Predicting The Future of Social Media
Predicting The Future of Social Media
by

Last night I spoke to the Social Media Club gathering in Chicago where I pontificated a bit on the future of social media. I’ve talked about the future of the agency and social media before in a guest post on Valeria Maltoni’s Conversation Agent, but hadn’t tackled the topic with such a wide-angle lens before.

As social media becomes more widely accepted as a communications channel, more and more businesses will find ways to use it. Some of them will innovate. Others will just follow, but because the core of social media and the corporation is connecting directly to one’s consumers, which makes them happy, we still only sit at the front end of the bell curve of this movement.

Without putting a time frame on my thoughts, here are some notions I shared last night. While I have no way of knowing if any of this will ring true, it’s fun to imagine what our world will look like a few years down the road. Take good notes. I’d love to hear what you think the future of social media will be like in the comments.

The Web Will Get Much Smarter

Semantic search and artificial intelligence are upon us. As our browsers, social networking platforms and software packages evolve, they will all function more intelligently. They will track our every click, every keystroke and perhaps even eye movement, not to impose on us in some big brother sort of way, but to serve up smarter search results, more intuitive navigation options and almost frightening sets of information. One day, we will look at the suggested text or contacts our email software or Facebook offers and say, “Yeah … that was what I was thinking. I’m not sure if I should be impressed or scared.”

But it will be more than just smart text. The barriers of our social networks will dissolve as OpenID or similar cyber-identification takes precedence. Everyone will have access to all online applications and our browser, perhaps, will suggest the networks and tools that might be most meaningful to us based on our usage, profession, network of contact’s online behavior and more. Imagine having conversations on Twitter or in the comments of a blog and having your browser pop up with a message that says, “You’ve been talking about your Saturn a lot lately. Would you like to join other Saturn users at imSaturn.com?” Or perhaps the browser just imports imSaturn.com content into your experience seamlessly?

Social media savvy and philosophy, paralleled by the open source attitude on the technical side of things, will lead to advances never before thought possible as companies open their code and trust the consumers to contribute to their success in code, just as they do in service. Dell is already openly discussing product innovation with the public. Yahoo has hinted at opening their code set. Why is WordPress perhaps the world’s best blogging software? Because any developer in the world can work to improve it. This will become the standard, not the exception.

Much of the underlying technology and attitude for this already exists, it’s just a matter of time before it becomes A) Polished enough to launch to the public and B) Accepted enough to not freak people out.

Social Media Will Change Government

I’m optimistic this will happen sooner rather than later, but don’t hold me to it. Government is a big, ugly bureaucracy powered by special interests who have much to lose turning the power over to the people. But social media offers unprecedented direct-to-consumer access even for Uncle Sam. With Barack Obama in the White House and much of his success attributed to leveraging the power of grassroots, word-of-mouth, social media efforts, Change.gov gives me hope.

And it’s not just our new president’s penchant for online innovation that points me in that direction. It’s efforts like OpenCongress.org where you can track legislation, comment on its progress and see more of our legislative process in near-real time than ever before. It’s also because smart social media thinkers like Mark Story are achieving important positions in our government and making an impact in how each agency and department approaches its day-to-day interaction with the public with regards to transparency and honesty.

I honestly believe that one day social media principles and/or tools will be used to grab collective intelligence and real-time input on policies, bills, measures and more from the constituencies in question. No, it won’t be an exact science and no, I don’t think we’ll ever be able to vote from Facebook, but I can see a government that is one day more representative of the people and not the big money lobbyists because social media will govern the way people interact with individuals, businesses and even systems.

If It’s Not Mobile, It Won’t Exist

The iPhone, new models of Blackberries, the Google Phone or even the open source approach of Google Android are already showing that the future of the web is in the palm of your hand. If you haven’t seen a touch screen smart phone yet, know that when you do, you’ll immediately want to run out and get your own. And as the web gets smarter, so will the hardware that accesses it. My guess is that instead of having laptops or desktops, we’ll simply have universal docking stations at work and at home — or even better, in public places, Starbucks, airports, etc. — but we won’t plug in our laptops. We’ll plug in our smart phones. They will be our hard drives. They will be our entire computers. Software and webware companies are already learning if they aren’t mobile-enabled, they’ve lost half the battle. That will only become magnified as smart phones become more ubiquitous.

Journalism Will Not Die

Media is changing because of social media, but as much as I’ve picked on old-school journalism, there’s still a need for accuracy, ethics and quality in reporting. Newspapers may very well die. Traditional media outlets that don’t shift their focus to a web-first approach certainly will. But journalism will never go away. We need it as a society because it keeps our world — government, industry and more — honest. Where will the journalists go? That I’m not so clear about, though it will certainly be in web-centric opportunities. But all the social media evangelists and bloggers in the world can’t tear down one of the world’s most noble professions.

Marketing Will Continue To Be More Consumer-Centric

In very general terms, social media has reversed a century-long trend that has made brands, corporations and businesses think they know their consumers better than the consumers know themselves, or at least has made them take their consumers for granted. Thanks to social media, brands are becoming more focused on customer service, whether it’s through listening to feedback, crowdsourcing innovation or just responding to inquiries. The more social media savvy that breaks through to the C-Suite and to marketing managers everywhere, the better the consumer experience will be. You’ve probably heard Internet marketers say, “Content is king.” It is only if it’s relevant to the website’s audience. The more true statement is, “The customer is king.” This will not change.

Our Education System Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better

Children today are light-years ahead of their teachers in technical aptitude. What this means, unfortunately, is that our woeful education system in the United States will only get worse until the next generation (or half generation) of educators can catch up and innovate again. Part of the problem is that government is so far behind in utilizing the tools and technology and, thus, funding and direction for our primary and secondary schools follows suit. But as much as social media, inclusive of mobile connectivity and texting, has given us, it has taken a lot away from a generation of us. While today’s young people are more connected than any generation before them, they communicate far worse. Our working world standards will either have adjust or we’ll have to start teaching new hires how to communicate orally and via the written word as part of standard orientation.

RdE 4 Nw Jb – Strt 2day – W00t – K -Cya L8r -Bi.

There Will Be A Social Media Backlash

I hesitate to say “bust,” because the core of connecting with consumers is a truth about social media that can withstand any financial or industry fallout. People want to be acknowledged, heard, recognized and valued. Social media in business provides that to consumers. But there will be a day when people all around the world look up from their smart phones, their laptops and their Twitter and realize it’s been weeks since they’ve spoken to another human being, live and in person. And on that day, there will be a select group of social networks that will survive the backlash – those whose online community has a vibrant carry-over offline. (And if you want me to help you build one of those, give me a call.)

Again, it won’t be a bust. It will only be a short pendulum swing back to a sense of humanity. We cannot become machines. It is beyond our nature to allow that to happen. As our lives become more digitally intertwined, we will begin to establish boundaries to strengthen our human connections and put our electronic ones in proper perspective. Sorry Zuckerberg.

———-

So that’s what I see. Am I right? Am I wrong? What am I missing? To the comments … please.

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at JasonFalls.com.
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  • I will be sure to share it with my friends over at facebook and myspace. Thumbs up for the article.

  • That's a very useful article. I will be sure to send it around to my friends over at facebook and myspace.

  • I will be sure to share it with my friends over at facebook and myspace. Thumbs up for the article.

  • I will be sure to share it with my friends over at facebook and myspace. Thumbs up for the article.

  • That's a very useful article. I will be sure to send it around to my friends over at facebook and myspace.

  • That's a very useful article. I will be sure to send it around to my friends over at facebook and myspace.

  • Collected lots of information about social media. Mainly about , it will change the govnt .. Cool.. nice topic, i would love that ..

    Please read my blog : http://ndot.in/blog/2009/02/03/future-of-social

  • Collected lots of information about social media. Mainly about , it will change the govnt .. Cool.. nice topic, i would love that ..

    Please read my blog : http://ndot.in/blog/2009/02/03/future-of-social

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  • Jason,

    First of all, you have my sympathies for the tragic loss that you and your friends recently experienced. Wish I had something more profound to say but my thoughts are with you.

    On a much less important note, your comments on the future of social media are very insightful. One question that I continually reflect on is how all of these tools will affect those of us who are web professionals and web managers. Will it be possible that a day comes that content is produced and distributed but that the management and organization of the content is entirely crowd-sourced? Will things like information architecture disappear? Certainly there will be an evolution of needs, technologies and related jobs but my guess is that fewer “web” people will be needed as the tools are increasingly democratized.

  • Jason,

    First of all, you have my sympathies for the tragic loss that you and your friends recently experienced. Wish I had something more profound to say but my thoughts are with you.

    On a much less important note, your comments on the future of social media are very insightful. One question that I continually reflect on is how all of these tools will affect those of us who are web professionals and web managers. Will it be possible that a day comes that content is produced and distributed but that the management and organization of the content is entirely crowd-sourced? Will things like information architecture disappear? Certainly there will be an evolution of needs, technologies and related jobs but my guess is that fewer “web” people will be needed as the tools are increasingly democratized.

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  • Kevin Claypool

    Good article. Written like a true social scientist. As one myself, I feel like you were dead on with the majority of your comments. I do think that there is MUCH, MUCH more to be said about the deep impact that opencourseware or open education will play in the the future of the way that we all interact. The way I see the technological revolution leading up to today's crossroads: when we look at the past and the way that the industrial revolution made us more efficient within public education, and the mass dissemination of information made possible by the printing press, its pretty obvious that we are in the midst of another revolution. I think that even within the context of the evolution of technology, the more important aspect to identify is the speed in which we can be educated. The speed in which we can be educated inversely correlates to the speed in which we disseminate technology. As far as our public education sector is concerned, I believe the answer can also be solved using opencourses. Teachers from every state (and even every country) will likely follow suit in helping to develop a massive reorganization of the educational process, how it is systematically organized and in general the way that educators educate. The possibilities for change are pretty intense, but most importantly, students who would otherwise be unable to afford certification or degree would be able to gain such recognition free of charge and accredited. The beauty of opencourseware is in its ability to statistically analyze the progress, strengths and learning style of the learner while simultaneously providing said information to the educator. One of the more renowned opencourse studies are being done by MIT (http://ocw.mit.edu/), CMU (http://www.cmu.edu/oli/) and USU (ocw.usu.edu/). Unfortunately, you can't get a valid certification, but if you're bored enough, you can get a university-grade education for absolutely 0 cost. I've taken a couple of the courses and have been mostly satisfied, with the exception of the issue of user interface.

  • Kevin Claypool

    Good article. Written like a true social scientist. As one myself, I feel like you were dead on with the majority of your comments. I do think that there is MUCH, MUCH more to be said about the deep impact that opencourseware or open education will play in the the future of the way that we all interact. The way I see the technological revolution leading up to today's crossroads: when we look at the past and the way that the industrial revolution made us more efficient within public education, and the mass dissemination of information made possible by the printing press, its pretty obvious that we are in the midst of another revolution. I think that even within the context of the evolution of technology, the more important aspect to identify is the speed in which we can be educated. The speed in which we can be educated inversely correlates to the speed in which we disseminate technology. As far as our public education sector is concerned, I believe the answer can also be solved using opencourses. Teachers from every state (and even every country) will likely follow suit in helping to develop a massive reorganization of the educational process, how it is systematically organized and in general the way that educators educate. The possibilities for change are pretty intense, but most importantly, students who would otherwise be unable to afford certification or degree would be able to gain such recognition free of charge and accredited. The beauty of opencourseware is in its ability to statistically analyze the progress, strengths and learning style of the learner while simultaneously providing said information to the educator. One of the more renowned opencourse studies are being done by MIT (http://ocw.mit.edu/), CMU (http://www.cmu.edu/oli/) and USU (ocw.usu.edu/). Unfortunately, you can't get a valid certification, but if you're bored enough, you can get a university-grade education for absolutely 0 cost. I've taken a couple of the courses and have been mostly satisfied, with the exception of the issue of user interface.

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  • jamie247

    Great post.

    I believe the financial ask and whole model by operators will if not challenged kill off creativity and real value / engagement between brands and communities.

    I am trying to get professionals united to change what I believe is the 'death by sales rep' of social media.

    I want to be a value adder not a spammer.

    Social media operators have to change

  • jamie247

    Great post.

    I believe the financial ask and whole model by operators will if not challenged kill off creativity and real value / engagement between brands and communities.

    I am trying to get professionals united to change what I believe is the 'death by sales rep' of social media.

    I want to be a value adder not a spammer.

    Social media operators have to change

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  • I'm sure the Tylenol thing could happen. Sorry to stir you up that bad.

  • Yes! (re: Nielson Ratings)

  • I have a headache. I can't keep up with all this!

    (So, now, if we were in the future already, I'd get an IM or an email with a $1.00-off coupon to Tylenol?)

    Oy.

    ;)

  • I have a headache. I can't keep up with all this!

    (So, now, if we were in the future already, I'd get an IM or an email with a $1.00-off coupon to Tylenol?)

    Oy.

    ;)

    • I'm sure the Tylenol thing could happen. Sorry to stir you up that bad.

  • Me either. The future sure should be fun.

  • I think the barrier to entry is lower than you think. With most computing being on mobile devices (in the future I see), you have to remember even lower socio-economic individuals are mobile. Yes, there will always be a gap, but I anticipate it will be lower than we think.

  • sschablow

    Jason, I think you're dead-on on all fronts. I see big changes ahead for the mobile market, fueled in part by innovative iPhone application developers. We'll be able to do more, with less effort while away from our desks. I also think we'll see a monumental change in the way we interface with the web and each other. The keyboard and mouse will give way to voice commands, video conversations and mashups the like of which we haven't yet dreamed of. I can't wait. ;-)

  • sschablow

    Jason, I think you're dead-on on all fronts. I see big changes ahead for the mobile market, fueled in part by innovative iPhone application developers. We'll be able to do more, with less effort while away from our desks. I also think we'll see a monumental change in the way we interface with the web and each other. The keyboard and mouse will give way to voice commands, video conversations and mashups the like of which we haven't yet dreamed of. I can't wait. ;-)

    • Me either. The future sure should be fun.

  • No worries, Jason. I enjoy reading and learning from your excellent blog.

  • Sorry for the inference. I was reading the comment on my cell phone and didn't see your avatar, etc. Now that I have a better frame of reference, I realize it. My mistake. Thanks for the reading and commenting, as always.

  • No, I don't work for Nokia or any company like that. I wouldn't do that Jason.

  • There is a big contingent of people that likes to build their own rigs and wouldn't trade it for portability (look at the popularity of sites like NewEgg). I guess you're right though, the average user doesn't care about that sort of stuff.

    I haven't owned a computer I didn't build myself in the last 7 years, so my first reaction when people say it will just be mobile devices is to think “id never do that”…until we can build them ourselves ;)

  • Erin McMahon

    Sure, in terms of age that's true, but I mean more socio-economically. How might we bridge the gap in the future for those people who don't have access to the digital world? I'd like to think that the future of social media will be even more inclusive- allowing more people to the conversation – but it will take a lot of work to get us there. (I hope the differentiation I am trying to make makes sense…)

  • We get closer to closing it every day. Remember, the majority of 30 and under grew up online. It's only a matter of time before it's just about everyone.

  • Please tell me you're not with Nokia. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, this time.

  • I wish you had been at the event, Adam. I did say that the power users will still have base machines, but I still think the vast majority of computing can and will be done on a mobile device. Hard drives, RAM, etc., keep getting smaller and more powerful. It's not the size of the box, but what you can do with it. My thought is that the docking stations you have at your house, etc., would have the full monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc., to give you the large-scale, full-on computing experience. The hard drive just happens to detach, drop in your pocket and serve as your phone.

    But you know, I could be wrong.

  • Thanks for the follow and the comment. We'll see, I suppose.

  • Very cool, Kevin. It's good to see someone teaching these mechanisms to that industry. Thanks for the thoughts.

  • Well, Len, I can't say that I disagree with you, oddly enough. Very well said and supported. My only push back would be that today's teachers can't be expected to teach the thinking to guide tools they don't understand. It's like asking the average CEO to write a social media plan. He can think. He can write a plan. But he can't write one relevant to social media because he doesn't understand the tools. Teachers are in that same predicament for the most part. I don't think they can't grasp it, just that they haven't felt the need to or been forced to yet.

  • Thanks for the comment, Jonas. I agree that relationship suffering will be the extreme, not the norm, but something like that is headed our way at some point. Thanks again.

  • Thanks again for having me, Barbara. I had a blast and we had a nice gig there. Good work.

  • Thanks for the thoughts and the visit, Tom. Much appreciated.

  • Erin McMahon

    Forgive me if this has already been commented on- I didn't see it, but I did scan rather quickly…

    How do you see the digital divide playing out? I can't help thinking about the future of social media without wondering if we will have more of the world participating. What happens to all the people on the wrong side of the divide? Or do you think we will get closer to closing this gap in the future?

  • Erin McMahon

    Forgive me if this has already been commented on- I didn't see it, but I did scan rather quickly…

    How do you see the digital divide playing out? I can't help thinking about the future of social media without wondering if we will have more of the world participating. What happens to all the people on the wrong side of the divide? Or do you think we will get closer to closing this gap in the future?

    • We get closer to closing it every day. Remember, the majority of 30 and under grew up online. It's only a matter of time before it's just about everyone.

      • Erin McMahon

        Sure, in terms of age that's true, but I mean more socio-economically. How might we bridge the gap in the future for those people who don't have access to the digital world? I'd like to think that the future of social media will be even more inclusive- allowing more people to the conversation – but it will take a lot of work to get us there. (I hope the differentiation I am trying to make makes sense…)

        • I think the barrier to entry is lower than you think. With most computing being on mobile devices (in the future I see), you have to remember even lower socio-economic individuals are mobile. Yes, there will always be a gap, but I anticipate it will be lower than we think.

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  • KatFrench

    Ah, then let's go with “scary stalkerish” for the time being. Thanks for the clarification. :)

  • NealWiser

    Hi Kat, I am indeed talking about 2 different things.
    By Portable, I mean that you should be able to take your Social Graph away from one Social Network and place it into any other one, or more, that you want whenever you want (the usual stuff people talk about)
    However, by Traceable, what I'm referring to is a Hyper Layer to the internet that would immediately recognize you and apply your Social Graph to whatever site you're at regardless of what that site is and regardless of where you log in from.
    Clearly, there's a lot issues that would need to be resolved (privacy, security, Big Brother; take your pick), but if it could be made to work, that would be pretty cool.

  • Very insightful and thorough article on the future of social media. I'm on my computer most of the day using twitter and social networks. But I guess I need to get with it and buy an iPhone or maybe the about to be released Nokia N97!!!

  • Very insightful and thorough article on the future of social media. I'm on my computer most of the day using twitter and social networks. But I guess I need to get with it and buy an iPhone or maybe the about to be released Nokia N97!!!

    • Please tell me you're not with Nokia. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, this time.

      • No, I don't work for Nokia or any company like that. I wouldn't do that Jason.

        • Sorry for the inference. I was reading the comment on my cell phone and didn't see your avatar, etc. Now that I have a better frame of reference, I realize it. My mistake. Thanks for the reading and commenting, as always.

          • No worries, Jason. I enjoy reading and learning from your excellent blog.

  • You wrote:
    “If It’s Not Mobile, It Won’t Exist”

    I disagree 1000%

    You and Steve Rubel love to theorize about the mobile bricks we might one day plop into our desks to work with and carry home (we have them now, they're called laptops). That may be fine for your average drone, but realize power users (people who work with high-end graphics apps, video apps, music production apps, etc) won't be able to get away on a machine that's able to do word processing and light browsing and that's it.

    Some of us need (and don't mind) having a big power rig that is able to throw anything we want at it, handle two 21″ displays, etc. Having a big rig with 6 fans has it's benefits, and I for one enjoy it (especially because I build them to spec for my marketing/production needs and my machine with 10K RPM raptors, 4GB ram, and quad core processor runs circles around your mobile device).

    For the average person, maybe – but not for the power user, not happening.

  • You wrote:
    “If It’s Not Mobile, It Won’t Exist”

    I disagree 1000%

    You and Steve Rubel love to theorize about the mobile bricks we might one day plop into our desks to work with and carry home (we have them now, they're called laptops). That may be fine for your average drone, but realize power users (people who work with high-end graphics apps, video apps, music production apps, etc) won't be able to get away on a machine that's able to do word processing and light browsing and that's it.

    Some of us need (and don't mind) having a big power rig that is able to throw anything we want at it, handle two 21″ displays, etc. Having a big rig with 6 fans has it's benefits, and I for one enjoy it (especially because I build them to spec for my marketing/production needs and my machine with 10K RPM raptors, 4GB ram, and quad core processor runs circles around your mobile device).

    For the average person, maybe – but not for the power user, not happening.

    • I wish you had been at the event, Adam. I did say that the power users will still have base machines, but I still think the vast majority of computing can and will be done on a mobile device. Hard drives, RAM, etc., keep getting smaller and more powerful. It's not the size of the box, but what you can do with it. My thought is that the docking stations you have at your house, etc., would have the full monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc., to give you the large-scale, full-on computing experience. The hard drive just happens to detach, drop in your pocket and serve as your phone.

      But you know, I could be wrong.

      • There is a big contingent of people that likes to build their own rigs and wouldn't trade it for portability (look at the popularity of sites like NewEgg). I guess you're right though, the average user doesn't care about that sort of stuff.

        I haven't owned a computer I didn't build myself in the last 7 years, so my first reaction when people say it will just be mobile devices is to think “id never do that”…until we can build them ourselves ;)

  • “there will be a select group of social networks that will survive the backlash – those whose online community has a vibrant carry-over offline.”

    I liked that idea, I think it's very human. My mother will agree for sure ;)
    I wonder how it would look like in reality…

    I will be following in twitter ;)

  • “there will be a select group of social networks that will survive the backlash – those whose online community has a vibrant carry-over offline.”

    I liked that idea, I think it's very human. My mother will agree for sure ;)
    I wonder how it would look like in reality…

    I will be following in twitter ;)

    • Thanks for the follow and the comment. We'll see, I suppose.

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  • As with everyone else, you really got my mind going. As an actor, the business model for internet video content is a major issue, one that could send the Screen Actors Guild to strike in the coming months. It made me think that the social networking and open ID will become the new more accurate Nielson Ratings…important to advertisers and the potential key to business model for both internet video/episodic content and facebook.

    As an entrepreneur, I'm teaching other actors how to market and network using social networking to reinforce their brand and stay in touch with their fans…especially for a group of people who are always coming in and out of town and used to loosing touch with people because of it.

  • As with everyone else, you really got my mind going. As an actor, the business model for internet video content is a major issue, one that could send the Screen Actors Guild to strike in the coming months. It made me think that the social networking and open ID will become the new more accurate Nielson Ratings…important to advertisers and the potential key to business model for both internet video/episodic content and facebook.

    As an entrepreneur, I'm teaching other actors how to market and network using social networking to reinforce their brand and stay in touch with their fans…especially for a group of people who are always coming in and out of town and used to loosing touch with people because of it.

    • Very cool, Kevin. It's good to see someone teaching these mechanisms to that industry. Thanks for the thoughts.

    • Yes! (re: Nielson Ratings)

  • Jason,

    As you predicted, there are going to be people who disagree with your thoughts on our education system. I think I'm going to take their side. I think it relates to that age old debate of strategy vs. tactics specifically in regards to your point about our teachers not being caught up to our youth (and I have no bias for/against teachers as I don't know any personally)

    Our educational system, or rather any educational system can only be considered successful if the student is taught, not how to do something, but to understand the logic of how something can be accomplished. A perfect example would be to use my own mother. The only way she learned to use email (how to send, forward, open attachments, etc) was to memorize exactly where those buttons were in her hotmail window and remember all the steps it took to achieve her end goal via repetition. You and I learned the mechanics of how web pages are built and how computers operate, so we can search, engage, and execute to achieve whatever goal we are working towards regardless of the format. Put simply, we can figure it out on the fly. Throw someone like my mother into a gmail account…she's lost.

    What this example is illustrating is that if my mother received an education in understand the logic of a computer environment, instead of how to use hotmail specifically, she would be better off. In my opinion this translates directly to the larger scale of what we call the United States education system. Our teachers and college professors have, and should continue to serve our students by helping them learn to think, not how to do.

    Young people in this country are learning more on their own than we could ever teach them. You don't have to show a 12 year old how to use Twitter, or Facebook, or Digg because they are essentially hardwired to understand it from a young age. What teachers need to focus on is how to use communication, regardless of what format: digital, oral, written, etc to get their points across and listen for information that helps them grow. Teaching kids the dynamics of communication, negotiation, listening etc apply to whatever format they choose. They can use it on twitter; they can use it in debate class. Let the kids worry about the platform, and the teachers worry about teaching the theory of messaging and receiving.

    As for your point about the erosion of the English language, you're probably right in many ways. But I think this is a temporary set-back. While communication is largely focused on written communication right now, I think that we're not far off from it being irrelevant. I wrote a blog about my theory on the situation which I'll let you (ironically read) instead of explaining it here in your comment section:

    http://tinyurl.com/69z958

    It was great seeing you in Chicago last night. Hope to meet up again real soon.

  • Jason,

    As you predicted, there are going to be people who disagree with your thoughts on our education system. I think I'm going to take their side. I think it relates to that age old debate of strategy vs. tactics specifically in regards to your point about our teachers not being caught up to our youth (and I have no bias for/against teachers as I don't know any personally)

    Our educational system, or rather any educational system can only be considered successful if the student is taught, not how to do something, but to understand the logic of how something can be accomplished. A perfect example would be to use my own mother. The only way she learned to use email (how to send, forward, open attachments, etc) was to memorize exactly where those buttons were in her hotmail window and remember all the steps it took to achieve her end goal via repetition. You and I learned the mechanics of how web pages are built and how computers operate, so we can search, engage, and execute to achieve whatever goal we are working towards regardless of the format. Put simply, we can figure it out on the fly. Throw someone like my mother into a gmail account…she's lost.

    What this example is illustrating is that if my mother received an education in understand the logic of a computer environment, instead of how to use hotmail specifically, she would be better off. In my opinion this translates directly to the larger scale of what we call the United States education system. Our teachers and college professors have, and should continue to serve our students by helping them learn to think, not how to do.

    Young people in this country are learning more on their own than we could ever teach them. You don't have to show a 12 year old how to use Twitter, or Facebook, or Digg because they are essentially hardwired to understand it from a young age. What teachers need to focus on is how to use communication, regardless of what format: digital, oral, written, etc to get their points across and listen for information that helps them grow. Teaching kids the dynamics of communication, negotiation, listening etc apply to whatever format they choose. They can use it on twitter; they can use it in debate class. Let the kids worry about the platform, and the teachers worry about teaching the theory of messaging and receiving.

    As for your point about the erosion of the English language, you're probably right in many ways. But I think this is a temporary set-back. While communication is largely focused on written communication right now, I think that we're not far off from it being irrelevant. I wrote a blog about my theory on the situation which I'll let you (ironically read) instead of explaining it here in your comment section:

    http://tinyurl.com/69z958

    It was great seeing you in Chicago last night. Hope to meet up again real soon.

    • Well, Len, I can't say that I disagree with you, oddly enough. Very well said and supported. My only push back would be that today's teachers can't be expected to teach the thinking to guide tools they don't understand. It's like asking the average CEO to write a social media plan. He can think. He can write a plan. But he can't write one relevant to social media because he doesn't understand the tools. Teachers are in that same predicament for the most part. I don't think they can't grasp it, just that they haven't felt the need to or been forced to yet.

  • Hi Jason, thanks so much for this insightful post. It was a great read, especially to start my work day. Regarding the social media backlash, I see the dangers of becoming too connected or too wired to the point that one's offline relationships suffer, although I think that will be an extreme case, an exception to the rule rather than the rule. I don't see us heading in that direction. On the other hand, being active in social media services has helped me increase my network online and offline. I have met various interesting and really great people online and established a better relationship with them offline, something I probably would not have been able to do if not for social media.

    – Jonas

  • Hi Jason, thanks so much for this insightful post. It was a great read, especially to start my work day. Regarding the social media backlash, I see the dangers of becoming too connected or too wired to the point that one's offline relationships suffer, although I think that will be an extreme case, an exception to the rule rather than the rule. I don't see us heading in that direction. On the other hand, being active in social media services has helped me increase my network online and offline. I have met various interesting and really great people online and established a better relationship with them offline, something I probably would not have been able to do if not for social media.

    – Jonas

    • Thanks for the comment, Jonas. I agree that relationship suffering will be the extreme, not the norm, but something like that is headed our way at some point. Thanks again.

  • Jason – so cool to have you as our first ever Chicago Social Media Club speaker. Thanks to Amber for suggesting you – I couldn't believe it when she said you'd said yes!
    When you say you'll share your speaking notes, you really deliver.
    Thanks for making time for us and for taking us to the future, which might be only a few months or years away. Keep sharing your vision – we'll follow where it leads.
    @wiredprworks on twitter.com

  • Jason – so cool to have you as our first ever Chicago Social Media Club speaker. Thanks to Amber for suggesting you – I couldn't believe it when she said you'd said yes!
    When you say you'll share your speaking notes, you really deliver.
    Thanks for making time for us and for taking us to the future, which might be only a few months or years away. Keep sharing your vision – we'll follow where it leads.
    @wiredprworks on twitter.com

    • Thanks again for having me, Barbara. I had a blast and we had a nice gig there. Good work.

  • Hey Mystic Jason, loving the crystal ball gazing and I'm definitely agreeing with your predictions. Re: Mobile – consumers and I include myself, want to be in constant communication with their group networks at all times, you only have to see the behaviour in an office at lunchtime to see everyone with a smart phone updating their Facebook profile or Tweeting and I know this goes on during working hours – I just heard that it does ;)
    As a Brit it'll be great to see our Government in the forthcoming elections do a SObama style campaign. For me personally I'd love to see more examples and research into social capital and value for brands from social media but it will come in time.
    Looking forward to 2009 already! Bests Tom.

  • Hey Mystic Jason, loving the crystal ball gazing and I'm definitely agreeing with your predictions. Re: Mobile – consumers and I include myself, want to be in constant communication with their group networks at all times, you only have to see the behaviour in an office at lunchtime to see everyone with a smart phone updating their Facebook profile or Tweeting and I know this goes on during working hours – I just heard that it does ;)
    As a Brit it'll be great to see our Government in the forthcoming elections do a SObama style campaign. For me personally I'd love to see more examples and research into social capital and value for brands from social media but it will come in time.
    Looking forward to 2009 already! Bests Tom.

    • Thanks for the thoughts and the visit, Tom. Much appreciated.

  • I won't because it won't work. There will always be a provider with the open source or open web mentality that people can choose from. Perhaps limits will come from corporations relative to work hours, but ISPs will go out of business by the dozens if they start limiting what is already essentially unlimited.

    But great point and one worth thinking through. Thanks for the comment.

  • Will do. I'll also do my part to keep the big brands from bullying. Heh.

  • Amen, sister. Enough said. Thanks!

  • Interesting thoughts, Brian. I like the thinking here. I can certainly see some of these things coming to fruition. I'd like to chew on that a bit more, too, however. Lots of great thoughts to process and consider. Thanks for adding to the conversation. Well done.

  • Nice response Dana. Thanks for the story. We've started asking people at Doe to not take Blackberry's to meetings so we can give our undivided attention to the task at hand. It's a shame we have to, but that's the world we live in.

  • Thanks to you and WeSeed for having us. And I'm glad the education spiel was well-taken. I figure I might piss some teachers off with that, but then again … they aren't online much are they? Point made.

    And you're welcome for the Tweet. Great piece.

  • Another person making forays into government on social media's behalf. Looks like I'm another step closer to being right. Good on you, J. Thanks for commenting and for your compliments.

  • Good question and food for thought, Sarah. I don't see the smart phone being a high entry barrier. Most lower socio-economic individuals carry cell phones and compute/perform social media functions mobile-ly. But there certainly will be a divide. I'll ponder on that a bit. Thanks for the food for thought.

  • Very valuable input, Shayne. Thanks for that. I think the key to social media success now and moving forward revolves around education for all ages now. Hopefully all this discussion can light a fire under current educators and my prediction will be wrong. Thanks for the input.

  • Jason, it's always good to get conversations like this going, and I hope you(we all) have a long string of comments here (and elsewhere). I'd like to talk a bit about what is going on “offline” as helping us look at trends. You mention that the communities that can translate offline will survive the bust (or bubble). Offline sociology still tends to skew online behavior. A while back, we used to speak about this “new thing” called social media. In setting up the conversation, we spoke about 3 trends fueling the growth of social networks and user-generated content. They were exhibitionism, voyeurism, and the erosion of formality. Exhibitionism in that people are growing to expect a sustained public voice, and has become part of the fabric of self image and worth. Voyeurism in that people enjoy watching the extremely personal content generated by their peers (look at Reality TV). And the erosion of formality in the expectation of dialog with people they hadn't had access to (hence opening up government, direct access to company CEOs, etc.)

    So what's next? I'd like to add my prediction to the list and offer up “Convergence.” If we look at the economy and what is going on right now, you get something like this: new technology+recession/bad economy = massive behavioral changes. So there is an acceleration of the previous trends like the decline of print and the movement online. It also means that consumers will cut back or be forced to cut back spending on things they don't feel are of value while still using some of the digital devices in new ways. Like: narrowing access to the Internet to those devices they feel are of value, such as using an iPHone and even iPod Touch. Retaining broadband (as it gets faster) and dropping other services like home home or even TV (with broadband reaching 50-100 MBps). So devices will be narrowed even more but their uses will be expanded. And that might just be good for our attention spans as well.

  • Jason, it's always good to get conversations like this going, and I hope you(we all) have a long string of comments here (and elsewhere). I'd like to talk a bit about what is going on “offline” as helping us look at trends. You mention that the communities that can translate offline will survive the bust (or bubble). Offline sociology still tends to skew online behavior. A while back, we used to speak about this “new thing” called social media. In setting up the conversation, we spoke about 3 trends fueling the growth of social networks and user-generated content. They were exhibitionism, voyeurism, and the erosion of formality. Exhibitionism in that people are growing to expect a sustained public voice, and has become part of the fabric of self image and worth. Voyeurism in that people enjoy watching the extremely personal content generated by their peers (look at Reality TV). And the erosion of formality in the expectation of dialog with people they hadn't had access to (hence opening up government, direct access to company CEOs, etc.)

    So what's next? I'd like to add my prediction to the list and offer up “Convergence.” If we look at the economy and what is going on right now, you get something like this: new technology+recession/bad economy = massive behavioral changes. So there is an acceleration of the previous trends like the decline of print and the movement online. It also means that consumers will cut back or be forced to cut back spending on things they don't feel are of value while still using some of the digital devices in new ways. Like: narrowing access to the Internet to those devices they feel are of value, such as using an iPHone and even iPod Touch. Retaining broadband (as it gets faster) and dropping other services like home home or even TV (with broadband reaching 50-100 MBps). So devices will be narrowed even more but their uses will be expanded. And that might just be good for our attention spans as well.

    • Interesting thoughts, Brian. I like the thinking here. I can certainly see some of these things coming to fruition. I'd like to chew on that a bit more, too, however. Lots of great thoughts to process and consider. Thanks for adding to the conversation. Well done.

  • Dana Marruffo

    You are definitely on the right track with your predictions. My only .02 commentary would be that the public will join in on the journalism – they already are via twitter. It won't die, but it will be forced to go outside the box in a way that it never considered before. I also think the reporters will tune in to the public a lot more (think what the press release is to the newswire) to help report – we're already seeing it. We just need to be sure the accuracy and ethics are front and center, as you state.

    Secondly, regarding the backlash – I'm already seeing it happen. More specifically with text messaging. Allow me to say that I am personally starting to feel it, as are a few professionals and friends around me. First having clients text messaging communication versus emailing in detail or -gasp!- picking up the phone! Additionally, I noticed my annoyance two days ago when a friend, one who is married to all apps on her iphone except actually using it to make a traditional call to talk, started texting me an entire conversation. I responded with a one-word response. She then asks if I am okay and if anything is wrong! I simply stated that I wasn't a 'text conversationalist' and that she can call to discuss further. Backlash? Me? *sigh*

  • Dana Marruffo

    You are definitely on the right track with your predictions. My only .02 commentary would be that the public will join in on the journalism – they already are via twitter. It won't die, but it will be forced to go outside the box in a way that it never considered before. I also think the reporters will tune in to the public a lot more (think what the press release is to the newswire) to help report – we're already seeing it. We just need to be sure the accuracy and ethics are front and center, as you state.

    Secondly, regarding the backlash – I'm already seeing it happen. More specifically with text messaging. Allow me to say that I am personally starting to feel it, as are a few professionals and friends around me. First having clients text messaging communication versus emailing in detail or -gasp!- picking up the phone! Additionally, I noticed my annoyance two days ago when a friend, one who is married to all apps on her iphone except actually using it to make a traditional call to talk, started texting me an entire conversation. I responded with a one-word response. She then asks if I am okay and if anything is wrong! I simply stated that I wasn't a 'text conversationalist' and that she can call to discuss further. Backlash? Me? *sigh*

    • Nice response Dana. Thanks for the story. We've started asking people at Doe to not take Blackberry's to meetings so we can give our undivided attention to the task at hand. It's a shame we have to, but that's the world we live in.

  • Jason–
    Thanks so much for coming up to Chicago for the talk! I was so excited to see you again, and I know even the ones that were talking in the back were riveted.

    As a former HS teacher (and someone who hopes to return to the classroom again someday), your point about the education system was particularly poignant and well-taken.

    Oh, and thanks for the retweet! Got tons of new comments and thoughts to take back to the drawing board.

  • Jason–
    Thanks so much for coming up to Chicago for the talk! I was so excited to see you again, and I know even the ones that were talking in the back were riveted.

    As a former HS teacher (and someone who hopes to return to the classroom again someday), your point about the education system was particularly poignant and well-taken.

    Oh, and thanks for the retweet! Got tons of new comments and thoughts to take back to the drawing board.

    • Thanks to you and WeSeed for having us. And I'm glad the education spiel was well-taken. I figure I might piss some teachers off with that, but then again … they aren't online much are they? Point made.

      And you're welcome for the Tweet. Great piece.

  • Pingback: The future of social media…? | Digital Pivot()

  • An interesting take on the future of social media, most of which I can agree with. However, how do you think social media could be affected if internet providers follow through with plans already in place to limit accessibility and speed to certain websites depending on what level subscriber you are within their company? This could potentially have a major impact on social media, likely negative, and could be a set back for pioneers in the field. If the future takes this course as opposed to the one that you discuss, you may have to radically change your prediction.

  • An interesting take on the future of social media, most of which I can agree with. However, how do you think social media could be affected if internet providers follow through with plans already in place to limit accessibility and speed to certain websites depending on what level subscriber you are within their company? This could potentially have a major impact on social media, likely negative, and could be a set back for pioneers in the field. If the future takes this course as opposed to the one that you discuss, you may have to radically change your prediction.

    • I won't because it won't work. There will always be a provider with the open source or open web mentality that people can choose from. Perhaps limits will come from corporations relative to work hours, but ISPs will go out of business by the dozens if they start limiting what is already essentially unlimited.

      But great point and one worth thinking through. Thanks for the comment.

  • Great article. The creepiness of “smart web apps” is on the way, like it or not. As a marketer it sounds great, but I worry about those who can shout the loudedst on the web becoming too big a bully.
    Some of the beauty of SM now is that a single person or small biz can carve out a voice and be heard by those who are interested.

    Keep the insights coming.

  • Great article. The creepiness of “smart web apps” is on the way, like it or not. As a marketer it sounds great, but I worry about those who can shout the loudedst on the web becoming too big a bully.
    Some of the beauty of SM now is that a single person or small biz can carve out a voice and be heard by those who are interested.

    Keep the insights coming.

    • Will do. I'll also do my part to keep the big brands from bullying. Heh.

  • Well said, Jason! I love these “predictions” kind of posts, because it give hope for the future and gives us takeaways we can start using now.

    One area that I think is relatively untapped as yet is the ability for online communities to rally together in one way or another for the better good of humanity. It may seem like an idealistic attitude, but I do believe that we have laid out in front of us the tools we need to make connections that will be helpful to the whole world, from saving the environment to banishing poverty and ending wars.

    No longer do we live in isolation from one another. At the click of a button I can start a revolution. That is proven on a smaller scale every time someone does an event like this http://tweetsgiving.org/ and raises tens of thousands of dollars in 48 hours. Imagine the possibilities if we scale this up over time.

    As with any revolution, there will be detractors of all kinds. This is part of the natural progression of this type of fundamental shift in how we communicate. The world will never be the same now that the Internet is here. And it will only continue to evolve before our eyes.

  • Well said, Jason! I love these “predictions” kind of posts, because it give hope for the future and gives us takeaways we can start using now.

    One area that I think is relatively untapped as yet is the ability for online communities to rally together in one way or another for the better good of humanity. It may seem like an idealistic attitude, but I do believe that we have laid out in front of us the tools we need to make connections that will be helpful to the whole world, from saving the environment to banishing poverty and ending wars.

    No longer do we live in isolation from one another. At the click of a button I can start a revolution. That is proven on a smaller scale every time someone does an event like this http://tweetsgiving.org/ and raises tens of thousands of dollars in 48 hours. Imagine the possibilities if we scale this up over time.

    As with any revolution, there will be detractors of all kinds. This is part of the natural progression of this type of fundamental shift in how we communicate. The world will never be the same now that the Internet is here. And it will only continue to evolve before our eyes.

  • Spot on. The points about the usage of social media by governments are especially thoughtful. I believe those initiatives that really bring social media to the masses, because it takes all the cynicism out of social media.

    Even if you're transparent and authentic, and you listen and so forth, brands using social media still have one of two goals: make money or save money. Government (in theory) has social media motives of greater purity, and that's an opportunity to introduce the power of social media on a clean canvass to the LARGE group of people that are still in eye rolling mode about the whole affair.

    I'm actually starting work on the social media communication plan for the State of Arizona (we have a new Governor starting in late January when our current Gov moves to Director of Homeland Security). I'll be reaching out to you and other geniuses to help craft a social media program that makes government by the people and for the people again (at least at the communication level).

    Another great post, JF. You da man.

  • Spot on. The points about the usage of social media by governments are especially thoughtful. I believe those initiatives that really bring social media to the masses, because it takes all the cynicism out of social media.

    Even if you're transparent and authentic, and you listen and so forth, brands using social media still have one of two goals: make money or save money. Government (in theory) has social media motives of greater purity, and that's an opportunity to introduce the power of social media on a clean canvass to the LARGE group of people that are still in eye rolling mode about the whole affair.

    I'm actually starting work on the social media communication plan for the State of Arizona (we have a new Governor starting in late January when our current Gov moves to Director of Homeland Security). I'll be reaching out to you and other geniuses to help craft a social media program that makes government by the people and for the people again (at least at the communication level).

    Another great post, JF. You da man.

    • Another person making forays into government on social media's behalf. Looks like I'm another step closer to being right. Good on you, J. Thanks for commenting and for your compliments.

  • Interesting thoughts Jason, Regarding the eduction system — much of the challenge has to do with a generation gap (although I hesitate to use that term). This gap is a function of time and people's life experiences. It not only affects schools, but more importantly, families. This is a major concern of mine. Being a grandfather in my mid-50s, I have a yearning desire to be able to communicate with my grandchildren, as do all good grandparents. Fortunately, I have a background in technology, so I am able to keep up with the lasted trends as communication tools advance. (In fact, I teach grandparents about technology.) However, many teachers, parents, and grandparents struggle. This is why it is vitally important for young folks to take an interest in patiently helping others learn and adapt; to be tolerant of others who are in different stages in life. Older folks have so much to offer the younger generations — knowledge, experience, wisdom, love, etc. I see this as a win-win solution — learn and grow together.

    – Grandpa Shayne

  • Interesting thoughts Jason, Regarding the eduction system — much of the challenge has to do with a generation gap (although I hesitate to use that term). This gap is a function of time and people's life experiences. It not only affects schools, but more importantly, families. This is a major concern of mine. Being a grandfather in my mid-50s, I have a yearning desire to be able to communicate with my grandchildren, as do all good grandparents. Fortunately, I have a background in technology, so I am able to keep up with the lasted trends as communication tools advance. (In fact, I teach grandparents about technology.) However, many teachers, parents, and grandparents struggle. This is why it is vitally important for young folks to take an interest in patiently helping others learn and adapt; to be tolerant of others who are in different stages in life. Older folks have so much to offer the younger generations — knowledge, experience, wisdom, love, etc. I see this as a win-win solution — learn and grow together.

    – Grandpa Shayne

    • Very valuable input, Shayne. Thanks for that. I think the key to social media success now and moving forward revolves around education for all ages now. Hopefully all this discussion can light a fire under current educators and my prediction will be wrong. Thanks for the input.

  • Wow. I’ve read a lot of articles, but this one shows that you have been thinking! I could see every one of your predictions coming true. One question though, how do you think the new trend of social media will affect social-economical classifications. Seems like the high end would be “in” – but where and how would the lower end have a life in 10-20 years?

  • Wow. I’ve read a lot of articles, but this one shows that you have been thinking! I could see every one of your predictions coming true. One question though, how do you think the new trend of social media will affect social-economical classifications. Seems like the high end would be “in” – but where and how would the lower end have a life in 10-20 years?

    • Good question and food for thought, Sarah. I don't see the smart phone being a high entry barrier. Most lower socio-economic individuals carry cell phones and compute/perform social media functions mobile-ly. But there certainly will be a divide. I'll ponder on that a bit. Thanks for the food for thought.

  • Thank you, David. I actually agree with everything you've said, including the doubtfulness that government will change. It's a hope. It's a possibility but it's a mountain to climb. We're not there yet. Hopefully we will be some day.

  • Agreed, sir. Thanks for saying so.

  • But if I had covered them, you wouldn't have had the chance to add to the conversation with such great impact. Thanks for this. We should all think these thoughts through and prepare for what's ahead. We are smarter than just me. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  • Wordy bastard, aren't I? Heh. Thanks for the compliment and the patience to read.

  • Thanks for the kind words, Stuart. You're right – Local governments have a phenomenal opportunity to run with social media and prove it can work. Let's hope they try.

  • I think you are definitely on the right track here. I think the backlash or bust you're talking about may very well be inevitable and must be considered as developers create new social media networks. The business plan MUST take into account an in-person, real life, counterpart. Twitters did this themselves with the “Tweetup” but not all sites are as apt for such compliments.

    The claim that students are more tech savvy than their teachers is only one facet of our degenerating educational system and I personally believe that the resolution lies in utilizing a social education network for peer2peer educational purposes. Students will be teaching each other, both online and offline, and educators will be relegated to “guides” or facilitators. Distance Learning, E-Learning, Online Education, whatever you will call it, may not become the standard, but schools and institutions that don't embrace it as a vital aspect of a complete system will lack in their offerings and will thus fail.

    I yearn for a day when our senators and congressmen and other policymakers tweet from their meetings and sessions – providing real-time info and seeking real-time feedback from citizens. Unfortunately, i feel like this is the most implausible of your predictions. It's a 'too good to be true' situation. maybe social media will help increase our voice, maybe even to rival that of special interest groups, as you mention, but i fear that complete representation of the masses, even with social media, is still a long ways away. Anyway, great read, quite insightful, looking forward to the future!

  • I think you are definitely on the right track here. I think the backlash or bust you're talking about may very well be inevitable and must be considered as developers create new social media networks. The business plan MUST take into account an in-person, real life, counterpart. Twitters did this themselves with the “Tweetup” but not all sites are as apt for such compliments.

    The claim that students are more tech savvy than their teachers is only one facet of our degenerating educational system and I personally believe that the resolution lies in utilizing a social education network for peer2peer educational purposes. Students will be teaching each other, both online and offline, and educators will be relegated to “guides” or facilitators. Distance Learning, E-Learning, Online Education, whatever you will call it, may not become the standard, but schools and institutions that don't embrace it as a vital aspect of a complete system will lack in their offerings and will thus fail.

    I yearn for a day when our senators and congressmen and other policymakers tweet from their meetings and sessions – providing real-time info and seeking real-time feedback from citizens. Unfortunately, i feel like this is the most implausible of your predictions. It's a 'too good to be true' situation. maybe social media will help increase our voice, maybe even to rival that of special interest groups, as you mention, but i fear that complete representation of the masses, even with social media, is still a long ways away. Anyway, great read, quite insightful, looking forward to the future!

    • Thank you, David. I actually agree with everything you've said, including the doubtfulness that government will change. It's a hope. It's a possibility but it's a mountain to climb. We're not there yet. Hopefully we will be some day.

  • Jason, great post! I am excited about the evolution (NO REVOLUTION) that Social Media is creating in marketing. Social Media has become the catalyst for Brands to rethink how they market…these are super exciting time that we are living in.

  • Jason, great post! I am excited about the evolution (NO REVOLUTION) that Social Media is creating in marketing. Social Media has become the catalyst for Brands to rethink how they market…these are super exciting time that we are living in.

  • KatFrench

    Neal – Just chiming in on Jason's conversation here , but I think that your #2 item is indeed critical (and currently driving me nuts).

    Your #3, I'm either not grasping the difference between that and #2, or I do get it and find it scarily stalkerish.

  • NealWiser

    Great Post Jason (just Tweeted it for you, too), but there are three things you either didn't go into deep enough or didn’t cover at all, things that Social Networks need to survive:

    1) Openness: Whether via Open ID or other standards, a user's Social Graph belongs to them and it Must be….
    2) Portable: We should be able to access our Social Graphs from All Social Networks (I commented on the potential dangers of this for Facebook over at dalelarson.com in his post, “Could Twitter’s transcendent clarity trump Facebook?” (http://tinyurl.com/6q8vam – will take you to my comment first).

    Also:

    3) Traceability: In that our Social Graphs should actually Follow Us as we move around and between Social Networks.

  • NealWiser

    Great Post Jason (just Tweeted it for you, too), but there are three things you either didn't go into deep enough or didn’t cover at all, things that Social Networks need to survive:

    1) Openness: Whether via Open ID or other standards, a user's Social Graph belongs to them and it Must be….
    2) Portable: We should be able to access our Social Graphs from All Social Networks (I commented on the potential dangers of this for Facebook over at dalelarson.com in his post, “Could Twitter’s transcendent clarity trump Facebook?” (http://tinyurl.com/6q8vam – will take you to my comment first).

    Also:

    3) Traceability: In that our Social Graphs should actually Follow Us as we move around and between Social Networks.

    • KatFrench

      Neal – Just chiming in on Jason's conversation here , but I think that your #2 item is indeed critical (and currently driving me nuts).

      Your #3, I'm either not grasping the difference between that and #2, or I do get it and find it scarily stalkerish.

      • NealWiser

        Hi Kat, I am indeed talking about 2 different things.
        By Portable, I mean that you should be able to take your Social Graph away from one Social Network and place it into any other one, or more, that you want whenever you want (the usual stuff people talk about)
        However, by Traceable, what I'm referring to is a Hyper Layer to the internet that would immediately recognize you and apply your Social Graph to whatever site you're at regardless of what that site is and regardless of where you log in from.
        Clearly, there's a lot issues that would need to be resolved (privacy, security, Big Brother; take your pick), but if it could be made to work, that would be pretty cool.

        • KatFrench

          Ah, then let's go with “scary stalkerish” for the time being. Thanks for the clarification. :)

    • But if I had covered them, you wouldn't have had the chance to add to the conversation with such great impact. Thanks for this. We should all think these thoughts through and prepare for what's ahead. We are smarter than just me. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  • A little bit long but one of the best “Prediction article” i've ever read.
    Congrats!

  • A little bit long but one of the best “Prediction article” i've ever read.
    Congrats!

    • Wordy bastard, aren't I? Heh. Thanks for the compliment and the patience to read.

  • Thanks Jason for taking a stab at predicting the future…it's definitely a challenge considering the ever changing nature of social media. I think you have hit the nail on the head throughout most of this article though. The thoughts that resonated with me were Government 2.0 and the inevitable SM backlash. I can definitely see these things happening.

    Government (especially local) is extremely conducive to the use of social media to communicate and crowdsource in a much more effective manner…I think it would be amazing if town meetings could occur with a twitter stream running in the background…would certainly liven up those meetings.

    As for the SM backlash…I do think that that is inevitable, although I think we all suffer from periodic burnout from using so many services and being on our smart phones and devices for to long…I run, others sleep. We all definitely are not plugged in the entire time…despite what Mark Zuckerberg would like.

    Great article :)

  • Thanks Jason for taking a stab at predicting the future…it's definitely a challenge considering the ever changing nature of social media. I think you have hit the nail on the head throughout most of this article though. The thoughts that resonated with me were Government 2.0 and the inevitable SM backlash. I can definitely see these things happening.

    Government (especially local) is extremely conducive to the use of social media to communicate and crowdsource in a much more effective manner…I think it would be amazing if town meetings could occur with a twitter stream running in the background…would certainly liven up those meetings.

    As for the SM backlash…I do think that that is inevitable, although I think we all suffer from periodic burnout from using so many services and being on our smart phones and devices for to long…I run, others sleep. We all definitely are not plugged in the entire time…despite what Mark Zuckerberg would like.

    Great article :)

    • Thanks for the kind words, Stuart. You're right – Local governments have a phenomenal opportunity to run with social media and prove it can work. Let's hope they try.

  • Speakin' da troof, reverend. You're welcome.

  • Wow. Smart thinkers??

    Thanks, pal.

    Mark

  • Wow. Smart thinkers??

    Thanks, pal.

    Mark

    • Speakin' da troof, reverend. You're welcome.

  • Thanks Sampad. I agree that citizen journalism will continue to have a huge impact on journalism moving forward. But the trained journalist will continue to have a role. A combination of the two approaches managed well will probably be the near future of the new “journalism,” but interesting combinations of the two will emerge.

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  • Good article Jason. I've personally noted down the points that you have covered and will be watching those over the period of time to see how Social Media evolves.

    My poster child from this post is the “Journalism” and how it shapes in due course of time. We saw worldwide acceptance of Citizen Journalism recently. I can say so since I was all well in Mumbai and was active in social networks to see it taking shape and form. If I can say so that Social Media will give rise to concerned citizens and customers of the world who care much more than the walled gardened companies who I believe will cease to exist if they continue acting like one.


    Sampad

  • Good article Jason. I've personally noted down the points that you have covered and will be watching those over the period of time to see how Social Media evolves.

    My poster child from this post is the “Journalism” and how it shapes in due course of time. We saw worldwide acceptance of Citizen Journalism recently. I can say so since I was all well in Mumbai and was active in social networks to see it taking shape and form. If I can say so that Social Media will give rise to concerned citizens and customers of the world who care much more than the walled gardened companies who I believe will cease to exist if they continue acting like one.


    Sampad

    • Thanks Sampad. I agree that citizen journalism will continue to have a huge impact on journalism moving forward. But the trained journalist will continue to have a role. A combination of the two approaches managed well will probably be the near future of the new “journalism,” but interesting combinations of the two will emerge.

      Thanks for the thoughts.