There’s a slide from a keynote I did three years ago that compared the Wikipedia definitions for the terms Web 2.0 and Social Media. Three years ago what was interesting to me was that the definitions for each centered on the human interactions of sharing and idea exchange (discussion and collaboration) and the change I noted then was that the terminology had merely changed. Web 2.0 had moved mainstream enough, that people needed a less geeky (& more meaningful) moniker to call it by.
But tonight, in updating my slides for my DMSW talk tomorrow, I discovered something much more interesting and I might add slightly disturbing. Take a look at the opening definition of social media now.* It’s no longer centered on human connections and conversation. The definition has taken on a definitive marketing slant and touts sm as the use of technologies to "transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many)." Yup, simply put, it seems that Social Media = Social Marketing.
Anyway, here’s my updated slide with a new comparison of the definitions.
I labeled this image file "scary.jpg" What do you think? Do you agree?
* Wikipedia editors note that this article has multiple issues including references, validation and slants towards personal reflection. There's definitely a lot of discussion on this topic and it's easy to see why.
On Saturday morning I'm doing a talk for the Digital Media in a Social World conference being held at OSU. And while this is a topic that I've talked a lot about in the last four years, I have to say that personally I've become a little numb to all the hype today that is around "social media."
For me, many of the conversations and conferences around this topic seem to turn into a snake oil salesman dance. There are too many born-again marketers who seem to preach the gospel of the Facebook and Twitter while not in the least understanding that social media networking has never been about the product, the brand or the message -- in fact, it's actually never been about "media" at all-- It's is and always is simply about an individual's influence and personal relationships.
Anyway, so I'm speaking Saturday morning -early - and dusting off a keynote I gave well over two years ago. I'll be updating it a bit, but I have to admit there are parts that I wish I could just completely throw out. The good parts that I like are about the Es the build and create relationships. The bad parts that I hate are the relatively few great library examples that I have to show the community garden approach.
So now that I've ranted a bit, I bet you're wondering what my talk is going to be about. It's quite simply this ... that in order for your organization to flourish you have to stop approaching social media as a field of dreams and realize that it requires an organizational willingness to open-up and actively support community relationships that want and desire to organize their own community gardens.
It seems that a month doesn’t go by that I don’t get an email asking me about a survey, study or research that demonstrates the impact of the Learning 2.0: 23 Things program. Up until now, I’ve only really had a few resources to point them to, including my own survey of program coordinators. But thanks to the research of Michael Stephens and the folks at CAVAL, there is now something more substantial.