Despite that, I am taken aback by the speed of change that has occurred in the intervening time. There is almost nothing I would teach the same way from when I started –- and very little from a year ago. Half of the key tools I used to showcase the possibilities of new Web 2.0 technology have either been absorbed by larger vendors or have simply gone away. Bloglines, an RSS aggregator for reading syndicated news feeds was to be shut down in November 2010, and instead was purchased by Merchant Circle and is to be kept alive. And the fate of Deliocious, a favorite book marking site, hangs by a thread in the midst of Yahoo layoffs said to have hit Delicious hardest
But the real issue is that the Internet has evolved and changed and the real time information RSS provides has been made more irrelevant as people turn to Facebook and Twitter to identify what is important. “Today RSS is the enabling technology – the infrastructure, the delivery system. RSS is a means to an end, not a consumer experience in and of itself,” observes social media strategist Paul Gillin. As a result, demand for RSS aggregation has slowed significantly. Bloglines isn’the only service to feel the impact.
Blogging, podcasting and wikis are no longer something most of my clients run from, but use, but now as part an overall social media strategy and developing that strategy has become more important.
The succinct chart I would have used to compare traditional versus Web 2.0 media would be pathetically outdated without a third column that would indicate the growing importance of social. (see below:
Traditional Web 2.0 Social
push pull share
publish engage exchange feelings, experiences
top down bottom up my circle of friends
mass markets small sesgment specific customer
sell engage build relationships
Moreover while new social media bear many of the characteristics of “older” Web 2.0 tools, social media amplifies the eco-system in ways we might have never imagined. Today Facebook membership is 600+ million users and growing, making it, if it were a country, the 3rd most populous in the world.
The importance of and growing power of social networking has been amply demonstrated. Indeed it can be said that the revolution in Tunisia and the upheavals in Egypt would not have occurred without Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
The growth and impact of mobile smart phones is staggering. With the top mobile Internet markets accounting for some 670,000,000 3G subscribers. And some of the fastest growing markets are in some of the fastest growing countries, among them Indonesia, China, and Brazil. The US remains in the top position with some 136.6 mm subscribers, but not for long. (Mary Meeker) And it is happening at breath taking speed.
The growing importance of web “eco-systems” and the evolution of new business models based on platforms that support them is another shift and an indication of market maturation (even if that maturation has barely begun). There was a time, not long ago, when the plaint against most of the Internet's biggest brands had yet to show a business model. Today, companies from Facebook to Linkedin to Netflix would have no such trouble.
And is it a coincidence that Eric Schmidt, the “adult” in charge of Google for its first decade, just stepped down to enable co-founder Larry Page, take charge. For all of its impressive success, Google has yet to prove it can “do social”.
While many companies now have a blog and have at least dabbled in social media to communicate and engage with customers, acceptance of new social tools -- behind the firewall -- is growing at a much faster rate. In everything from Twittering, posting videos or sharing across the organization new Internet tools not only offer communication and collaboration but a means to measure what works
Demand for video, made so popular with YouTube, has gone mainstream for every size of organization with good reason. It is an amazingly egalitarian way for small companies and organizations –- and large ones -- to break through the tidal wave of information and be heard.
All of these new tools are making their way into the marketer’s arsenal, and I look forward to exploring them all and other trends and technologies in my new class.