Technology Trends #2 - It's All Social Media

The second post in the series on Technology Trends explores how online media and user generated content are fusing completely leading to all web-properties becoming social media.


  1. All websites develop an interactive component where individual to individual exchanges are facilitated – many product (B2B and B2C) organizations are rushing to ‘communify’ their commerce sites

  2. The social component may be the inherent offering of the site (e.g. Facebook or MySpace), hook into a Social Media application or will have a ‘Community’ component

  3. Communities will come out of isolation and begin to join up in a vast network – this will be driven by movements to create convenience through single sign on (web-wide authentication) and the ability to carry across information across sites (e.g. OpenSocial, OpenID) for personalization, behavioral profiling and tracking

  4. The blurring of blogs, forums, social networks and life-stream aggregators will evolve into Social Media protocols that can be accessed independently of the site

  5. In increase in the amount of ‘astro-turfing’ (corporate sponsorship of grassroots efforts), corporate pretending to be individuals and organizations trying to falsely manipulate conversations and content

  6. Localized stores of Social Media data will emerge, particularly where the data is relevant to all sites and can be shared - this may begin with edge networks, such as Akamai, that reduce latency, but may evolve into centralized stores where an item of user generated content can be captured once but reused across many Social networks – for example an item of positive feedback on a product captured by the manufacturer will be reused across all retailers of that product

  7. Certain individuals will begin to emerge as ‘brands’ in their own right, with followers and fans. Content will be identifiable across venues.

  8. The opportunities here lie in the creation of protocols, understanding of traffic between individuals across multiple sites, use of that information to better serve the individual and to improve products and be more responsive to customer feedback.

  9. Organizations (Manufacturers, Retailers and Marketing Mix Agencies) will need to understand the various conversations that are out there in order to decide which ones to actively participate in and mine to better understand consumers’ lifestyle and purchasing requirements.

Related Links

Social Networks: Wherever You Go, There They Are by Jennifer Martinez at GigaOm (Oct 2009)
How @-Referencing on Facebook will Create a New Social Semantic Web by Clara Shih on The Facebook Era (Sep 2009)
Online Communities: Metrics and Reporting 2009 by Bill Johnston at the Online Community Report (Sep 2009)
Data Portability: Where MySpace, Facebook and Twitter connect by Lauren Fritsky on Digital Media Buzz (Sep 2009)
Astroturfing or Supporting your Company? by Gil Yehuda on Gil Yehuda's Enterprise 2.0 Blog (Sep 2009)
POWER.COM Serves FACEBOOK a PR HEADACHE, Thrusts DATA PORTABILITY into LEGAL Spotlight by Steve Repetti on DataPortability Project Blog (Jul 2009)

Previous post: Trend #1 - Mobile and Connected
Next post: Trend #3 - The Data Explosion

Gam Dias is VP of Product Management and Research at Overtone Inc. Co-Authors of this article are: Simon Handley, Tim Mueller Eric Scott and Kryztof Urban