Social Media Landscape is broad.
Sharing, Discussions, Networking, Media, Blogging, Microbligging, Livestream, Livecast, Virtual World, Gaming, Multiplayer games, Music, Video, Podcast, Review, Social Bookmarking, and Wiki. This is just a list of the beginning of social media. What started as e-mails, groups, and messenger, has now widened its scope, reach, depth, richness, interactivity, and quality.
The most challenging aspect of Social Media today is the way participation needs to be moderated, and a promotion of better quality content.
On Websites like Twitter the trends keep changing in a very unexpected way, and there is no sense, pattern, or predictability behind them. E.g Osama Bin Laden was killed, and we witnessed about 12.4Million Tweets an hour! Lady Gaga, Eminem have such an amazing fan following on Social Media, that other celebrities are clueless about the reasons behind such madness.
The participation of users never portrays a pattern on Social media, nor it is timed. The activity might have some patterns but it can never be predicted. As a Media Planner, it becomes difficult to decide the participation by any brand's target audience as no content can be planned to be a new viral campaign. All we can do is try to emulate existing campaigns, or past virals, or build content on the lines of such successful articles.
Contribution is one aspect of social media that has never seen a downturn! Billion sites, millions of blogs, thousands of social media websites, and the new trend of Social Media Analysis Tools (available in thousands) has really helped the whole concept go to a higher level. Websites like Klout, SproutSocial, Viralheat, SocialRadar, Hoosuite, Radian6, ViralHeat, and many other have started to monetize the concept of Online Presence, Sentiments, Social ranking, social standing, network, amplification, reach and many other characteristics of our online activities!
Recently, The Sunday Times launched The Social List and it crashed due to heavy load! This shows the need for analysis and monitoring tools in the present day. Two years ago, people were in search of content, sites where they could share, new opportunities to connect to people, and newer ways to interact/ share media. Now, the maturity of social media mavens is clearly evident, as the same users keep searching for tools, Websites that provide them insights about online activity, topics of interests, and current standings across the social landscape.
Contributions would always come and go, but till date, I personally feel that noone has ever been able to challenge the power of Blogging. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, MySpace, Friendster, yahoo! Messenger, Orkut, Google Buzz may have their online wealth spiralling, but Blogs have been the favorite destination of Online Contributors.
Networking has also improved the level of participation online, and networking opportunities are available in plenty. The approach, intent, returns, and relation matters a lot today. Just adding a member does ot help. Having some kind of interaction, as well as regular conversations is required.
Media sharing presents ample opportunities to users to have a better online presence. Videos, Blogs, Pictures, Experiences, Applications, Livecasts, Podcasts, Creative content are few of the many medias shared online, and the list will surely be better and more organized in the coming months.
Few of the Questions in my mind as of today:
- What could be the Next Big Thing online?
- What are the new ways of online media sharing, interaction, contribution?
- Where will online media take users in the next decade?
- How would Internet users like to interact, converse, share, and network in a span of 2 years from today?
We can only predict, but won't be able to answer, or even imagine the reality!
Noone even knows that what would the users share in the coming years, as the level of personal information being shared today has raised questions about breach of privacy, intimacy, integrity of individuals.
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