Yesterday afternoon I posted an entry on Twitter asking the crowd to define social media in two words or less. The responses were fascinating. Several people responded optimistically with words like “community” and “humans connecting.” But more than a few folks were surprisingly — at least to me — pessimistic in their viewpoints, hinting that social media participants are collectively egotistical, superficial or that it’s just a false world overrun with marketers.
I’ve pasted some of the responses below so you can see the assortment. I respect each of these folks a lot. You should follow them on Twitter if you don’t already. Please note that I’ve rearranged a couple of the tweets to show clarification and more than one response for flow and uniformity of thought.
What I’d like to know, however, is what one or two words would you use to describe social media and why? Please jump in the comments. We use Discus now, so throw in a video post to explain your answer if you have that capability. And while you’re at it, tell us if you think the frequency of the pessimism in the responses may indicate there is something holistically wrong with social media, its users or our inside-the-bubble collective thought.
The comments are yours. Here are some of the responses:
CathleenRitt 1. 1st thing that came to mind 2. Thought it was kind of funny 3. Seems to be more fun than useful or productive – which is fine
tiddlytwinks Relationship building.
MyCreativeTeam Social Media = Humans Connected
tomob people talking
brianherbert Communal Interaction
brianherbert … which feels like an obvious answer.
Genevangelist Hmm I like Audacious or Intrepidly Daring with a little Verve thrown in
JamieTimm community building
MattJMcD potential, over-hyped (that’s technically two words right?)
thebouv Shared Narcissism
thebouv BTW, I had more earlier, but didn’t want to be too negative: Mostly Banal. Productivity Killer. Pretend Relations (PR, hah!).
leeodden um, “social media”? LOL How about, “community”
mediadarlingkm 1. Client Confounding 2. Time Killer 3. Ridiculously Fun.
jaybaer My 2 word social media description = Citizen Journalism
Jillfoster “1 or 2 word description for social media”: participant media …or 5 words: creative, participant media & community
swoodruff Promisingly immature. Kept it under 2 words.
mhames respond accordingly.
jmdickinson authentic minutia
ryanthogmartin “Getting Connected”
bitpakkit Well I only had one word, and I think too often the ‘crowd’ is being descended on by a gang of hawking schmexperts/direct mktrs.
bitpakkit I could also say pop media – cliquey, funky, popular, social, video, photo, bloggy, ego-centric, viral replacement of old media
miketrap Scaled intimacy.
csalomonlee respond to your questions. snarky response – “white noise”. in reality – “connecting everyone”
jackbr4 apathetically hostile