Gurus, Ninjas and Other Biohazard Internet Materials

The internet is a full-frontal exposure. Especially for those that claim it is their business. Whether on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, tons of people boasting that they are a guru, “Da S%&t”. In some cases they really are, in others, they are just full of themselves of very young and full of… (you know what I mean).

It’s funny, cause in my mind most of the online success of a certain campaign, Facebook page or Twitter profile is very circumstantial and depending on a major team effort. I say “circumstantial”, cause if you don’t have a great product/service that people write and refer about online, the chance to outperform your competitors in the page rank field is limited. I also use “teamwork” cause everybody on the team should be on the same page and it is impossible to know everything about the company (especially, if you are an outside hired gun).

Anyways, here are my two cents on the dull names marketers pick for themselves and use them in their profiles:

  • Interactive Ninja – Ninjas are sneaky bastards that get hired to kill without being detected. Now, how could you be sneaky and seek conversation at the same time?
  • Social Media Guru – So, let me get this straight! You are the guy who sits in a Lotus position and thinks of engaging the user and selling more soda cans next quarter?
  • Search Engine Marketing Wizard – Unless you can prove that you can create magic and risk being ousted by the Vatican, don’t use this word in such a context!
  • Chief Kahuna – I kinda like this one, I must admit. But unless you are Hawaiian and a priest, you’d better stay away from it! It will be tough to pull it off, oh, and you need that small guitar. Not everybody can play it.
  • Social Media Super User – Oh, come on!
  • SEO Sorcerer – By the way, have you heard that search engines are paying more and more attention to social media links that actually keyword density? Put a spell on that!
  • Mobile Marketing Champion – Wow! Mobile has been happening since … 2007. Every January 1 since then is claimed the year of mobile. Not just yet, player. The year of mobile should happen first, for you to call yourself a champion.

So, here is a thought. Why don’t you get your portfolio together and real-life examples of your work and let the client or employer decide what they think of you? This way, you won’t suffer any embarrassment, should the matters go south.

Don’t forget to share the most appalling self-qualifications you have encountered online! I would love to read them.

Copyright © 2011 Borislav Kiprin. All Rights Reserved.


  1. BitBoutique® January 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Hehehe, Borislav, now I’m curious how you would comment on my title “Digital Catweazle” 😀

  2. Borislav Kiprin January 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Hahaha. I knew you would come to bite me on this one. I had a speech prepared for when we meet in Berlin. 😉

    If you can pull it off with the client and make him/her understand what exactly you mean by “Digital Catweazle”, then it should be ok. 😉 But then, you’d better bring it!

    My believe is that odd taxonomy and self-qualification leads more often to unsatisfiable expectations. Digital marketers (and professionals in general) should act responsibly when selling services. It is very easy to put tons of make up, but the question is whether both parties will be happy with what they are seeing in the morning aftermath. 😉

    1. BitBoutique® January 18, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Yeah, I agree totally. I chose that title because I know it’s not so widely known though it’s been a famous british tv series. Often the service I’m providing for customers is what a so called consultant does, but I don’t like that: consultant can be everybody, also the maybe more serious advisor. So with a sort of self-irony I chose for the Digital Catweazle.
      Another background of that title was an action of a friend of mine: we started giving us those weird magic titles as twitter-avatar with one of those weird flashy random Photoshop-gradients in the background that look like some lucy-in-the-sky-with-diamonds color fields b/c it seems that some of those gurus and ninjas had a good lsd-trip 😀
      Then one guy pressed buttons out of the avatars, we posted pictures and here’s mine
      So I’m using that Biohazard with lot of irony and customers who don’t understand that are probably not the customers I want to deal with anyway.
      BTW another title I liked very much was the “Senior Troublemaker” invented by Stine. There should be an experienced one in every good team.

      1. Borislav Kiprin January 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

        And you brought it! 🙂

        I can understand this approach. And you are probably right about the choice of customers. And if one can create shared reference or explain and back it up, they got my vote.

        By the way, “Senior Troublemaker” is hot, very geeky and totally fancied by me title! Hmmm… Gotta think a bit more, if this does not contradict with my statements above.

        1. BitBoutique® January 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

          I’ll make sure to wear that button when we meet at the airport as identification for you 😀 (hope I find it somewhere …)

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  4. MihailD April 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Great post! My colleage and I were discussing the same thing and we came to the conclusion that he should call himself a Sith Lord of Social Media and I will be his dark apprentice. If people claim to be ninjas and gurus, we are taking one step further than that 🙂

    1. Borislav Kiprin April 19, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Star Wars #FTW as usual. 🙂 I appreciate the implied reference and fully agree. Many social media managers are indeed acting as representatives of the dark side of the force. 😉 Thank you!

      1. MihailD April 19, 2013 at 9:45 am

        You can sense when an FB page has fallen to the Dark Side, when you see 100, 000 likes and 10 people talking about this (and NO posts from the actual company owning the page). Someone has been buying Likes from some Bounty Hunters.

        1. Borislav Kiprin April 19, 2013 at 10:00 am

          Likes on FB turned into Endorsements on LinkedIn or Favs on Twitter (to some extend). It is all just a Poke. But not one with the light sabre. 😉

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