Derek: I agree it is becoming over-hyped, but I donʻt think itʻs being over-hyped by actual Social Media folks, but rather by traditional media.It has been amusing watching the national news organizations initially ignore and then vigorously (comically?) embrace social media. Around six months ago CNN started quoting tweets in many articles relating to foreign conflicts, even when little if anything was known about the source. I found this to be utterly bizarre.
Nate Sanders: It's a bubble, but not a fad.I agree.
Sheila Bernardo: Some companies view social media as a cost of business -- "Everyone else is doing it so we must too". When the momentum stalls or never picks up steam that's when those stakeholders wonder what happened? Their focus usually ends up on just the build and initial launch, not post-launch maintenance or even the full product lifecycle.You are spot on. We've seen this quite a bit with online community efforts by schools, large non-profits and various government organizations. They feel like they have to do something, so they budget for a flurry of work to get something out the door. Six months later its a ghost network because there was no core of passionate team members and no money budgeted for the ongoing content development and promotion necessary to sustain the community. As you rightly point out, most of the work is post launch.
Social Media has been around for generations, it wasn't too long ago that the town newspaper was the Social Media of the times, it was a common bond that held a community together, Births, deaths, marriages, engagements, store openings, closings, community photography everything was in there... social media no?In a sense, but the "social" portion generally refers to the content generators rather than the consumers. Newspapers and magazines are produced by a relatively small set of people who control the content read by large populations.
IMHO, Facebook is the best personal social platform at the moment (this from someone who's family lives 9300 miles away!) it's my community newspaper!, it's the CompuServe of this generation... and Twitter the worst... is Twitter even really social? Personally... Twitter feeds into the already fragmented thought paths of our already distracted days. What's next? Who knows! but all these teens posting their random 140 character thoughts streams to an oblivious audience will decide!In many cases, you are right. Twitter is as valuable as the people you follow and the people who follow you. Those who view it as a game with the objective of gaining the most followers generally extract very little value. Those who use it to interact with people with whom they have some real connection or common interest can extract value. I also find Twitter search very valuable for tracking news in places ignored by CNN and the BBC (or to which they have limited access.)