Tagger or Public Artist. Which are you?


There is a huge difference between self promotion and adding value to a conversation. Taggers are selfish people who only want to destroy what others have created for their own, often pointless, reasons. Public artists want to add to and create on top of what exists and have a goal to express and add to their surroundings.

Tagger – A person who runs around putting their largely illegible name on stuff that doesn’t belong to them. Acting like 5 year olds with black (or color of choice) bandannas over their faces they run around scribbling their name on anything they can and provide no value or service to the community and cost business owners and private citizens millions a year cleaning up after them.

Public Artists – People who want to share their art and who add to the surroundings with a well places image or two. They work hours and hours perfecting their craft and work tirelessly to bring us their vision. Some of them get so famous, like Banksy or swoon, that fans threaten to sue when someone covers up their art or their art sells for hundreds of thousands, and most of the time they just give it away for free.

So what does this have to do with social / new media?

Well, we have all had it pounded in our heads by the greats, the
successes who we want to be like and it all comes down to value and

Taggers get online and the whole time just scream me me me look at me. They don’t contribute to much, they don’t do much in the way of adding to the conversation unless it’s about them. Taggers don’t share, they just hop into something so they can have their name on it and don’t contribute. If you think about it you could probably think of people like that. I’m not in a mean mood so I’m not going to post any links to people, business, etc that I would deem social media taggers.

Public artists get online and they share. They share their research, their discoveries, thoughts, and they share the work of others too. They contribute to the communities of which they are a part and they share other people’s thoughts and discoveries as well. This of course fosters a community of their own around them and even when they get insanely popular they still just keep giving it away for free. Some of my favorite examples of social media public artists would be Chris Brogan,
Jacob Morgan, Amber Naslund, Louis Gray, and Jeremiah Owyang. I’m constantly getting great (free) information from them and have engaged in a good conversation or two with most of them and traded ideas back and forth.

So how can you become more of a social media artist?

These are a few of the things I do to share and contribute to the global community. What about you? What do you do? What are your favorite methods of sharing information? Feel free to leave a comment below with your favorite methods of distributing the information you come across.

Thank you for reading,
Josh “Shua” Peters

p.s. This post was inspired by one of my favorite websites, the Wooster Collective. Go check it out.

  • http://www.louisgray.com/live/ Louis Gray

    I wish I was engaging more by commenting on blogs as much as I once did. Now, I’m spending a lot more time reading feeds, sharing items, conversing on FriendFeed, and juggling twins, not to mention actually finding time to blog myself. So yes, my contributions in this space have decreased.

  • http://www.janetfouts.com Janet Fouts

    I spend a lot of time devouring all the info on my feeds and I’ve noticed that I’m doing a lot less commenting because of that. It’s more work to comment from a feed reader. I share a lot of links, but comments not so much.

    Thanks for the post, I’ll try harder to be less of a tagger!

  • http://www.shuaism.com Josh Peters

    Louis, commenting does indeed take a backseat when I get busy as well, I know it’s hard to “keep up”, but I still appreciate the good info I get from you and your blog.

    Janet, thanks for commenting! I know the feeling of reader overload, when I cam back from my Honeymoon a couple weeks ago I had over 1,000 unread articles and I still have about 350 from then on top of all my other in coming. It cam be stressful at times to keep up with the info you want.

    Thank you both for taking the time to leave a comment on here.

  • http://altitudebranding.com Amber Naslund


    Thanks so much for the shoutout. Participating in social media is the whole point, in my view. If you can’t make time to be part of the community, don’t expect it to do much on your behalf. Plus, all the people you mentioned (including me) share because they really believe it’s the right thing do to, and they enjoy doing it. I for one am so grateful for a community that’s not only engaged with me, but that allows me to be engaged with THEM.

    Thanks again. :)


  • http://www.shuaism.com Josh Peters

    Amber you’re welcome and thanks again for all the great information you push out. I added you to my Delicious network and really enjoyed your latest eBook.

    (Hmm, I thought I had already posted this comment, but it doesn’t seem to be here. Let’s hope it stays this time)

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