The New "Boom" to Avoid

Isra Garcia
Isra Garcia Digital transformation advisor and new media analyst, IG

Posted on July 3rd 2014

The New "Boom" to Avoid

You get a welcoming email: “I’d like to invite you to…”

Then you realise it’s a promotional invite to a social media or community management course. It can come from a university, a business school, a training centre or the sweet shop round the corner.


A course for 40 or 50 people, economically priced - let’s say somewhere between $600 and $1,000 to talk about something quite standard - with trainers who’re really good at explaining things, publishing books and tweeting. Hey! You’re not really looking for anyone to explain anything, that’s what YouTube tutorials are for! I bet that what you’re looking for is how to do something that yields a result, improving what you do: customer service, turning fans into leads, visits turning to conversions or building believability among your audience. All of this, through practice of course, how else?!

I think that too much of what you invest in excitement and expectations on this course goes on networking, funny videos, metaphors, “tweetable” punch lines or dinner on Friday after class.

I’m practically certain that only 5-10 hours in a 110-hour course will go to insight, interesting debate, tension, connection, experience and provocation and, yes, it’s certainly possible you’ll hear one or two things that inspire or motivate you. However, I think we can agree that this isn’t really the way of efficiently making a professional stand out in this (or any other) field. Note: think about what you’d get out of a 20-40 hour course.

The new “boom”

The failure in this type of “boom” is that when the course comes to an end, the organisers suffer because they try to be too many things at once and offer too many benefits that never arrive.

At first, being assaulted by a promotion for such a course may seem like a gift. It’s OK to do it, take part and learn. The moment requires that you nod with your head and say yes. You should realise that you’re becoming involved in this not because you truly believe in it; you’re accepting because the system’s making you, supposedly to adapt to the present times, it’s the ‘in’ thing to do or you’re unemployed.

Secondly, there are certain benefits for both the student and the creator of the course, master’s or specialisation workshop. This training is carried out with a specific objective in mind: educating and teaching people to do something, showing them how in a manner that those attending the course will understand; this isn’t for the benefit of teachers or the institution. The teaching centre benefits socially from organising the course, plus the fake benefit of feeling useful, valuable and changing lives. The student benefits socially from taking part in something that could change things but which currently doesn’t really change much in reality or contribute anything truly new. However, it does provide an excuse not to do the work that needs to be done, as well as the commercial benefit of being part of a group trained not to think and simply obey.

Again, nothing of this benefits us.

Help yourself

That is why any education regarding new forms of communication and the social web are increasingly corrupted. Those attending such education are moved by motivations they won’t find there: the element of “learning by doing something” simply won’t happen.

Taking part in courses on community management or the social web, regardless of their educational status, is terribly overrated. In essence, the contents delivered in such courses have no true foundation, and so partaking in them boils down to: “I can afford it, it’s bound to help improve my situation and it’s something I have to do”.

Do we need training in social media and community management to help with our work in this connected economy? You answer.

You're invited / shutterstock

Isra Garcia

Isra Garcia

Digital transformation advisor and new media analyst, IG

Marketer, digital transformation and new media advisor, speaker, blogger, educator and an agent of change.

Social Media Today's Best thinker member. Isra is the creator and author of the paradigm that has revolutionised the social media: Human Media and also founder of Stand OUT Program, Engage Worldwide and Principal at IG.

His blog on Social Media, Marketing, disruption, lifestyle, new perspectives, productivity and change is visited by more than 110,000 people every month. Only 31, Isra has taken part as a TEDx speaker on three occasions and has participated in more than 290 industry events as speaker. At 27, he started his own agency, and has worked as consultant and analyst on new forms of online communication and marketing for other agencies and brands such as EMI Music (Spain – Portugal), BlackBerry (UK – Ireland), MTV (UK), Pioneer (UK) and blur Group (UK – USA), Amnesia Ibiza (Spain) and Music On (Spain – Italy). He has been the promoter of MONK (UK – Italy – Sao Paulo), the first Human Media Marketing agency, where he worked as Human Media Evangelist and Advisor, and is now involved as head of digital media at Bridges for Music (South Africa – India – Brazil), an international NGO that fosters and encourages change and talent. Isra has also been in charge of Marco Carola’s personal brand as one of the most influential artists in the electronic music scene worldwide. He actually advises Ushuaia Beach Hotel, named as number one most technological-adavanced hotel in the world.

His fast-moving career has always been related to Web 2.0.  Isra´s early work as a consultant, in charge of teams and Social Media strategies for Social Media & Community. These are just a few of the highlights of his career. Undoubtedly, Isra adds a visionary and human-technological way to understand this new environment that the Internet has provoked.

Leaving aside companies, roles and projects, Isra has always been characterized by a thrilling passion for the human side of communication.

Isra writes for international publications such as Social Media Today, SmartBrief and contributed with FastCompany and is a guest lecturer at EOI, Fundesem Business School, Nottingham Business School, University of Leeds and University of Manchester. He is co-founder and organiser of Adictos Social Media and "Internet Changes Everything."

Isra is a 31-year-old visionary and pioneer who has revolutionized the New Media environment with his concept of Human Media based on human business interactions through the Social Web . Isra pioneered how the the new use of online media leverages the Social Web through human relationships, Human Business Interactions, connectivity, feelings, resonance and of course people. Specialized studies in Spain, UK and USA represent the base for his international career. Isra was recently on TEDx where he introduced his vision about Human Media and its impact on brands, businesses, people and the Web.

In only two and-a-half years, Isra has completed two Ironman races and, since last september, he is one of the only 89 athletes in the world that has completed the three-day ultra endurance event, "Ultraman" (10k swim + 420k bike + 84,3k run). He always pushes the intellectual and physical work far beyond his limits.

You can find Isra at TEDx events, presenting his perspective on Human Media, the future of social media, change, revolution, Ultraman and disruption. Also, in his Spanish blog and international site

“Writing about oneself is infinitely more difficult than writing about anyone else. You’ll find that the story you thought you were telling people isn’t the story that people perceived.” Isra García.

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