Is this the end of Social Media?

There have been a lot of posts by intelligent people lately regarding the perceived 'end' of social media or 'the social media bubble'. All I can do is laugh at our collectively myopic perspective. Participation in the social web is less than 20% of all Internet users based a number of recent studies which I should reference here. That is much less than 20% of the population of the globe. Social media is currently in the mid to late stages of the "Growth" phase of the product life cycle. The early majority is just starting to sniff at the potential of the social web.
Yes according to Read, Write, Web social media as a search term - based on current trending - will peak in 2012, but really what does a search really mean. This is based on the logic that web 2.0 is already 'dead'. When in fact we know that the idea and concept are alive and well especially among those looking from the outside in. Sure the regulars stopped using the term ages ago but that's always what happens. The social web is now woven into the fabric of our human collective. It may not be called social media in the future but it's not going anywhere.
The most interesting transformation will happen when the majority of the global population who have access use that access to collaborate, communicate and create. This is the epoch of social of sharing; of the people for the people by all of us. Businesses are now transforming themselves to take advantage of individuals innate interest in improving their world and the things they care about. Also note that based on the search volume for forum, blog, wiki and rss searches for these terms may not reflect the use of them. Blogs still dominate when compared with wikis. Is this a transformation of how we communicate (what words we use) or our actual use of the tools? This applies to the use of the term social media as well. Some food for thought.

The social web may be causing some of us to spend much more time than we are used to socializing digitally and that may be the real source of the burnout on social media. As Erica Glasier so wisely put it maybe we are all just "Oversocializied: My face hurts from smiling". The following comment was found on one of the posts referenced above and does a great job of encompassing my feelings about this myopic chatter on the end of social media.
"[The end of social media is a] very silly prediction IMHO. The buzzword, sure, will eventually fall out of fashion so that the pundits and conference-circuit "experts" have a newer, hotter term to bandy about and explain. But the concepts behind social media, social computing, whatever you want to call it, go back to the 60s, exploded in the early 70s, and will be around on the Net as long as there is a Net. I suspect ten years, twenty, fifty years from now, the applications that collectively comprise "social media" will have exploded beyond present-day imagination, although how they explode can be fairly well guessed at given an extrapolation of trends."
- Brainstorms


I would like to leave you with a video of a 100 year-old woman with her first computer, the iPad.

2 comments:

  1. 100% agree with ya. as the president of Research in Motion said "if i still have a president of digital media in 2 years, i should be fired" not because its going away, but because its going to become a part of everything. people want to participate, and this is NOT going backwards. people will not allow it.

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  2. Love the video - I really hope that is a glass of scotch on the table beside her. IPads and scotch, part of the fountain of youth.

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