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You, We, Me and I, in social media

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I've noticed the term social media taking a nose dive into the waste basket of marketers and brand strategists. A sharply folded paper airplane created from last year's media budget. It's one of those planes that only goes across the room once. The plane slubs downward each toss there after. Someone givies it one last throw only to watch it go down.

Through dialogue with friends and respected colleagues, we're beginning to see people sifting the pebbles of an otherwise dried up river. No shiny objects to be found. Perhaps there is another side of the river bed to traverse. A hill hidden in the shadow of this mountain.

A thought on this, one I've mentioned in a few other posts;
Unless all data can be resolved to single, unified definition both visually and semantically–there are no finite experts in this realm. And to be honest, social-networks ( ironic how we've added the prefix to a word that means the exact same thing offline ) have existed since the dawn of man, and woman, and creature-thingy.

I still believe the best messages are ones that teach and inform with selling as an extension–if one needs to sell at all. Conversation has always been the life-blood for any strong network. Even more so when the idea, product or service exceeds the expectations of those who implemented the campaign. At that point, all a brand can do is monitor the feedback and continue to innovate. Continue the conversation.

A lot of jargon circulates through the media landscape of today's marketing and communication professionals. I tend to believe, in most uses, it's used to illiterate a point for those who do not understand it. While in others, it's used like a machine gun, hoping to sniper-hit anyone who is willing to listen. It's quickly becoming industry jargon. Hacking the system, any system, is a demonstration of ingenuity. And when I say "hacking," I mean to use it in the context it was originally used. Not in the jargon or colloquialism it has become.

The Semantic web is posed to resolve and de-throne the hucksters within this area of expertise. And Google has a few things brewing that could be really great for all of us, or really bad.

On the other hand, as mobile content and desktop-client software ( or Saas ) continually provide opt-in features where users provide validated and quantifiable data about themselves, we may see extremely concise targeting with messaging and communication. Eventually leading to the end of any/all forms of disruptive or intrusive advertising. Interactive will survive. But I believe the definition of the word needs refinement as well. The technology that supports these mediums is not as ubiquitous as some would have everyone believe. This is not to say that everyone doesn't have access to the hardware that drives it but, rather understanding the software that controls it. We need to brand the interface experience. And yes–that is a juxtaposition of the word.

In the end, who's to say? Social marketing works because the message has moved from mouth-to-mouth, beyond the communications effort. It's either become a cultural element for some or a sad joke for others. And if this data isn't protected properly, or a for some reason it is breached under the umbrella of a major brand, the medium will die all-together.

Security might be the new commodity after transparency.

*Insert Announcer Voice*

Reputation Protectors; We'll encrypt your entire life. And sell you back your password, if you forget!

The You; We; Me and I in social media. It will eventually lead to what it's always lead to–Us.

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