Social media and social networks are in a strange place today. While social media and social networks have had an unarguable amount of success they have still failed to become main stream. Why? Because there are inherit problems with social media that the general public still can’t get by.
No Clear Direction:
Social media and social networks exist, but why? How many social networks have been created because people simply could create a social network? Too often a social aspect is added to a standard web product and hailed as a the next great thing in social. To be honest if being social doesn’t add to the product it shouldn’t be created.
Where Are the Innovators:
Social is the new black, that is fine, but it seems to be growing stagnant already. We see sparks of genius but rarely have we seen a fire that sets the social world ablaze. Twitter is a great example; sure it is an amazingly fun and useful experience, but try to explain it to your family. Try to explain the value and get members of the general public to use twitter.
Narcissism and confusion. Why are you on a social network or why do you blog? Some people blog just to blog, like keeping a live journal. Some people are on social networks to promote their self-brand, thats fine. These are not the motivations of the general public. For social networks to become the norm they need to have traditional goals and outcomes.
I know this is a bit harsh to say, but bloggers are one of the main reasons social networks and media are failing to reach maximum potential today. This is a brash generalization, but bloggers are a critical bunch, they are the new critic and we are mean. We sit at our desk and feel a level of impunity that allows us be so critical that we turn away less jaded or biased readers.
It is still work:
Becoming more social online still isn’t easy. To be honest I don’t think many people could do it alone. Much like climbing a mountain you need a digital Sherpa to tell you where, why, and how to best use social media and networks. It is sad to say, but no one joins a social network alone, they need to be nudged and guided by friends or family. Being digitally social needs to become second nature, more intuitive to be a true success.
That’s it, that is what I see wrong with “the social” today. I think there may be some more deep rooted problems with social technology today, but in a nutshell I think I have outlined the problems.
Social is a good thing, it allows for connections and opinions to reach where they have never gone before. But is it right? Do we need everything to go social? Does my grocery list need to be made public so everyone can see what type of bread I eat?
Some day everyone will look back at today and laugh at how social media struggled become mainstream. Late adopters will be seen as the ‘old guard’ and everything and everyone will be socially connects. All I am say is this: Do we need that, am I wrong, have I missed the point?