Bubbles & Colours
Bubbles & Colours

Social media in 2009 – social media changes or changing the world?

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I found a really interesting article on ReadWriteWeb about “10 Ways Social Media will change in 2009” and I would like to take on some of the points raised they raised here. How I found the article is interesting in itself: by looking at Twitturls it was third trending url as tweeted and re-tweeted today. That in itself is using the “zeitgeist” of the trending social media tool to find breaking news.

  1. People – Its about the importance of people in the social media equation – and how we are moving away from describing those interacting in the social media networks as “users” and more about the meaning and depth of those interactions themselves.
  2. Creating relevant social networks – People like having multiple conversations going at the one time and involving others they feel that would benefit. This becomes the cornerstone of defining yourself in your various social media conversations, and you also become the advocate or champion of what/who you are talking about. And by definition, most human beings are multi-faceted and multi-dimensional so expect one person to be part of many networks.
  3. Meaning and Value – Its no longer about features and technology – people want to connect with their networks easily and seamlessly. That means the technology fades into the background and it becomes about the “conversation” no matter where you have it, what you have it on, and whether its public or private.
  4. Convergence – People need somewhere to put all their online personas, media, links and ephemera and the first one to get there will win. FriendFeed is a platform and now has API. Its got a long way to go to beat Facebook.
  5. Building a cross-platform experience – It’s no accident that Apple have sold so many iPhones around the world. Also other mobile phones with applications achieve the same thing,  Part of the reason I am such an avid iPhone fan is for the seamless social experience of being able to Tweet on the run and include GPS coordinates for those who are interested. Twitter is my channel choice because I can connect to so many of my different networks at once. I am just as seamlessly connected when mobile as when I am deskbound.
  6. Innovating in the Advertising Space – I have 3 words for this relevance, relevance, relevance. If its relevant to you at the moment you need it you will click. Recent examples of so-called social media advertising in Australia insults the intelligence of the people it pretends to engage. So few get this right – Facebook included. At the moment, this space is best described as “digital PR”.
  7. Helping People Organize Their “Old” Social Media Ecosystem – See Convergence at number 4, this becomes about aggregating content and doing a giant mashup. I’m sure Google is about to roll it out in 6 months, but if not, this will be the winner in the next round.
  8. Connecting with the world – yes, its about breaking down normal geographical boundaries. Which means relevance again. And yes, social media users now are early adopters so those using social media marketing better test now and get it right before the mainstream hops on the bandwagon.
  9. Social media jobs – will be about content strategies, content experts and being relevant. Oh, and for those who think can be done in the time a traditional tactical campaign can be banged out – think again. Long term to very long term strategies will need to be employed because like any network it takes time to build.
  10. Making money –  it always comes down to that. I feel those who get the GPS and mobile application delivery right will stand to gain the most at the offset of development cost and time. In the meantime, its about building relationships. Channels, tools, technology – all come and go, but everyone using social media want to connect.

So to answer my own question – probably a bit of both. But more social media having an impact on changing the world – its already done that – thank you President Obama.

photo by: Esparta