Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

#SocialNetworking is Fading Away?


I’ve tagged quite a few posts here with Social Media and Social Networking; but, I didn’t see a tremendous difference between the two terms

Social Networking

Image Courtesy of Jean-Pierre Ceppo ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/shibumi-33694

Along comes Mike Elgan and I’m finally starting to see a decided difference; just as one is, apparently, disappearing

Mike has over 5 million followers on GooglePlus and nearly 30 thousand on Twitter.

He’s touted as “The world’s only lovable tech journalist” and is a columnist for publications including Computerworld, Cult of Android, Cult of Mac, Forbes, Datamation, eWeek, and Baseline.

I first read him on the site TechConnect in the article, I’m calling it: Social networking is over.

So, concerning the difference between those two “social” phenomena, here’s what Mike says:

“Social networking is personal content. Social media is professional content.”

But, Mike claims social networking is going away:

“The idea was that you could sign up for a social network like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr or Reddit and connect with old friends and acquaintances, make new ones or even interact with strangers about your life.”

I do suggest, if you count on what you call social media (but might be social networking) for your business or career, you go read Mike’s full article (even if you just use social sites for keeping up with friends, you might need to read the full article…)—I’ll just give you a few more excerpts to make going there a bit more appealing:

“What’s happening is that social networking is being replaced or supplanted by three things.”

“The first is messaging.”

“The second is the general world of online distractions…”

“And the third is social media.”

Remember that Mike defined Social Networking as Personal content and Social Media as Professional content.

Just a few more excerpts:

“Talking about one’s own life in a status update is ‘social networking’. Posting or sharing an article or professionally created video is not social networking.”

Here’s a critical issue affecting Mike’s argument:

“Everything is changing all the time. But what hasn’t changed is that we’re still living in an attention economy. Attention is still the most valuable resource. Companies of all kinds are in a bloody, all-out war to figure out how to get more of your attention. As a result, online sites of all kinds are working tirelessly to figure out how to become more attention-grabbing.”

So, whether you use these “social” sites for keeping up with folks or for promoting a book or for other personal behaviors, things are changing rapidly due to the actions of mega-corporations

“Now the websites formerly known as ‘social networks’ are developing and exploring and evolving attention-grabbing activities that are not social networking. This process will continue until hardly anyone is doing social networking anymore.”

I know Promoting a Book could seem like “professional” content; but, when you compare one author’s efforts to the antics of the giant companies like Google, FaceBook, or Twitter, it starts to seem ever so personal

I’m sure Mike has identified an important shift on the social-engagement web; but, I’m not sure the change will totally swamp the personal, social networking—certain folks could create new spaces for it—lots of things might happen
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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