As we all join or start communities or take part in developing the tools to do so, I am wondering what will the next step be for social media. In any movement, there are stages where the building takes place, the usage hits full steam and then it levels off or dies.
Right now social media is certainly in the building stages as a whole. Sure there are some areas that are moving toward, or are in, "full steam" stage. Most are building.
I have been thinking about this topic a great deal lately. Seth Godin posted some thoughts today that solidified the idea for me. Predicting the future is not very worthwhile if you expect accuracy. It may be fun though.
Here are a few simple predictions of where we are headed:
- Facebook will morph/merge more with other tools to be more of a blog roll for community tools. It, along with any other portal style tools, will rationalize the number of places people will feel inclined to populate and participate in. I could be wrong, but I sense there are so many places and tools.
- Twitter type tools will advance to better filter out the preferences and interests of followers. I may be interested in an individual in one aspect of their lives (social media related), but honestly I really don't care much about the chicken they are BBQing for the the family. Sorry no offense intended.
- Everyday "things" such as GPS systems, emergency management teams, Parent to Teacher communication, shopping deals, etc will converge more and more to make even the term social media sound so generic that it looses usage.
I am sure there are long lists of predictions being made on this topic and many others. I suppose I have as good a shot at being right as anyone. Social media is developing along the lines of what was partly forecasted for the original commercial web (aka Web 1.0 or "the web", "Internet" or my favorite "the online"). Dream a little dream, lets just be a bit more practical than we were were on the last round of this revolution.