There are stories showing up now saying that social media is a trend that is becoming played out and on the downside of its hype cycle. I would argue that’s not at all true. What’s happening instead is a gradual envelopment of all forms of activity by social media platforms suited to engagement. Social isn’t slowing down.
Literature lost in the shuffle
We’ve watched the word of mouth for music, movies, electronics and many other consumer goods replaced by Facebook likes. I know what my friends advocate because they signal it all of the time and we discuss it through technology every day, but lost in that shuffle somehow was the best book to read. Publishing has become a different beast since over the past few years with so much content available online, but let’s face it, we still love a great book.
Just as much, we love talking about a great book.
Amazon, which started with books, announced the acquisition of social reading service Goodreads and give us what has been missing in the market…a social platform that lets us discover and discuss our favorite books alongside a power seller. This isn’t the same as a recommendation engine (that’s been there for a while). This is about engaging with others in your social circle and finding others who share your passions.
As I read the announcement of the acquisition, I realized that social media is still unevenly applied to many things we do and that there’s a huge growth path ahead for collaboration and conversation. I suggest the use of social media will continue to expand across more daily activities until we have ‘instant conversations’ on whatever topics are heart and soul in the moment on networks that ebb and flow with information. This will erode the wiki and likely replace the ‘ask the expert’ sites that lure us in with good SEO only to find very little content, no engagement, and lots of advertising.
Social media offers us the chance to break free of the static Web, in fact, and to become a society of constantly engaged and connected people that connect and filter solely on our need to engage (and disengage). Watch out, Facebook…your patterns are still based in old ways of communicating and you can be disrupted.