Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Is social media really dead? Say it isn't so!

Been catching up on my media pundit blog reading when I clicked the link to Steve Rubel's Social media is No Mo post...and wondered if Steve's been imbibing too much of that A-lister kool-aid these days...

He might have thought differently if he'd gone to the WOMMA Summit rather than LeWeb3....but maybe it wasn't A-listy enough...nope...just a bunch of people comparing notes and trying to figure out how their companies are going to negotiate the myriad forms of social media without getting their heads handed to them...

All that aside, there's some great commentary on Rubel's blog, and some great posts on the subject including this from Brian Oberkirch's blog: The blog is called MicroPersuasion, right? It’s supposed to focus on the tiny moments of niche conversation that make all the difference. Yet he’s consistently falling into the Technorati 100 trap of remaking social media tools over in the image of Big Media

Exactly. Steve's perspective is now one from the top of the heap. He can point to folks he knows personally and say that the "the barriers to becoming a member of the fourth estate have been obliterated by these very same technologies" and point to Scoble blogging on the trail with John Edwards.

Yet, with all due respect to Scoble, he and Arrington and many others account for a very small portion of those who have made it to the top.

There's also this from Brian Solis's blog:Is it me, or am I the only one here that sees the blaring differences between blurred and dead?
Yes, he’s correct that in 2006 most, not all, media went social. Many of the tools he described are globally deployed and utilized. But the last time I checked, only a small portion of the global population is actually socializing using “social media tools” and, most importantly, these tools are merely creating the framework for a broader, more sophisticated social media platform for the future.

Solis is right on. While so many want to go to Technorati's "millions served" scenario of the numbers of blogs created in a day, there's never an accounting of how many of those blogs are abandonded, nor is there ever a clear assessment anywhere of the places within the U.S. alone that are still struggling to get online with dial up (because of telco disinterest in rural America) and thus make the hurly-burly of online socializing pretty darned difficult (let alone make Second Life impossible.)

As for my own H.O., I think that perhaps Steve's feeling the residual effects of how the blogosphere bit back at Edelman this year: from the Wal-Mart bloggers, to the Wal-Mart "flog" to the Edelman/Microsoft A-lister computer giveaway debacle, the B-list and the even smaller voices of the Lower Lists have really taken a bite out of Edelman.

Perhaps it's more of a Death to Social Media mini-manifesto, rather than the Death of Social Media.

Think about it.

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