I have to admit - I’m not as huge of a Shirky fan as every one else who likes to think how great he is. I loved how the book “Here Comes Everybody” started, but somewhere along the middle to end chapters he lost me. Maybe it was the style of writing or the set up of chapters, but if this reading wasn’t required I have a feeling this book would have ended up on a shelf in my living room unfinished. To me, the ending just kind of fell flat compared to the great introduction story that it had. That being said, I had no idea of the importance of operating systems such as Linux. I’ve never personally used it, but it seems as if they have had quite an input on the digital revolution.
In regard to social tools, I found this statement interesting: “The most profound effects of social tools lag their invention by years, because it isn’t until they have a critical mass of adopters, adopters who take these tools for granted, that their real effects begin to appear” (Shirky, p. 270). Facebook wouldn’t have turned into a movie and a cultural phenomenon had it not had so many adopters of the site.
So what lies ahead for social media? I always hear people talking, and even brought the conversation up during an Intro to Mass Media class I taught last semester, about what the future will look like? Can anything become as big as Facebook? But the important thing is to stop questioning the general what will it be and focus more on what do we need its purpose to serve?
“Given this profusion, can we say anything useful about the future social landscape? Yes, but only by switching focus from the individual tools themselves to the kinds of groups the tools are expected to support. Two of the most critical questions are ‘Does the group need to be small or large?’ and ‘Does it need to be short-lived or long-lived?’ (Shirky, p. 266).
In “Twitter me this, Twitter me that” it states: “While statistics may indicate that the presence of online retailers on SNS may do little to boost sales, according to the State of Retailing Online 2009 report, 34% of online retailers say social marketing helps increase sales. These retailers participate in forms of interactivity with users including network pages, customer ratings and reviews, and blogs” (Morrill, 2009). The most important part of this fact is the interactivity with users – that’s the key reason behind the increase in sales and recognition. You can have as many ads on SNSs as your budget allows, but the majority of people aren’t paying attention to them and you’re wasting your money. In order to gain loyal customers or direct new customers towards your brand, you must first establish a credible relationship with them, which involves a two-way conversation flow instead of you, the company, just throwing information at them and expecting them to act.
This idea kind of transitions into the branding article “Brands 2.0 – brands in a digital world” by Andy Hobshawm. In order to establish a relationship in the first place, the consumer must be able to recognize and acknowledge your brand as trustworthy.
“Modern marketing is now a global conversation between hundreds of millions of customers in blogs, social networks, discussion groups, review sites and countless other word-of-mouth forums, where they judge, reject, embrace and endorse the brands in their world” (Hobshawm, p. 220).
It’s easy for a consumer to get lost amongst the mix. Brands today need to find out who they are and what they represent and be sure to communicate that effectively so that they are positively embraced and set apart in this mixture of information.