Cranky postal service tells cool social networking kids to get off its lawn

The Borrell Associates blog notes that the USPS advertising magazine Deliver simply does not care for this new-fangled social networking business:

Part of the magazine’s content decried social network marketing. One column begins, “The real danger with social media is in marketers expecting too much from it.” Another begins, “Social media takes up more time than it does money.” But the coup de grace is the back page. It features a full-page “Last Word: Found in the Trash” piece showing a crumpled piece of paper with a chart labeled “Percent of Adults Who Use Social Media, 2005-2009.” Above the chart, a nameless executive has written “Why are we paying so much attention to this if HALF the population isn’t?” The scribbled answer: “Cause it’s the cool new thing.”

chart“Cool new thing”? Way to sound slightly out of touch USPS! Also interesting is the “chart” itself. I don’t know if the numbers are accurate, but I noticed something odd when I looked at the full sized version. You might assume that the chart shows an annual trend, but it doesn’t. Some of the data points are only a few months apart- the last two points are December 2008, 35%, and April 2009, 46%. That works out to a 31% growth rate in four months!

All of which makes you think that maybe it was the guy that scrawled “Why are we paying so much attention to this” who threw the chart away. After he got fired…

Update: Irony alert! Deliver magazine is available on line! Not only that, but at the bottom of each story is a little “tell a friend” button that invites you to share the article on your favorite social networking site

via Borrell Associates, Inc: Local Interactive & Online Advertising Research and Consulting.