Are You Still Relevant? [Part 2 of 2]

The point I was leading towards in “Are You Still Relevant? [Part 1 of 2]” is that *your* perception of yourself isn’t necessarily the same as anyone else’s. Also, if a lot of people perceive you in a certain fashion, that doesn’t make it the truth.

I will attempt to clarify, hahaha šŸ˜€

Technology is changing. The way people relate to each other is changing. Back in the day, people used to send letters by Pony Express or on the train or on ships that would travel from America to Europe. Eventually, they were using telegraphs & telephones. Eventually portable phones. Eventually pagers, then text messaging and now smartphones. People used DOS, then Windows, then Mac OS. People programmed with ADA, C++, Visual Basic…..

Just because you composed incredible letters that you mailed to your loved one doesn’t mean you can kick that live, today over the phone. Just because you were a genius at database programming 15 years ago doesn’t mean you know A SINGLE THING about Twitter. Just because I was involved in live streaming three years ago doesn’t mean I know anything about it TODAY:

Jonny Goldstein & Bre Pettis – October, 2006

The way I’ve seen things happen… A LOT, in Social Media is that someone does ONE THING… *EVAR* IN LIFE, and from that point on, they’re declared relevant. Their opinions on totally unrelated things are heralded because they invented something ONCE, or they wrote ONE really popular blog post or book or they worked for ONE company that everyone was jocking at the time. After that, there’s no need to look at that person’s track record.. It’s like they made it into the hall of fame.

The difference with the hall of fame, like, in Baseball or Football is that you don’t ask hall-of-famers to coach teams AFTER they’re inducted. Why is that? Because the systems their teams used and that they individually excelled at… are OVER. There are new formations, new plays, new philosophies, there’s new equipment, players are faster and stronger… The ONLY way a hall-of-famer would be selected to coach a current team is if he had proven that he understands and mentally excels in the workings of the CURRENT environment.

The way I see it.. For those of us who care about such things, we have a new opportunity every single day to reestablish our relevance in our chosen fields of knowledge or expertise. Actually, I suppose there are two sorts of relevance. There’s the relevance in which you’re like a textbook… You’re still a relevant source of information about Pascal programming…. For whatever THAT’S worth….. Then there would be relevance to current concepts or technologies. What I’m saying is that the hall-of-famers DEFINITELY deserve all the props for their past achievements! No doubt. A lot of people act like relevance in one area is transferrable to relevance in another and tend to follow people as authorities on things that they really aren’t.

The reason I started out with part 1 of this article is that my “reaching back” situation helped me to recognize the lack of transferral of relevance over time. There are at least two reasons why it’s necessary for me to reestablish relevance with people I knew a long time ago, when we were kids.

  1. Time has passed and they may not even remember ever having spent time with me.
  2. “The Game” has changed immensely for all of us since we were kids. Whatever relevance I *HAD* in that environment isn’t applicable to our lives in their current formats.

This is why I ask(ed) the question “Are you still relevant?”. I don’t mean relevant to yourself or relevant to the people you interact with right now. The question is, how long do your props last? How long will people give you credit for whatever you did in the past? How long can you ride on past glory? How long will people still say “There goes whomever!” if you’re not striving to stay on top of new technologies, concepts and philosophies? Have you let yourself get out-of-date? If so, what’s your plan on rectifying that? Do you have one? Do you care?

On the flip side of that, what are the credentials of the people that you “follow” or consider to be authorities in their field? What are the credentials of the “experts” that you hire to work on your projects or help your company excel? The dating columns you read? What do the writers really know about people or relationships? Have you checked into any of this, or did you take someone else’s word that this person knows what they’re talking about and subsequently passed that potentially erroneous information on to your own friends and followers?

Are you accepting advice from people who were good at Atari 2600 games about XBOX games?… Are you accepting advice from guys that don’t know any women about women?… Are you asking gals that get played left and right what their advice is about men?… Are you relying on someone with NO RECORD WHATSOEVER of being a video producer or editor to complete your project professionally and on time?… Are you relying on someone with no record whatsoever of increasing a company’s ROI, efficiency or visibility to lead your company to Social Media glory?…..

Good Luck with that. šŸ˜‰

~ Bill Cammack

Twitter: BillCammack
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  1. Thought provoking post! A contender for most questions in one blog post.

    You’ll always be huge to me, Bill. Part of that is because you are a hustle machine. You keep cranking out the hustle. And I suspect you always will.


  2. Oh, another thought. Sometimes it makes sense to lay low, let ideas incubate, and then leap out of the bushes with a chainsaw. Staying in the limelight for the heck of it is a crazy game. Got to breathe. Now, where did I put that chainsaw?

    1. Thanks man.. And you’re absolutely right. It’s a crazy game. I’m always checking my stats. I’m always checking my Google results. The other day, they must have passed some kind of BILL, because I got bumped all the way past page 2 to page THREE!!! haha Can you BELIEVE IT? :O I think I’m back in position now, on page 1 of Google for “Bill” (top 10 results), but that was only after a serious barrage of videos and text articles that I’ve posted over the last week.

      I have two things very much in my favor. a) I live in New York City and there’s always something happening and something to talk about or film:

      b) When a concept comes to me, it flows pretty easily for me into an article written from my stream of consciousness. I never really TRY to post articles… They just occur to me and I type what I’m already thinking, as if I were having a conversation with someone about that topic.

      I’m pretty sure this is an addiction, but it’s also FUN AS ALL GET-OUT!!! šŸ˜€

  3. I believe that we are always relevant to something or someone. Historically, if one person remembers how funny you were or how much they disliked you, you my friend were relevant to that particular persons memory of that time in their life. The problem, as you know is, is when we realize one person remembers us (for whatever reason) and then we assume that everyone at that time should also remember. Some people just dont care (as you mentioned in part one) but there is a nice percentage of those who do and are actually offended that you dont hold their memory in as high regard as they do. I liken it to being “in style”, we all have those moments when everyone seems to want us, be us, like us, be around us and just as quickly… you are no longer “in style”! What true substance you brought to the table will determine how relevant you remain, even if only in thought, and will determine if you will be allowed to be relevant again! And I absolutely agree with J. Goldstein’s remark about your hustle, even if i dont log on for the next two months I know you will stay on top of your game and your hustle. It was relevant to me in the begining because it allowed to “view” sum of my history in the written word, its relevant now because you have allowed me to participate, and it will stay relevant because I know there will always be something new with a fresh twist for me to read.

    1. Thanks man. I agree. I’m spoiled, because I’m normally the star of the show. Also, to be fair, I haven’t changed much, visually, since I graduated from College, other than my hair length, so most people recognize me on sight and I never have to explain to them “who I am” or where I know them from.

      That’s why the initial experience was “odd” to me, because I had to start rattling off information to my friend about who her best friend was in Elementary, etc. The other thing that was funny was that she had actually run my name by another gal that was in school with us and SHE was like “I don’t know who that is”! hahaha

      It’s all about projection. The fact that I remembered both of them so clearly and will probably recognize their names until I croak blinded me to the fact that it might not be the same in the other direction. The fact that I can pull out my Elementary School graduation book RIGHT NOW and show them where they signed it doesn’t mean that THEY still have their books, have ever looked in them or care at all.

      On top of that.. Just because I had a BLAST in Elementary and JHS doesn’t mean that everyone else did. I became reacquainted with one friend of mine that I have pictures of right here, and he was like he doesn’t like to think about that time of our lives, because he was always picked on. I may very well have contributed to that “picking-on”, and I may not have. I don’t remember. All I know is that when I saw his name on a video on NYC Public Access, I looked him up immediately and reached out to him.

      As far as the hustle, it’s necessary if you want to stay on top of your game. The REAL point I was trying to get to is that there are a lot of people giving credit to a lot of other people that are currently irrelevant and then following them down the “wrong” path. There are people who claim to be gurus due to past glory, but their websites SUCK, their articles SUCK, their live shows SUCK, their text chats SUCK, their videos SUCK, their Ning communities SUCK, their podcasts SUCK and STILLLLL people follow them around like as if these people have the answer.

      Technology’s changing too fast for people to retain props from past glory other than “Hall of Fame”, “I remember when” props. In most cases, the knowledge isn’t transferrable. The opportunity that Social Media offers us is that if you’re willing to put in the Trial & Error work, YOU can be just as much of a star as someone who WAS a star 10 years ago and has been sailing through the years on their past glory instead of diligently remaining current and relevant.

  4. Hey Cuz, not being a wordsmith as you seem to be. Iā€™m quick to speak my mind and move on. With that said, my idea of being relevant is this. ā€˜U BE U OR U WILL BE ALONE!’

    You do not need to take a breath, your breathing is your blogs!
    Social Media is here to stay, so ride it Cuzzo till the wheels fall off!

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