Social networking

6 things that will happen with all social networking

Everytime a new technology or social network gets big these are six things I can absolutely promise you the media will breathlessly report like it’s absolutely ground breaking and it’s never been done before.

The public of course is then supposed to lap this stuff and sit in wonder at our own ingenuity/stupidity/marvelousness/cruelty at what has been done.

So here’s 6 things I can assure you will happen with the next big, well I’ll say social network, but you can apply it to virtually anything where humans interact:

6-little-things that media will do with social networking

1. Someone will get fired from their job or a potential job for saying or doing something stupid. Twitter examples include that Cisco employee who lost their job before they started or from a few years back that banking intern who said he was visiting a sick relative but actually dressed up as a fairy at a party and posted the pics on facebook.

2. A brand will do something with the medium. It’ll either go really well or will ‘destroy their reputation’. twitter = Skittles, or the recent Amazon malarky.

3. Some celebrity will get a whole bunch of people following or joining them, get hassled and then cry foul. Two words: Ruby Rose.

4. Someone will get dumped. It’ll be embarrassing and it’ll go viral.  oohh! a two’fer John Mayer might quit twitter after dumping Jennifer Aniston on it.

5. Quote an expert for no real reason. In a large amount of articles, particularly those where a company or a celebrity is involved a ‘human behavioural expert’ or ‘social networking expert’ will be interviewed and they’ll say one or a series of generic things: ‘it’s changing the way we live’, ‘this is a quite extraordinary phenomenon’, or ‘you know, when our parents were growing up they never had these things to worry about’ and they may then pull out the trump card of all seemingly insightful comments ‘the world is getting faster and we’ve all just got to try and keep up, but I’d say to anyone concerned: I’m my professional opinion you have to do what’s right for you’.

6. The 6pm television news – needing anything with footage to justify a 60 second report – will randomly stop people on the street and ask them what they think. Responses will vary from ‘um, I don’t know’ to ‘it wasn’t like this in my day’ or the classic a group of three school kids yelling incoherantly but happily into the camera while waving their hands.

(Isn’t there a lovely irony to interviewing people in the street about social networking when the news team could have asked the same question on the social network they’re talking about?)

So what am I saying here? I guess what I’m saying is just get over it.

Don’t sit there in some sort of trancelike wonder at all of this. Everytime this occurs there’s some sort of ‘oh I can’t believe this happened’ kind of faux bewilderment – it’s rubbish is what it is.

This isn’t new stuff, it’s the same stuff that happens again and again and again it just happens on different mediums.

Makes you wonder about humans a bit doesn’t it?

Ugh, Ok, enough. rant over.

Seth on bread at TED

I never get tired of watching Seth Godin at TED, talking about bread.

It’s fantastic and during the financial crisis marketers and general managers should watch it over and over and over.

It’s easy to get swept up in social networking but it’s important to remember the roots of marketing and what you’re ultimately trying to achieve.