I have been reading some interesting articles lately on the “death” of social media. Here’s one. It argues that the “social” aspect of many big names in social media are trying to scale their contact up–contact everyone one-to-one–to the point where it loses authenticity. Not to pick on Shaq again, but this is what came to my mind:
Social, perhaps, but certainly not authentic. Saad argues it should be about reclaiming the personal and authentic, rather than these so-called “social,” stories in our sharing, hearkening back to a time when personalized and interactive media was a face-to-face chat, even before the centralizing influence of a mass media.
Here’s another. It takes a more pragmatic stance on the issue of the death of “social” media. Greg Verdino argues that perhaps, if we view it from an innovator’s standpoint, social media as something new and different is dead because so many have picked it up and declared it important. This means, then, that maybe the only people who really mourn as passed are those “innovation junkies.” The rest of us may not even see the full potential of it yet. My inference is that not even those innovation junkies see its full potential.
The interesting thing about that point of view, I think, is that perhaps for some innovators who are now, as Verdino says, “seeking greener pastures,” they stand to miss what social media can bring to the table. Though mass adoption of a product makes it seems less new, and less “cool,”, this set of tools and the accompanying mindset that is founded in collaboration and collective intelligence, in my opinion, grows with greater adoption rates.
Though perhaps media has long been “social,” the astounding ease with which we can now connect what Saad might term our “personal stories” to the personal stories of others through collaborative web 2.0 tools, does indeed justify the word “social” to describe our current media milieu. And, yes, there are those who exploit that ease and even remove themselves completely from the content creation process. However, for those who value the perspective of others with whom they may have had no other means to share resources, searching for a smaller ,newer, and less well-defined tool (or set of tools, or collaborative mindset), is self-defeating and ultimately anti-social.