The Social Media pendulum starts to swing back

by Justin Souter on July 13, 2009

I was reading the Groundswell blog post below, and it got me thinking about my own use of Social Media, and how I haven’t been using Twitter quite so much recently – which is probably a *good* thing! ;-D

So, I thought it might be useful to reflect a bit and also relay a couple of interesting multimedia riffs on this theme:

  • Social Media as a lifestyle?
  • Gartner hype cycle
  • Twitter posters from Flickr
  • Spoof Social Media expert video

Social Media as a lifestyle?

Key quote from Groundswell blog post: Social technology: a way of life . . . or just a damn hobby?:

“As I see people immersing themselves in social technology I am reminded of this argument. Are you twittering all the time? Blogging every thought? Keeping up with every discussion about your topic? If this is your full-time job, you’re like the fans who landed the jobs in publishing — good for you. If not, your boss, your coworkers, and maybe your customers are wondering why you’re not fully there, even when you’re with them. If you’re working at Facebook maybe social is a way of life (SIAWOL?). Not sure if that applies if you’re at Best Buy or Accenture.

I’m not arguing you should give up social media. Staying connected is terrific. I’m blogging, twittering, facebooking and emailing (yes, that too) frequently. But it’s not a way of life, it’s a useful communications tool. (Would you ever say “email is a way of life?”) I love to connect in these social worlds. I also like to take a moment to step back and think once in a while, instead of being caught up in the whirlpool at every moment. And whether it’s a client engagement, a briefing, an event, or just a discussion in the hallway, I try to be fully present. People seem to appreciate it, and I learn things from those other interactions, just as I learn them within the groundswell.

Do you have trouble with this balance? How do you sort it out? I’m avidly interested in your answers.”

Gartner hype cycle

When I worked at Fujitsu Services, I had access to reports from Gartner and Forrester, amongst others [mmm, analyst report…].

Gartner had a great analytical tool, called the Hype Cycle:

Interpreting Technology Hype
When new technologies make bold promises, how do you discern the hype from what’s commercially viable? And when will such claims pay off, if at all? Gartner Hype Cycles provide a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities. Gartner Hype Cycle methodology gives you a view of how a technology or application will evolve over time, providing a sound source of insight to manage its deployment within the context of your specific business goals.

This “Understanding hype cycles” page is a great explainer, as is this diagram:

Bottom line is that I’m wondering whether we’re at the Peak of Inflated Expectations for the whole concept of Social Media, but maybe just for mainstream businesses? Let me know what you think!

Think Dot com bust re Trough of Disillusionment – i.e. people asking “Emperor’s New Clothes”-type questions…

Check out this sneaky re-publish of one of their reports for an example.

Twitter posters from Flickr – style of WWII propaganda

Umm, I probably just wanted to publish these, as they’re rather good. But also worthwhile pondering the downside of too much opening of the kimono!

Hat tip to Al Smith

Spoof Social Media expert video

I think those of us who put ourselves forward as having experience / expertise in the Social Media arena need to have a) a sense of humour, and b) a sense of our own credibility issues. This clip is painfully perceptive!

Hat tip to Neville Hobson

So, a bit of an omnibus post with added multimedia, but sparked by Josh Bernoff’s musings. Thought-provoking IMO.

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