February 16, 2007
@ 02:04 AM

It seems that I must have missed some key conference or memo sometime this year because all of a sudden I see a lot of blogs dropping the term social media and I have no idea what it means. I tried reading the wikipedia entry for social media but ended up more confused than ever. The first paragpragh seems OK and it reads

Social media describes the online tools, platforms and practices that people use to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. Popular social mediums include blogs, message boards, podcasts, wikis, and vlogs.
This seems like an explanatory definition until you consider that this pretty much describes the majority of the Web today. We have moved from the read-only Web of the 1990s to the read-write Web of today where personal publishing is king from self indulgent blogs and ugly MySpace pages to home made rap videos and amateur photo journalism. Personal publishing and the editable Web is here to stay. Thus this term seems pretty redundant especially since the odious "Web 2.0" still seems to have legs. Did the pundits get tired of "Web 2.0" and decide they needed to create a new buzzword to yank our chains with? Seriously...WTF?

PS: Is it just me or does most of the Wikipedia entry seem like a cleverly disguised ad for a PR firm with references to "Social Media Press Releases" and "Social Media Campaigns". Double WTF?

PPS: The tipping point for me with regards to this silly term was reading the TechCrunch article about Microsoft hiring Michael Gartenberg and trying to parse "Hiring social media power users to evangelize for your company’s product" into a statement that made sense and failing. Woefully.


 

Friday, February 16, 2007 3:32:07 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I have faced that word "social media" but have not taken any time to read and understand it, not until now.
Friday, February 16, 2007 10:54:41 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Its incredibly corny isnt it. You see the marketing and PR types spurting this rubbish day in day out to somehow show that they 'get it'. I completely agree that 'social media' is simply what the net is these days.

Jamie
Friday, February 16, 2007 1:30:23 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I think the terms 'social media' and 'social software' as not so redundant and a whole hell of a lot more useful to use when speaking to business-types then Web 2.0 - which was always a buzz overloaded marketing term - except when used by Tim O'Reilly.

JD Lasica, btw, has used the term 'social media' for as long as I can remember.
Friday, February 16, 2007 1:35:28 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Yes, it's a pretty fuzzy term, but I don't think it's new (at least not in Internet time). I just took a pretty severe scalpel to the Wikipedia article, and will cross my fingers that someone doesn't revert it to its former mess.
Friday, February 16, 2007 2:32:52 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
VC's sunk a ton of money into Social sites like Friendster because they believed that woman would be more social then men. Then they had too pay woman to be queen bees to attract the guys, but none of these sites ever did an IPO or got sold to Google, Yahoo or Microsoft.

When blogs got big they said, ah ha, see social media is where it's at!

I don't see information aggregation as social, blogging communities are a way to get to know things about people, but we socialize when we meet face to face.
Friday, February 16, 2007 6:44:02 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Social media seems obvious and ubiquitous until you start talking to people who aren't into technology. While it might seem like social media just refers to everything on the web, I think that's an inaccurate description of the online life of the mainstream American adult, many of whom still use the web primarily for shopping and search.

Honestly, it seems that rather than a misunderstanding of the term, it's more that you simply dislike most social media categories. Ultimately, while the user-to-user interactions that characterize social media might be a long-standing part of your individual web experience (for better or for worse), for many people this is a pretty new set of experiences, and it is to that big part of the bell curve that the mainstream press and business community's fixation on the phrase is targeted.
Eric Wiesen
Sunday, February 18, 2007 1:31:20 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I would agree more if I weren't constantly coming across web pages with stories or products that I wanted to comment on, and couldn't. (Yes, I could comment on that page on other sites, but it's just not the same.)
Sunday, March 4, 2007 8:09:26 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I clipped this from a quick article I wrote a few weeks back on my own blog-

"But the real matter of what a Social Media Platform is all about is relationships. It is about human nature and the personal connections we make with information. As the Web is thrust into “2.0″ or perhaps even “2.5″, online wanderers continue to look for one thing- meaningful information.

Search engines like Yahoo and Google have been harvesting data for over a decade, thrusting our personal decisions through an automated process of A + B = C. Along the way, they have dehumanized the very essence of the information. They have disregarded the human equation.

Social Media is all about being human. It is about conversing with your neighbor, sharing ideas with a world famous author, or even sharing a joke with someone around the world. The “big boys” of the search engine world are finding themselves at the mercy of popular opinion as community sites like Myspace and YouTube encourage users to filter information in the most personal way they can."
Thursday, April 5, 2007 11:16:35 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
I do invite you to join the conversation, since we didn't send you the memo. ;-) You can start here: http://www.leveragesocialmedia.com.

Regards,
Rod
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