US v UK social media – Trey Pennington’s take

Posted by on Jun 18, 2010 in Social Media Strategy | No Comments

I’m looking forward to reading all the great blog posts about last night’s Media 140 Scotland event. They’ll no doubt pick up on the interesting points raised by speakers Pat Kane, Trey Pennington and Steve Berry and the debates they inspired afterwards while we all networked in Glasgow’s CCA.
I just wanted to share a really interesting conversation I had with the charming southern gent that is Trey Pennington. I asked him if he’d noticed a difference between the way the US and the UK treats social media – and while I didn’t have my notebook and pen to scribble any quotes, I was sober so I’m pretty sure I can represent him accurately!
He said that when it comes to the events, Americans, in general, are more concerned with the wifi connection, while the Brits are all about the content.
This surprised me. The wifi connection? You’ve paid, in this case, £40 to hear some experts talk and teach you something new about your industry – and you’re more concerned with how quickly you can get your own take on it out into the world?
I asked if this attitude extends to social media engagement – and he said yes:
“An American will say “I have 68,000 friends on Twitter” – a Brit would never say that. They’d say “No you don’t.” Americans have a more superficial approach.”
I’ve always thought that Americans – again, in general – are more open to commenting and putting their opinions out there – but now that I think about it, is it better to have more comments or better comments? I read a lot of American bloggers, mostly after seeing tweets – and there are a lot of blog readers who simply write “great post” and then link to their own blog. This isn’t really social media engagement. In contrast, British blogs tend to have fewer comments but with better content – and with more of a desire to really connect, I feel.
I’d be really interested to know if other bloggers have noticed this – or if I’m brutally generalising?


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