Will Blogging and Social Media Be Mainstream?

While you could argue that blogging in general has crossed into mainstream based on the number of visitors attending top blogs, most visitors don’t know that what they are visiting is called “blogs” though. After speaking with one individual last night, I’ve concluded that some people will just never get involved in social media or take advantage of the many tools at their disposal.

The Inner Circle

I’ve realized that much of social media is really an inner circle. A large portion of these readers participate in the conversation on Twitter, Friendfeed, and other platforms are part of a relatively small yet influential circle. While that circle continues to expand, I’ve begun to wonder if the majority of individuals will ever become highly active in social media outside of Facebook and mainstream social networks.

When Charlene Li wrote the book “Groundswell” she highlighted Forrester’s social technographics profile and the various categories. The six types of categories are creators, critics, collectors, joiners, spectators, and inactives. The “joiners” do nothing more than participate in social networks for the most part. The spectators and inactives do even less. A whopping 44 percent are inactives.

I rarely think about how disconnected from reality I am but after talking with one person last night I definitely realized it. There’s a group of people that require an alternative form of communication to have what is ultimately “inside conversation”. This morning I concluded that much of this conversation amounts to what is secret code among fraternities.

The average person doesn’t understand what one is talking about (for instance when referencing “Twitter”), but the few active social media active participants are the only one that knows what’s being discussed. When the conversation is outside of the mainstream, is there any way for the conversation to eventually become mainstream?