January 4, 2012

One prediction about the future of the Social Media and one promise

The question I have the most problems to answer (usually asked by someone in the audience after a talk about Social Media) is to tell what my predictions are for the future of Social Media. The difficulty to answer has to do with several factors, the most important being the unpredictable character of people (who are the main factor behind the social media phenomenon) and the ever changing technological context (including the developments of innovative Social Media apps). If you want to give a sound answer to this question you need to make some concrete assumptions and develop different scenarios. This is something that I do not dare to attempt in a 3 minute answer and mostly I disappoint my audience saying just this.

The truth is that most people have no problem with this question at all. This morning I googled "predictions" AND "Social" AND "Media" AND "2012" and received 147 mil results!!! It seems that by now almost everyone has become an expert in Social Media and many of these experts have also developed the charisma of prognosticator!
Looking randomly to some of these predictions you can find everything you can imagine: from copying of predictions of others to some serious attempts to say something, some logical predictions, a lot of trivia, much wishful thinking or even pure crap. It would be interesting to repeat this Google query replacing "2012" with "2010" and write an article about the sense and nonsense of the 2010 predictions. Or rather write a book for that matter.

But seriously, I feel embarrassed that I do not want to predict the future because some people really expect me to do that. So for the first time I will do one prediction for the future of Social Media and a promise:
The prediction is that the Social Media is not a bubble (not much of a prediction I am afraid but it is mu opinion to a fundamental question) and that we are already on the way to Social Media 2.0. What is Social Media 2.0 I cannot say yet with certainty. With my colleagues and our students in SOMERE we will try to figure this out and hopefully soon come with a white paper about this subject.