Look folks, 15 years ago the web was static. “Online media” was a web page with a “under construction” gif on it that never got updated. That’s what people expected. We’ve come a long way since then. Our media, which we largely consume online, now includes comments, ratings and suggestions from our friends, ability to give feedback or better yet edit and republish or add our own opinions to, etc etc etc. It includes these things by default. If something launches without these things, the first feedback from the people who encounter it are always “please add…” and then a list of the previous features. But they aren’t features anymore, they are the norm. Saying “Social Media” some how makes it seem like this is special or different, but it’s not, it’s the most common thing and we all want and expect it.
But worse than that, the term “Social Media” is an odd shaped box and no one is exactly sure what the application of that label means. Are Yelp and Twitter the same thing? What about Twitter and YouTube? Or Instagram and Tumblr? What about Facebook and Google+? Surely Pinterest and Airbnb are the same. At least, they must be the same thing as Spotify, right? And CNN now reads tweets on air. They are all “Social Media” so they must be the same…
See the problem here?
It’s 2012, all media is social – so let’s just go ahead and stop pretending like “Social Media” means anything and start describing sites and services and applications by what makes them unique and different rather than the one thing that makes them all the same.