Most discussions about ‘social media’ are through the lens of technology – when sites launched, how long it took them to reach mass adoption, etc. Which leads people to think that it is all about websites. And doing what they have always done in different places.
It’s more important to understand what has changed and what hasn’t over the last 10 years:
People are still fundamentally social animals, deriving self actualisation and esteem from their interaction with other people. By joining tribes around shared interests, shared experience, supporting the same team, whatever. And still altering behaviour based on what other people are doing, and relying on other people’s opinions to guide their own
Confucius wrote this 2,500 years ago and it is still just as true today. What has changed is that the involving bit was always difficult, so as advertisers had to show & tell. Connectivity makes involving easier, and also much easier to avoid the show and tell stuff. If something is entertaining and involving, we will understand it and talk about it.
The scope for all these fundamental parts of being human is increased exponentially by faster and wider (ie immediate and global) connectivity
A byproduct of this change in connectivity is that the economics of mass media have been radically altered – from scarcity to abundance of media, and from abundance to scarcity of attention
Messages are one-way, and value is all about the number of eyeballs – mass audiences
Which is handy, because social
networks are about people Not about content Why do people go to social networks? If you were going to a desert island and I gave you the choice of taking your friends or your DVDs, your take your friends. If you didn’t, we’d call you a sociopath. Content isn’t king, content is just something to talk about Cory Doctorow Photo Credit - Muha