I was asked to share my thoughts about the future of social media in a guest post for the World Blogging Forum 2010 in Vienna. So these are my ideas of what will be.
Social media, social networks, social marketing….social this and social that. Why don’t we drop the word “social”, when it’s simply digital media? It’s like “web 2.0”, if you’re still talking about web 2.0 then you’re definitly out of date.
Social media (yes I know, now I’m calling it social media, too) is today’s communication. It’s direct, it’s simple, it enables people and companies to communicate.
It has loads of advantages:
- everybody can be heard
- information about almost everything
- supporting education
- publication of news is easy and cheap
- positive political and economical impact
- people get more open minded (at least I hope so)
- ‘no nation no borders’ at least in the virtual space
- the world becomes smaller – you can reach people everywhere
As all good things, social media has a dark side as well.
- dictatorships can ban websites or use it for their information
- social media platforms enhance mobbing and stalking
- ‘what is there once, stays there forever’ – in a sense that someone can dig out some odd pictures, private information of you and publish them
- data privacy violation – Big brother is watching you definitly
- information overload
- nobody is heard
We will need intelligent information filters, social networks where data privacy is respected (not sure if Diaspora can come up to the expectations), infrastructure and open access to the internet in developing countries (and in rural regions of developed countries). Children have to be educated how to us the media safely. And we will have develop sustainable business models for smaller web platforms.
Besides a big emphasis on educating children and users generally on safely using todays (social) media tools and web technology I suggest that certain agreements on a fair use of ‘the machine’ need to be developed, implemented and promoted in order to constantly sensitize users on the ‘power’ and great potential that comes along with it and most important to keep the ‘social’ component on highest level possible.
I think todays changes in communication technology will have more impact on our lives and society as the invention of Gutenbergs printing press had. Maybe more impact than the industrialization in the 19th century had. We are going forward (technically, faster, more of everything) and backward (recession, different work forms emerge, people get poorer at least in Europe and North America) at the same time.
Exciting times are here.
The title of this blogpost refers to “It’s the economy, stupid“.