In watching my habits socializing – and that of others, I've noticed two trends in social media that I think bear analysis – since social media may be an interesting career for people, and people will be using it in their careers.
What I've noticed is that social media can be roughly classified into two areas: the general (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter) that provide functionality with no goals beyond socialization, and the specific (LinkedIn.com, Crunchyroll, etc.) that provide service based around specific goals or media.
I see this as being the future of social media – there is only room for a few big general players who perfect their craft and deliver general social media functionality. But there is also room for specialist social media built around particular audiences and services – I myself find myself using specialized or semi-specialized social media as much as any other. In fact, as the generalist social media settles, the major market may be creating specialized communities that can respond to specific needs and leverage specific knowledge.
For those working in social media, this will lead to some hard decisions – do you go general (knowing there are fewer choices), or take changes with a specific community (taking a different set of changes). Placing your bet will result in some careful evaluations – work with the fewer larger or the less predictable but wider-spread specialists.
For those USING social media intensely, it involves hedging your bets and determining what you can and should use. I think enough of the major players and some of the specialist and semi-specialist players (gaia, LinkedIn.com, Crunchyroll, etc.) are defined that you can determine what you want to use and for what goals. There's enough room out there – and enough potential mergers and changes – that things can shift in at least some markets.
Never a dull moment . . .
– Steven Savage