You should watch this video from Wallgreen's Adam Kmiec because he makes a lot of great points about the hype of social and the reality check which is needed in the industry. I applaud him for stressing this. I also think he might be forgetting something I feel is really important. Poking is just as important as poking holes. Perhaps even more so.
I've watched Adam through the years and it was his "poking around" that led to his proficiency in social media. Same for Shiv Singh who leads social at Pepsi beverages. Before then he was sort of a lone voice at digital agency Razorfish trying to move that firm into the social era. Both Shiv and Adam (like myself) benefited from curiosity, digging and poking. We all made huge attempts to understand social in the context of business.
When I started blogging in 2006, at Digitas—my co-workers thought I was a little nuts. When I tried to convince them that Twitter would alter how we communicate (in 2007), they looked at me with puzzled expressions. Adam goes on to poke holes in one of social media's more innovative examples—Dell and their social media command center. But clearly expresses his interest in doing something similar for Walgreens. I would estimate that if Dell invited him to Austin, that he'd jump at the opportunity and within the year you'd see a headline citing Walgreen's roving social command center (inspired by Dell).
Here's my point: There's value to poking holes in any inflated industry. There's also value to simply poking. Adam did it and it served him well. Poking holes can serve a purpose—it can expose flaws in any area. But not at the expense of poking, digging, experimenting, and trying. Several years ago there was a market for teachers in this area and in principal, I'd agree with Adam that there are indeed myths in need of busting—some teachers have overreached. But today, the market demand is for myth busting. It makes for a good story.
In either scenario, I believe in one fundamental truth which I learned in design school. "Be true to your work and your work will be true to you". For me, this transcends all things social and has instilled my appreciation of those who "poke".