I've been thinking a lot about what makes the work I do and the ideas I have different from my contemporaries. Rather facetiously, I talk about the internet as a new religion embraced by the masses in search of salvation. By resisting internet orthodoxy, I deliberately try to see our society and its relationship with technology in a unique manner.
This begins with refusing to use the same jargon and phrases as others, and playing with words to find more accessible and meaningful ways of explaining trends and phenomena. The internet is full of technical concepts that have exclusive and rigid meanings.
Yet the power and resilience of the internet is derived from its open nature, so it only makes sense that we embrace freedom when we talk and think about related ideas and concepts. I do this by generally distrusting technical authorities, including early adopters, technology executives, and I.T. admins. I respect their knowledge, but always question whether their perspective has the potential to be transfered to people who aren't in a position of technical authority (the vast majority of us).
When it comes to the world of social media, which is both technical and non-technical, elitist and also accessible, I find myself consistently frustrated by the level of "group think." In contrast to other technical areas, social media accommodates anyone and everyone, so jargon isn't an acceptable vocabulary to control the discussion and analysis.
What you commonly find is a spoken and unspoken orthodoxy, rules that dictates how tools should be used and people should act. The problem is that this stifles innovation and doesn't allow for the kind of true experimentation we should be seeing in this sector.
Public relations, marketing and advertising people lament the rash of social media experts who project their own industry orthodoxy onto an emergent discipline. Few understand the dynamic involved when in a long chain of diverse individuals and organizations who have a range of expertise culturally acclimatize their own networks and friends.
The seeds of this kind of internet orthodoxy were sown in Ursula Franklin's definition of technology as being "how we do things around here". The variable comes in how we define where we are, with the internet collapsing space into time and everyone being "here" at some point in time.