I've been thinking about how ego traps operate in social media - which could also be called hero marketing (credit Seth Godin for suggesting the term). Essentially, social media focuses on individuals and ego traps help promote individuals, not necessarily at the expense of helping/promoting others.
I don't think ego traps are inherently "bad." However, I believe that individuals should be fully aware of the implications when participating in a hero marketing scheme - particularly what they're trying to accomplish and why. Honesty with one's own ego is the key. (Or is it the id that's really the problem?)
Jeremiah has started a list of social media marketing awards. Self-submitted industry award competitions are ego traps in action. Why?
- Agencies seek credit for their work, so they can win more clients.
- Clients seek recognition for success, so they can ask for bigger budgets and salaries.
- Judges seek credit as subject matter experts, so they can get more business.
- Award hosts seek credibility as industry authorities, so they can get more business.
Award competitions work well when executed properly (i.e. focused topic, large sample of competition, critical judgment process), because they can be a quintuple-win situation for the participants: clients, agencies, judges, hosts, and observers. Let's just be aware of and honest about what everyone seeks in the process.