Looks like the predicted social media "bubble" has burst before reaching much scale. What happened? Wasn't Groupon supposed to be the next big thing not that long ago?
And Facebook? Is it the well-documented screw ups in the IPO logistics that turned that apparent enviable investment into a sow's ear? Or has the bloom come off the Facebook rose?
From the conversations I hear going on about the so-called social media bubble, seems there are really two sides to this discussion. The first is the perspective from which we judge the social media offerings simply as stock market investments, good or bad. That picture is not pretty at the moment.
The second is the perspective of the social network phenomenon in a wider sense: now that consumers have determined that the best way to learn about a products benefits and challenges is by seeing what others say about it, there seems major value for brands to be where most of their customers are. And that place is on the social media sites. So although it appears that as a business model, Facebook has not yet found the formula, it is also true that as a cultural phenomenon, where millions of people all over the globe come to meet, greet, and share opinions, it is a juggernaut.
So while they get their act together, there is lots to talk about just how best companies and organizations can take advantage of the human interest in forming communities and figure out how to put the social network concept to work for them.
No one appears to have the right formula. Yet. But most companies are talking about it. And they're listening, too. To the consumers who are chattering away with each other all over the web.
I'm thinking that we just haven't seen yet where this is all going. Listening to people around me talk about how they are "no longer in love with Facebook" makes me think there is a post-Facebook option out there. We just haven't seen it yet. And where, pray tell, do you think it will come from? Maybe not Silicon Valley...maybe from some kid in Kuala Lumpur or elsewhere who has her eye on building the next big thing.
We all need to stay tuned. We're too social to become antisocial.