The first step into an academic view of Social Media

As of yesterday, classes started back up. Today, was our first official foray into the world of Social Media, from an academic standpoint.

Of course, opening it up to the floor to guage where everyone’s understanding is at, the questions lead to answers of a wide variety. A common theme however was the idea that Social Media is SATURATED!

There are far too many sites out there giving you social media. We have Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Gawker, StumbleUpon, Technorati, Reddit, Boingboing… etc. etc. etc.  For the record, I maintain most of my time on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and to a lesser extent, Youtube. 

The huge amount of these applications and sites has turned the world of interaction on its head and against us. A single person cannot be expected to follow all of these websites, so this concept of a Social Media Guru or Expert is a false label. Anyone who claims to be such a person is a liar and 100 years ago, probably would’ve tried to sell you snake oil or prime real estate in southern Florida. 

Because of the saturation, what needs to start coming into the fold is consolidation. We’ve already started to see it with Facebook buying instagram – and don’t believe Facebook for a second when they say that this was a one-off thing, they WILL do it again. 

Nevertheless, 2012 is the year of oversaturation. 2013 will be the year of consolidation. 

Another aspect of saturation is the short shelf life of ideas, concepts and objects.

Things go viral or turn into memes and before you know it, a week or two has passed, everyone has seen these things and those that saw them first, have forgotten and moved on.

I’ve heard people say they don’t “understand” <insert social media site name here> for whatever stupid reason they have. This is just plain ignorance manifesting itself. You think I understand half the sites I’m on? I don’t. But I still use them. Conversely, those that I don’t use, I don’t use for a reason better than not understanding… like, they have no useful application in my life. 

I, at one time, had seen usefulness in blogspot. I developed a blog there and I maintained it loosely for a time, but in the end I stopped updating it. Life got in the way and I ran out of things to say. It is not with a touch of irony that my blog lives on, receiving multiple hits on a daily basis. It averages about 40 per day. That blog was about photography and the content is largely regarding lens mounting and modifications – i.e. putting a non-Canon lens on a Canon camera body. 

As one classmate so succinctly put it “CONTENT IS KING”. It is my only hope that I can narrow my focus here to the point of having a perfect niche. I have an idea. I have concepts. I just need… content. 

Anyhow, this is just the beginning. It is my hope that I can turn this place into a maven for my life experience as a junior practitioner in PR. 

 

Jos Laflamme, PR Tyro

[Tyro is an old latin-based term for Apprentice… my goal is to bring it back!] 

Follow me on twitter: @joslaflamme 

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