Jarter Jargon

Just Another Social Trend?

Posted on: February 2, 2012

This past week, our ADPR 4300 Emerging Media class has had the pleasure of hosting two very impressive guest speakers.

The first, Augie Ray, Executive Director of Community & Collaboration at USAA. He was also formerly a Sr. Analyst of Social Computing at Forrester and Managing Director of Experiential Marketing at Fullhouse. In total, a pretty heavy-hitter. Augie talked about his use of social media in the industry and how it helps to create and maintain an engaged audience.

The second speaker was Tim Cigelske. Tim manages all of Marquette University’s social media channels. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tim for the past two and a half years. Tim had the class give examples of how we utilize social media, and he also presented how Marquette is using social media to enrich past, present and future students’ experience.

The one topic both touched upon which peaked my interest was whether or not social media was here to stay.

This is about to sound like an interview, but where does social media see itself in 5 years? Let’s take Facebook for an example. Facebook has risen to be a record setting powerhouse. But where will Facebook be in 5 years?

We all know Facebook is a social giant. It’s like the cool guy everyone wants at the parties. It’s like cupcakes a few years ago. But we all know that sometimes the cool guy just isn’t as cool as he used to be, and apparently libraries were supposed to be the new cupcakes? But what happens when social media sites like Facebook and Twitter become that now-uncool guy or that week-old cupcake that’s been sitting around half eaten?

Facebook is, and continues, to grow. It has revolutionized business. It has connected the world. But at the same time, new social media sites like Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ (albeit a flop) have started popping up on our radar, and I can’t imagine that along the way, some new site will shadow Facebook.

Really, I think Facebook might be just one of those old pop culture trends, but I definitely think social media is not. Tim Cigelske said “It doesn’t matter what your background is, there’s always a niche for you in social media.” I think this is and always will be true. There will always be people out there interested in the same things you are. Like-minded people, like like-minded people and social media is the easiest way to connect them.


6 Responses to "Just Another Social Trend?"

Josh I really like the questions you’re asking because I’ve been asking the same. Some of the other questions I have regarding Facebook:

Does Facebook’s ever-changing profile format give it an advantage over other social media sites? Even though everyone complains when a new format is forced upon us (Timeline being the newest, although not forced….yet?), I feel like its changes are its way of keeping up with our changing interests. Possibly why Facebook beat out MySpace for many of us?

What keeps everyone using Facebook? People often ‘give up’ Facebook for Lent (very noticeable at Marquette!) because it has become an addiction, but does it help us more than harm us?

Has Facebook contributed to our generation’s (“Gen Y”) practice of hiding behind our computers? I have noticed that we are more apt to send out an e-mail, a text or a Facebook message before we pick up the phone…something I am trying to work on and reverse in myself!

Just like you asked where will social media be in 5 years, where will Facebook’s stock be in 5 years?

Just some thoughts I have been pondering!

I know exactly what you mean. I think it’s pretty scary that people need an excuse to admit their Facebook addictions! I know people who “delete” their account all the time, but they come running back. I also think this generation is going to be in a lot of trouble because they don’t pick up the phone. I personally like phone calls!

I’d say this is exactly what is keeping Facebook relevant. MySpace and other networks failed to realize that they were capturing large amounts of data about their users and didn’t use it. Timeline has done that for consumers on Facebook.

MySpace also gave a little too much freedom to the user, and you saw a site that became bogged down and slow because of animated background and music everywhere. Facebook continues to refine their site to keep it simple (or so they think) and a consistent experience for everyone.

I doubt Facebook disappears in five years, but they could if they don’t continue to value the relationship we have with them and continue to cater to our needs – instead of brands.

It’s a good thing to think about. I am wondering if Facebook has become so integrated into our lives that we could not give it up completely. Personally, I would be freaked out if Facebook started to be phased out. What about all my pictures from my post high school years? 80% of them are only hosted on Facebook…including many of my study abroad pictures. And how would I look up the recipe my cousin sent me in a message years ago and I keep losing? And what about all the people I’ve met through going to college (twice), studying abroad, five internships and various jobs, etc? How would I contact them without Facebook? Personally, I pray Facebook is here to stay.

It’s very funny you should say that. Just the other day I was searching my computer for some lost photos and realized I had them on Facebook!

Very nice post. I do think Facebook will be here in five years. Just because our social graph isn’t going anywhere soon. Many new sites that pop up, like Pinterest, have leveraged Facebook and Twitter to login and thus transporting your network instantly to these new platforms. Facebook will continue to be relevant as long as our friends our there, and that we can continue to connect with them. While Friendster and MySpace were to market much quicker – they never capitalized on our network data and failed to innovate – two things Facebook has done very well.

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