Where Next For Social Media
A session I recently presented for the London Information and Knowledge Exchange (LIKE) Conference.
A look at some of the current and emerging trends around social media, social networks and collaborative technology. We’ve transitioned from the industrial paradigms of the 20th century to a new age full of opportunities for shared knowledge and learning. But it’s an increasingly complex world and we need to be able to adapt and change if we are to make the most of our opportunities. Technology is no longer something to be feared or avoided – it’s part and parcel of how we live our lives in the 21st century, and it provides us with unprecedented opportunities to understand the world in which we live, and to tap into the collective wisdom of our fellow human beings. It’s good to be alive!
5 thoughts on “Where Next For Social Media”
Excellent slides as ever, Steve! I’m doing some work on the future of Communities of Practice and their possible business models, and this is great context with sharp insights.
As you say the future looks personal, mobile and appified, with value being developed through personalisation, curation and the seeking/delivery of relevant information.
People expect data, information and interaction anywhere, anytime and on any device.
This challenges the older models of CoPs based on a specific platform. I’m looking at Ning-based CoPs, as one example.
Under this model the site managers might aggregate and curate content into the site, and aim to make it as usable as possible on variety of devices, with associated newsletters, tweets and other ways to connect off-site.
However, it looks as if the architecture of the online world is changing, and it is difficult to create enough value around these hubs unless … what?
Do CoPs have to offer a wider range of benefits offline as well as one, and specialised services? Will that only be feasible if they are associated with an institutional base?
Will we see the development of more across-network curators (social reporters as I would call them) … and if so, who pays?
And/or do we increasingly have to create and manage our own networks and communities? And what range of personal knowledge management skills does that require?
So – is the tough question where next for curation and collaboration? (I know you have some good stuff on that too:-)
many thanks for the feedback. It sounds like you’re involving in some fairly leading-edge stuff, but your insight does you credit. If I could pick out two key points from your comments, which I think crystalise the emerging trends with collaborative technologies:
1. The future looks personal, mobile and appified, with value being developed through personalisation, curation and the seeking/delivery of relevant information.
2. People expect data, information and interaction anywhere, anytime and on any device.
Any product or service that is not being developed or designed for mobile devices (smartphones, tablets etc.) is doomed to fail. Content is of course critical, but with the amount of information doubling with increasing frequency (ie. exponential) the search for value and relevance will be the key priorities for users. Products that can deliver personalised content will gain traction, and – as you say – the role of the cross-network digital curator will become increasingly relevant. That’s where I see the next major area of skill development. We’ve passed the point where anybody can be a publisher, but (most of us) haven’t yet learnt the skills of how to produce good content. The age of the social reporter is now upon us – go forth and educate!
I can’t answer all of your questions (maybe they were rhetorical?) but I’ll just agree with your last point “where next for curation and collaboration?”. I think that you could probably help shape that agenda!
Recently a child was able to use her mobile phone to take the picture of her abuser and forwarded same to her parents and Law enforcement authorities. Again while facebook and Twitter have been credited for helping galvanize a technology savy generation of Arabs youths, however ‘intafeen’ the Arabic phrase for :’ where are you’ and the name of a location aware social network application that is also mobile, greatly assisted protest organizers in informing participants as to where protesters where congregating and this helped in no small measure in the ouster of Hosni Mubarak so I must say you are indeed right in saying any product or service that is not being developed or designed for mobile device will in a very short time join the dinosaurs as most users (college undergraduates to CEOs) have an unquenchable appetite to view, contribute and edit content while on the move and they simply can not carry their desktop with them.
many thanks for your comments. It’s always useful to have real-life examples of how mobile technologies are being used. I particularly liked the story of how a child was able to bring her abuser to justice by taking a picture on her mobile phone. Smartphones are becoming ubiquitous and one of the ‘must have ” gadgets for children as soon as they become aware of the wider world.