2008, A New Year for Social Media

In an effort to break free of this writer’s block, I present to you my “short vs. long” list for 2008.


  • Myspace I seem to be in rhetorical cul de sac when it comes to Myspace, but my feelings remain the same. It’s overrun with hacked accounts, phishing scams and creeps. My friends and colleagues have already migrated to Facebook, and while we mostly match the description of Facebook’s target demographic, it’s only a matter of time before the mass migration begins. Myspace members continue to grow, but is anyone paying attention to the account activity?
  • YouTube YouTube isn’t going anywhere. It’s a staple of everyone’s social media diets, thanks in part to YouTube’s core community of users. But there is also a shift happening that will bleed attention and high-performing users away from YouTube. Sites like Veoh and Revver will continue attracting early defectors (my favorite defector du jour: gamejew) , looking to start a different kind of community–one that isn’t built on piano-playing cats and ninjas.


  • Microblogging I’m convinced that Facebook is acting as a gateway site to grown-up microblogging tools like Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce. As ordinary Facebook users become accustomed to Facebook’s “status updates,” they’ll begin to find value in dedicated micro-blogging sites. Furthermore, the text-messaging and instant messaging habits of younger people are easily adapted to micro-blogging. Twitter is group chat/group-texting for grown-ups. Just a few more years and it’ll be commonplace in the office.
  • Live Streaming The technology seems to be reaching a critical point. Sites like uStream.tv and Seesmic are set to be the hot adoptions in 2008. Meanwhile, the social-networking site Stickam is popularizing live streaming technology with younger people. In 2008, live streaming on free social media sites will become commonplace.
  • Flickr Last week, Flickr unveiled account stats (traffic, referrers, view counts for sets, collections and photostreams) for users with paid accounts. Finally, it seems worthwhile for me to invest in a professional account–and I think other users will feel the same.
  • ROI It was a nice run, wasn’t it? For years, our bosses were impressed by costly experiments in social media. Unlike those poor kids in online advertising laboring over cost-per-clicks, we didn’t have to define success. But the time is over, my friends. Executives are starting to ask for it. Managers are demanding it. And web workers the world over are scrambling to define it. ROI for social media is the great riddle of 2008. And if we want to keep the party going, we’ll have to get this figured out.

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