Social media – contribute your thoughts!

Social Media or former web 20.0 the next big thing:

This social media business is on my mind for several months now. And in the fall we organize a symposium on cross media concepts and marketing, where social media &networking can play a big role.

When we were listing the speakers, we decided that we do introduction with a little history, because cross media is not so new of course. But all of a sudden I feel and hear that most companies are starting to lying awake of  cross media and how they can implement it.

The reason why, has to do with the next evolution of the web. The internet as a service platform, and also the bandwidth that is there, almost everywhere now.

I’m also interested in a little experiment, and see if social network works. I’m posting these thoughts online, and maybe we can contribute all together on these thoughts, resulting in a short publication! Good idea, no?  It makes me curious anyway!

According to wikipedia:

Social media is the use of electronic and Internet tools for the purpose of sharing and discussing information and experiences with other human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences.

A digital life:

Never thought that I would have one, but there you go…, when do you have a digital life, when you are connected all the time on different devices. And being active member on social networks from Facebook to linked in. And oh yes there is also twitter…, and flickr, you tube, lastfm, so you can show off all your digital content as well from text to video, photo, music etc….

Never thought that I would be so exhibitionistic in putting my life online. Well in limited form anyway😉
Interesting is that you learn different things from your colleagues and friends. And you are always up to date. Are we still ‘talking to each other’, yes we do, we pick up the online discussion and bring it in the real world, and exchange more lively with a bigger group of people or one to one.

Organizing this  in one area, no problem social thing, an application online, keeps track of all your friends feeds….

What is so interesting for other parties, like companies:

All these social networks are staying a live thanks to advertising, even more they are profitable, and some even more then profitable☺
I think, advertiser don’t really believe their eyes,  how can it be so simple to reach so many eyeballs, worldwide…., with focused profiles, focused marketing possibilities.

The next acquisition wave:

The last time I was at miptv/mila conferences 2008. A lot of enthusiasm, optimism about all the things that were happening. Indeed, I also had a little hype and bubble feeling. Only now it is different, the user is much in control, and the content needs to be good, and quality products are in demand.
Connectivity was always what was big in the online world. And on mySpace, Bebo, Facebook and other platforms it is all about connectivity, networking, reviewing other peoples content etc…
All of a sudden everybody got the ability to post messages, photos, videos etc…in other words ‘User Generated content’.
Now we have all these users in these social networks, looking back for professional content, and this we can already see in acquisitions, mySpace is bought by Fox Interactive, Bebo by AOL Time warner, Plaxo by Comcast. Enables them to create new online formats, such as webisodes, short soaps, short films etc…., sometimes also in coöperation with the users. Users can give input on scenarios and can even play along in a soap.

The digital identity:
I guess this is the opportunity, all these people online, getting a digital identity. We can learn about their lives, interests, professional occupation, family, singles , gender, salary ranges and so forth and relate to them differently.

You have ideas how this will evolve? Let’s discuss this, and make a publication together! Don’t forget to mention your name and where we can contact!

Networks I came across so far:
Yelp
Ning
Dopplr
Socialthing
Brightkite
Facebook
LinkedIn
Digg
Delicious
Flickr
You tube
….

5 responses

26 08 2008
Clo Willaerts

I think the “portable internet” will change a lot: smartphones and subnotebooks combined with better 3G and wifi services will enable people to do what they like doing most online, everywhere they go: at home, at work, during a boring meeting while waiting for a bus. This will boost social media and social networks, resulting in a more pervasive internet: the lines between virtual and “real-world” will blur.

26 08 2008
Geert De Laet

First of all: Social media is not the same as Web 2.0 as you suggest in your first title: The social web is a part of Web 2.0 (next to RIA and SOA) and Social media is a cross-media implementation of the social web.

That being said🙂 : You are perfectly right that cross-media is not new: marketing agencies have been using different media in their (integrated) marketing campaigns for years. But it was always the company who was in control, trying to drive the consumer to their territory. Now, it’s easier to create cross-media campaigns because of the numerous tools and platforms available, but the challenge lies in that the company has to step on to consumer territory, where the consumer is in control.

Still, given the correct approach, this brings along an unlimited set of exciting opportunities for marketers. You have the chance of interacting with your audience and getting to know it. Or do you?

Identity on the web is still in it’s infancy. People nowadays typically have different accounts on different platforms without any links between them. But that starts to change: while Identity 2.0 might still be struggling, people are starting to centralize their presence in eg lifestreams, turning all the bits and pieces into a real ‘digital self’.
A digital self that can act as an equal (empowered) partner in the dialogue between consumer and producer, regardless of the medium used.

26 08 2008
mediachannel

I agree that social media is not web 2.0, but part of it. If RIA or SOA didn’t come up, we wouldn’t have social media on line I guess, the three are obviously very related to each other. But that’s a technical discussion😉

Thanks for your interesting contribution!

26 08 2008
Bart Chanet

I agree with Clo, the web is coming much closer to the mass.

Social media is existing for ages, but it wasn’t easy to use or only used by the happy few and most of the time there was a kind of direct contact about a certain subject (irc, webforums).

Nowadays everyone is on facebook or twittering what they will have for dinner or other mumbo-jumbo.
A big difference is that people used to have a web alter-ego, now you can find very personal stuff on the web that can have an influence on daily life.

I like the idea that popular social platforms weren’t build to gain money in the first place but of bringing people together, off course we know better😉
The smart thing is: when the early-adopters joined facebook there was almost nothing advertised, what made facebook a very trusted format.
On the moment facebook became the standard social platform they introduced advertisement.
Facebook (or any other big social platform) as an advertisement platform is scary powerful, they know about your age, gender, relationships, size of shoes. They can even conclude what your next “need” will be or eventually can create a new need.

I just hope the recent acquisitions will not make our beloved platforms a new spam folder in our daily inbox.

To close my thoughts, i don’t think it’s all about web 2.0, ria, soa or other buzz words.
The mass doesn’t care about those technologies and as media companies we have to think more about the idea than about what cool technologies to use.

28 08 2008
Franky Redant

Technologies are enablers. They are not the goal.
The discussion about Social media (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network_service) and social networking (or the social network service : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network_service) has been going on for quite a while now. I remember the first site of Studio Brussels that was meant to be a community platform for Studio Brussels fans. We’re talking past century mid-nineties. I remember IRC chat rooms before they became not-so-legal download platforms. Since then many things have changed and but (maybe a bit controversial) many stayed the same. People communicate over the network (BBS’ses, Compuserve, who rememers those ?) and gather in ‘virtual (chat)rooms’, virtual communicaties, textual or graphical. The internet made it amazingly accessable.
The discussion about social network services and media is one of many aspects and is a hugely complex one (as is human nature).
Why is it that people are so little concerned about privacy in their digital life, and don’t want to carry an ID card in the real world (like in UK and USA) ?

Privacy is but one aspect though, what about ethical use of personal (online) information ? First report about people being fired because of what they wrote on a blog are already a couple of years old. If your life is online, anyone can see it, use it and even abuse it. Interesting topic for laywers and advertising agencies using the information gathered of social networkers, no ?

A larger study area still is the change in social behaviour and the impact on society as a whole of social media and the networks. What was not possible before, like bying that 2nd hand Lomo (http://www.lomography.com) you thought you’d never find, on e-bay from some australian guy, is now done in a flick of the wrist, or a click of the mouse.

There is a indeed a huge potential for advertising media to explore and experiment with. However the rules have changed dramatically and traditional advertising agencies are wrestling with the new concepts (Joseph Jaffe has something to say about that in his book the death of the 30 second spot). Monitoring tollerance towards advertising in social networks could be one of the next big moneymakers. Even now brand watchers are scrutinizing blogcontent, social network entries, website, chatrooms, etc for messages or postings about their client’s brands.
Integrating the information from these sources in the communication and marketing strategy surely is a huge challenge still.

We’re only at the beginning.

Just a few thoughts.
Hope this helps..
Franky

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