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Round Table: What Is Social Media To You?

Apr 10th 2008
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For this week’s round table we ask the editors, “What is Social Media to you?”

Here are the answers they gave.

Mark Dykeman

What does social media mean to me?

Social media is the arena where the little content creator can go toe to toe with the big content creator - and hold their own, if not win!

Dan Rua

Social Media feels like the inevitable evolution from a barbell curve of one-to-one personal communication and one-to-many professional broadcasting, to a spectrum of communication one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one and many-to-many including diverse personal/professional qualities. As the cost of production/broadcasting tools drops to zero, the winners should become those with the most interesting information to share, where “most interesting” is a mix of reason and emotion — and those who find a way to monetize their efforts so they can live to keep doing it.

That said, first-movers in social media, just like any industry, gain significant advantages to transfer and grow their networks so long as their information is “good enough” (e.g. TechCrunch growth despite tabloid material) or they copy/curate the most interesting information produced by others (e.g. Calacanis.com evolution to Mahalo human-powered scraping).

Charo Nuguid

For me, Social Media is primarily one giant virtual brain bank. Used wisely and efficiently, you would be able to get opinions and ideas from people around the world and use this to hopefully come up with solutions to problems happening in your own backyard. Think of it as one huge mind map and all you have to do is find a way to connect all these thoughts to form a completely new one for yourself.

Steve Spalding

At this point in the cycle I am going to call Social Media the Rapture of the Marketers. Most Social Media applications have not penetrated deeply enough into the mainstream to be relevant to the vast majority of those that exist outside of the digerati, and even if it did an argument could be made that the digerati would still be the major users.

That being said, all media is Social and the concept that we talk about when we say “Social Media” is just another set of tools to do something that the original Internet was designed to do — connect people around common interests. The big hope for Social Media then is finding a way to introduce the mainstream to conversation and communication online that is relevant to people whose primary use for the web is to check their email and MySpace.

Now it’s time for you to sound off. What is Social Media to you?

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    Eric Rice (via Twitter) - Two words: humanity magnified. few more words for better and for worse.

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