How do you achieve that delicate balance between the old and the new and find both depth and lightness – depth that moves at an emotional and spiritual level, lightness that moves us forward?
Over 500 million people on Facebook indicates a massive shift in how consumers and businesses are viewing the social media movement. Perhaps underappreciated is the fact that everyone now is a brand. Even individuals with hundreds, if not thousands of “friends” are incessantly playing to an audience. Social games, mobile social, social apps, social news, crowd sourcing – all reinforce the trend. A tremendous amount time is being wasted on social networks, but at the same time, seriously productive and valuable work is also being done, leveraging the trend. All told, the social Web will drive the next decade’s evolution of the Internet. Personalization and privacy issues remain TBD.
Let’s take a look next at the Top 10 Social Web Trends For The Decade.
Facebook itself is a trend, no question. People seem to be living their lives on Facebook, posting way too much detail about trivial personal things on their Walls. The notion of privacy has gone out of the window, and I don’t like this at all. I have always felt there is a certain dignity about privacy, and this mass “sharing” of personal details makes a mockery out of that old-fashioned concept. Needless to say, this is leading to undesirable consequences, including people not being hired due to unappetizing stuff on their personal profiles.
2. Social News:
Every major media web site offers the most viewed, most emailed, and most blogged articles of the day – a way of using the social Web to gauge the most important (or at least the more popular) items. Various other similar mechanisms like Tweets, Facebook Likes, and other methods achieve similar end results. We are also fed news by our Facebook and Twitter networks. This is an interesting trend, although I would like to control better the primary sources from whom I like to get news referrals. At the moment, the flow is a bit too random.
3. Social Games:
Human beings like to be entertained, and they like to connect. Undeniable momentum that will continue to shape dollar flow and social behavior in the coming years.
4. Social Shopping:
Ever since Amazon used collaborative filtering to recommend books, music, and other products to their customers, retailers have looked for ways to recommend merchandise based on what other customers are doing on their sites. Now, however, the customers themselves are doing research and getting recommendations through various kinds of reviews and ratings sites, Twitter, Facebook, and so on. Again, for me, creating a well-organized, filtered recommendation panel would be important to gain full leverage out of this trend. Otherwise, the recommendations are far too random.
5. Specialized Professional Networks:
LinkedIn has become a place to see and to be seen, and a central repository of resumes. Recruiters are using the database to find candidates to hire. But the site is a bit generic, and I foresee that the professional networks will start to get more specialized as we go along. CIOs will have their own professional network, as will CFOs.
6. Specialized Social Networks:
And so will the social networks start to become specialized. We already have networks for little girls to play with dolls; there will be similarly effective networks for other activities. One on my wish list is a really well thought through social network for dancers. I’d like to be able to find dancers who dance the Argentine tango at a similar level as I do, and meet up with them at Alberto’s on Sunday at 8 p.m. Impossible to do with a generic social network as Facebook right now.
7. Enterprise Social Networks:
Enterprise knowledge has long been dissipated due to lack of mechanisms to harness and connect. Knowledge management, as a discipline, has not seen a lot of success in the pre-social media era. But today, the field is gaining ground, and we can hope to see enterprises shape up to become much better managers of expertise location and sharing.
8. Crowdsourced Business Functions:
People are raising money, providing customer support, validating ideas, doing market research, and who knows what else by using the social Web. Definitely a trend whose time has come, and come to stay.
9. Mobile Social:
And everybody is socializing from their mobile devices these days, so the ubiquity of the social web is unmistakable. Personally, this is another trend that I don’t like very much. It’s way too intrusive, way too obsessive, compulsive, and annoying. But it is here to stay, no question.
10. Diminishing In-Person Social Skills:
My friend Chaz gave an example of one of his students breaking up with his girlfriend with a text message. When asked, “Why on earth would you do that?” the boy replied, “Because it is easy.” Chaz observed, “Breaking up is not supposed to be easy.” The incident is common in today’s Web society. As a consequence, however, an entire generation is growing up without adequate in-person skills – like how to have a nice conversation around a dinner table, or how to seduce a girl on a date with a smile, a touch, or a look. Once again, my old-fashioned sensitivity says, we will terribly miss these lost art forms, as evolution further integrates the social Web into our lives.
As always, your perspectives are very welcome.