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Social Interaction Design

Social Media Trends

The future of social media will depend on the market for user-generated content, and the staying power of online life in general. Though churn rates are high for many social media properties, neither the web nor the internet are going away. Social media sites today might be like the Talkies of yesteryear, of perhaps some early broadcast soaps: embryonic examples of a medium steadily figuring out what it can do, as its builders and owners test it out in different markets.

The early days of homesteading online have past now, and it would be more weird now to post a personal ad in a newspaper than to join Similarly, has established its importance among youth as an extension of the self, as in "find me on myspace." And sites like facebook and youtube demonstrate that we can do much more with online social networks than manage our online profiles. As we increasingly use mass media forms (videos) and references in our daily talk and communication, and as we continue to share personal views with audiences familiar and strange, social media will re-shape economic, cultural, political, educational and other spheres of modern life.

Future increases in cost of energy, adoption of mobile social media, coordination of friends, groups, teams, and other social networks (including families) are likely as it simply becomes more convenient to use media for communication needs. And yet even as social media push the envelope of presence, immediacy, and touch, there's nothing like doing it face to face. We are all embodied, and every body wants some body, and to be some body for another. This might still be the engine of social media use. Time will tell.

The Web 2.0 universe is an engine of new modes of communication

Web 1.0: publishing

  • information was evergreen
  • users browsed and searched

Web 2.0: I can publish too

  • users create their own home pages
  • and socialize them with friends

Web 3.0+: we talk

  • the web goes social
  • communication is embedded in all web, distributed to all devices

Trends: the future

  • Faster and lighter applications and tools
  • Higher presence and immediacy of the user
  • Niche social networks
  • Fewer new attempts at all-in-one destinations
  • Branded social media and social media brands
  • Recognition by mass media, increasing assimilation and integration
  • Distributed and widgetized
  • Non-browser based apps widgets and mobile

Future social media: some examples

  • Pass along social quizzes
  • Quizzes and game-like interactions for use in populating profiles
  • Profiles populated on-the-fly
  • Profiles populated through badge- and widget-based forms
  • Profiles populated through badge- and widget-based games
  • Pass along tokens and coupons, circulables, distributables
  • Mobile navigation systems
  • On location recordings, pics, etc
  • Mobile dating and location-aware presence (social) media
  • "Where is everyone?" apps for friend networks, local events, and advertising
  • Betting, gambling, game-based social interactions
  • Bots do the work of search, taste and preference-based matching
  • Persistent search-based or query-based social media (interacting with news subscriptions, auctions, file sharing, profile-matching, etc)
  • Social consumer graphics (visualizations)
  • Green stickers on consumer products
  • Global use of evites and invitations
  • Desktop and OS-embedded social media applications
  • Playlists and online radio (continued migration from CD format to online)
  • Ditto with video and television
  • Permission based video advertising
  • .mac social networking
  • Social search, people search
  • User responders and recommenders for telcom directory information
  • Live and real-time social media (IM, chat, live help, support, sales, classifieds, personals, etc)
  • Affinity-marketing and affinity consumption (block purchasing)
  • Social marketing (marketing to friend networks through influencers in each trust network by topic, content expertise)
  • User-generated tv shows
  • Tv shows sporting online content and user input and interaction (e.g. online games played to tv shows)
  • Product and brand placement and positioning within social media sites and for redeemable discounts and incentives
  • Video navigation schemas
  • Deep search of video content, transposition of video to text, transcription of video commentary to text, meta-data enabled, etc.

Social analytics 2.0

  • Web metrics are ready to evolve beyond clickthrough histories and trends
  • The next stage in web 2.0 and social analytics should be mapping social networks for value and influence, topicality, affinity relations, activity patterns and more
  • These are measurable and interesting, but of course useless if not accompanied by actionable marketing platforms
  • Social media and marketing will converge when data and meta data, actions and activities, members and their networks, content and its categories, affinity and sentiment expressions and their objects (bands, movies, etc) can be sucked into software that provides event-based triggers, messaging, sales, and redemption
  • When the social marketer can extend the right offers to the right influencers, and map their circulation and proliferation through real and active friend communities, social marketing will have its holy grail, to wit, relationship marketing to social networks (not individuals)
  • At that point the conversation between brand and consumer, product and owner, event and goer, author and reader, channel and viewer will be truly smart, sophisticated, relevant, and well-timed
  • Marketers will be empowered when they can target market their products and services to the best possible member of a social network, enjoying the benefit of his or her conversation and domain authority, and themselves saving money and reducing wasteful redundancy
  • Will the future offer marketing tools integrated into social networks? I'd like to work on it!

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