What is Social Media

I was really impressed this Sunday when I read Stowe Boyd’s post on “what is Social Media“, the man has a wonderful talent for clarity and cuts through the bullshit like a hot knife through butter. Stowe’s post was a response to a question by Dare Obasanjo who seems confused as to what social media is.

In his article Stowe makes a very important distinction between Social Media, in capitals, and social media, in lower case. The lower case social media referring to blogs, wiki’s and the tools that create or form the platform for Social Media.

In the case of Social Media i’m just going to quote a big chunk of Stowe’s article:

The societal phenomenon of Social Media (supported by the nuts and bolts of social media tools) has been a profound one, over the past decade. I predict that the impact in the next decade will be even more sweeping, and much more widespread. As an additional billion or two of the world’s population finds its way onto the web, our only hope may be that the web finds its way into the world: that the principles of openness, transparency, diversity, and egalitarianism that engender web culture remake the world, one conversation at a time. Political parties, multinationals, the corner dress shop, your county government — everything will be influenced by the infectious openness of the web, because the edglings will simply not settle for less.

Couple of nice terms I pulled out of his article

Edglings – The people making things happen at the edges

and the audience, are “The-people-formerly-known-as-the-audience”

I think an important thing to bare in mind is that because social media is the tools that the edgelings use to communicate that social media is very fluid and will grow and change over time. If we were all able to create videos as easily as blog posts from our phones and the video was machine readable, for keyword indexing etc then maybe video would become the dominant form of social media. But right now are current set of tools favor text over anything else.

Resonance Partnerships has a lengthy response to a few different articles, including Stowe’s which is a good read.

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  1. Posted February 19, 2007 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    “Edglings – The people making things happen at the edges”

    This is getting a bit off-topic to your post, but do we still HAVE edges? I thought that was the whole point of the internet and all these wonderful social media tools, to remove the edges. No man/blogger is an island anymore, I thought that was the deal?

    I wonder, because I had another blogger email me a few days ago about the Top 25 Marketing blogs list, and he wondered if people that read those blogs are missing the really good blogs, because, as he added ‘all the really interesting stuff happens at the edges’.

    But my question is, where are the edges? Out hiding with the Loch Ness Monster? ;)

  2. karl long
    Posted February 20, 2007 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow, well i can’t believe you feel like the center :-) I think the edge concept is that things are happening at the edges of companies, at the edges of mainstream media. we may feel like we are at the center of the blogosphere, but we are on the edge of the mainstream. No blog is an island for sure, we are all connected… at the edges. I’m quite happy with the term edgeling, it’s even more poignant when your at a huge company, Scoble was an edgeling at microsoft, maybe he’s not so at the edges any more, but that’s where it started.

  3. Posted February 21, 2007 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    I think the “no edge” concept that Mack is talking about is different than the edgling concept.

    The internet has removed time and place and obstacles to accessing information and knowledge…if that is what he means by removing the edges.

    The edgling concept as you describe it Kurt..being at the center of the blogosphere but on the edge of mainstream is what I think being an edgling is about… though some of are closer to the edge, more visionary, than others.

    Thanks for the mention.

  4. Posted February 22, 2007 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Karl, Wrote this too late at night…sorry about Kurt.

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