Sunday, March 22, 2009

Senior Vice-President Of Space Invaders

What a cool job title if it was real! (And maybe -- unofficially -- it was for Toshihiro Nishikado, circa 1978, the lucky developer of the game at Taito. Must have been great going to work on the world’s most popular video game at the time.)

So, job titles in this social media day and age. Chief Engagement Officer? Not new, but has a nice ring to it. Social Media Manager? Hmmm, not so good -- no one in social media wants to feel like the conversation is being “managed” or “guided,” however subtle.

More specialists are being sought in this field as companies feel the urge to jump on board, listen to their communities and get involved. What is an apt title though? Social media will be here for a while, but if not, and there’s a new fad on the scene next year, who wants a job title that might be out of date in 12 months? Is it better to be specific when calling yourself a Social Media Specialist to ensure you are relevant for the here and now, or do you play safe and plan ahead, go a bit more generic, say Digital Media Specialist? [My most recent title was picked for me, full disclosure.]

In the past, everyone knew what the CEO, President, Vice-President and intern did -- the titles were in daily use, and everyone got used to the hierarchy. But now, there are more Conversation Analysts, Community Managers and Social Media Strategists around. Can people pick and choose their own, or will the market level out and we all agree on titles?

Be realistic, choose wisely … or you could be yesterday’s Senior Vice-President of Space Invaders.

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