The cold hard reality of Social Media is that it is just another medium. It’s a whole bunch of connected computers with some interesting applications that allow people to connect with a little more interactivity than before. It’s more two-way, but it’s just a medium.
Okay, so that sounds harsh perhaps. But really, we started this whole thing a few thousand years ago painting stuff on cave walls…early blogging if you will. Then along came the telegraph, radio and TV. All just mediums.
The early days of radio meant an investment in technology and not all embraced it. The modern concept of advertising in these mediums took a while to form. Same with television…and suddenly we had “sponsorships” and then manufacturers discovered women had a lot of buying power and…well, we figured out a medium.
So why is there so much discussion around what social media “is” and “isn’t”? Is it really revolutionary? Perhaps…I think we can’t even come close to answering that. Those of us that work in the world of social media are students ourselves. We’re simply sherpas helping guide businesses, governments and others along the way.
It’s simply too early to call any shots on this new medium. We don’t know how it’s going to change us. There’s so much novelty, new applications and services constantly cropping up…and dying. It’s just another medium to be figured out.
Is it really a societal change upon us? When might we gain a deeper understanding? What are the clues? Or are we just entertaining each other?