Monday, May 12, 2008

Facebook and Social Media

So, on a whim I decided to join FB (facebook) after they opened it up to anyone and set up an account for business purposes. Not knowing how I would end up using the profile I just let it sit there for nearly a year. Randomly an old college friend stumbled across this work profile and the next thing I knew I was creating a personal account as well. For someone on the cusp of Gen X/Gen Y this was a bold step about a year ago. What has blown me away is the number of adopters in my age bracket and older over the that year. While my cirlcle of friends doesn't grow as expodentially as my cousin in college, it does continue to grow.

So, the question I have now is how to get others in the Gen X and older generations to adopt FB and/or other social media. I think the first step is via LinkedIn, which seems to be friendly in the business world and does not reek of that's for my kids. However, I feel that as FB and MS (MySpace) evolve even more they will need to in a way that strives to capture the 30+ crowd. FB seems to me the one that could prevail for the 30+ crowd in that it is extremely user friendly and the variety and ease of applications keep it interesting. I still ask the question how do we convice the non-adopters to jump in the game?

Now that I've said all this it brings be to a thought that I had when meeting with my marketing agency. We were discussing an individual that presented during a seminar for Apartment Internet Marketing I recently attended. We agreed he had a great perspective on the evolution of the Internet. His point was that people are social beings. This is why social media sites such as FB, MS, and YouTube have grown so quickly. In thinking about that I concluded that these sites are essentially an evolution of email. The difference now is that people have a choice. While email is universal, social media is unique to the choice of the user. It will be fun to see if one will prevail like VHS over Beta or Blu-Ray over HD-DVD.

I think it's important in our world of communication that people adopt social media just as we have cell phones, email, and text messaging. The challenge is the overwhelming options of sites all doing roughly the same thing and most people not wanting or having the time to use them all. Hopefully applications on these sites will give people the ability to log into one spot and control all their accounts from the same place, or maybe that will be the next big player all togeter. I'm sure Google's working on it right now.

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