What is the Social Media Echo Chamber?


In the last few months that I have been participating in the Social Media sphere, I have seen the words Social Media Echo Chamber being used a LOT! I have seen Chris Brogan use it, Kevin Rose use it, even Gaurav Mishra and Sampad Swain use it! So what exactly is it?

If you go by what Wikipedia says, the echo chamber is “any situation in which information, ideas or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission inside an ‘enclosed’ space.” What this means is that when a claim made by an unverified source is repeated by a group of like-minded people, then re-repeated over and over again, most people would assume the claim to be accurate and factual.

Despite my enthusiasm for Social Media, I have still to see it being integrated flawlessly in marketing campaigns. I will however be the first to agree that the Motrin Moms incident, the arguments and counter arguments on FriendFeed over authority and the general Twitter-mania demonstrate to me that there is potential in this medium. They do not, however, demonstrate the practical usefulness of the underlying principles, processes and tools themselves.

What I mean to say here is that we can keep saying to each other that Social Media is the new harbinger of all things cool in digital marketing, but we will finally have arrived when the head honchos of top corporations – who care a rats a$$ about Social Media – will allot greater spends for digital marketing campaigns as they can see better Return on Investment for the product in the long run.

Therefore, though the Social Media Echo Chamber may be good for those who practise Social Media for a living, it is rather self-reflecting when it comes to refining doctrine, use of tools and evolving. My guess is that no amount of screaming within the echo chamber will bring in new players or get new converts – even though that helps in forming a collective voice against the naysayers.

Personally, I think all of us and not just businesses are looking for “social media marketing gurus” who’ll stop talking about what doesn’t work, and give real pointers about what businesses should do. What do you think?

Image credits: GapingVoid


  1. Nice, timely post about social media and echo chamber.

    My sense is that we have forgotten that tools, even technology tools are just a means to an end. We are all caught up in the consumer delight experience. We are caught up in exploring the latest delights of a tech tool and are busy test driving it. What matters is the voice behind the tool or the message behind the tool, the idea that is being transmitted using that cutting edge tech tool…that is what matters. That is my 2 cents 🙂

    Kamla Bhatt

  2. Not “even technology tools” but “especially technology tools” are just a means to an end.

    If I get caught up in “exploring the latest delights of a tech tool and [am] busy test driving it” usually means I ain’t gettin’ enough.

  3. I agree with both of you. Technology ‘tools’ are just that. They are meant to be used, not romanticised over. Thank you for commenting 🙂

    ~ A.

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