How Will Social Media Change in 2009?
Meaning and connection — two key anchors of all things social media — are corroding by the day as people’s ability to organize their experiences and find the relevance of their networks declines. Social media, in essence, is bumping up against its own ceiling, no longer able to serve the needs of those living within its walls; and for these reasons, social media as we know it is changing course.
The question is, how “on the target” is she? The snarky retort to that, of course, is to hold off on that until December 31, 2009. But I’ll go out on a limb here and comment on some of it now.
I agree the most with her #1 point: It’s About People:
…(S)ocial media is bringing back the human element to all digital interaction. People now deliberately seek meaningful connection, self-expression, and a relevant and receptive community. Forrester’s Social Technographic research and Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff’s Groundswell represent a huge step towards a new kind of behavior-driven segmentation, but companies that want to succeed will need to take it further and tap into people’s evolving needs, using the social media context as the new baseline.
It’s the “evolving needs” part of this point that I agree with the most. As the concept of social media grows and catches on even more with adults (especially as the trend of skewing older continues), communities will need to grow and alter the tools they have available to them to truly succeed.
The one I disagre with, but in a partial sense, is #2: Creating Meaning and Value:
Social media will no longer be about features and applications. These have become a dime a dozen. People will be looking to get tangible and relevant value out of their social experience; they’ll be looking for meaning and for order. “Social media online is no different from social media offline,” said Brent Csutoras at a recent Social Media Club event. People will be looking for ways to keep their networks going regardless of device or platform. They will connect around meaningful topics and have live and simultaneous conversations within parameters they themselves define, which will bring relevance back to their interaction with others.
I disagree that social media will no longer be about features and applications. Everything else in this statement is correct. But what will facilitate this connection around meaningful topics and bring relevance back to interactions with others? Yep: features and applications. Companies on the forefront of this wave will really clean up in 2009 (and yep, Portalfuze will be there).
Everything else is pretty much on target. I’m also glad she’s talking about monetizing social media, because if no one’s making money on it, it’ll go the way of the CueCat. (Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to use that reference? Years and years!)
I especially like her concluding paragraph, which is why I’ll conclude with it as well:
The new form of social media will be about creating “whole products” and complete experiences, all in real time, across the web, mobile, and live. Each user will be able to create his or her own experience using tools, features, and apps that magically coalesce. People will be able to move seamlessly through information that is available to them anywhere, anytime, sharing rich content with a rich set of groups and networks that they themselves define. Innovative companies that are able to listen to these needs and deliver products based on them will not only survive but thrive in the coming months and years as people eagerly advance on the inviting waters of the new social alchemy.
Entry filed under: social media, social networking. Tags: 2009, bob woods, change, media, network, networking, portalfuze, Ravit Lichtenberg, social, social media, social network, social networking, social networks.