Is social media empowering social media?


Here's a funny thought. You've probably noticed infinite blogs that give you advice on how to blog. Yes, I'm doing it too sometimes. You've probably also heard that tweets containing the word Twitter are one of the most clicked and retweeted out there. The most successful blogs are focused on technology, social media and (mobile) gadgets, which again, enable consumption of the beautiful global network we've built. There are links about Facebook on Facebook, visualizations about the rise of Pinterest on Pinterest. The most clicked links on this blog contain the words Facebook, Twitter or Social. I think I'm not the only one who's noticed this trend, even though I probably tend to have my feeds in configured in such a direction. Is social media empowering social media?

But what does this mean if it's true? That there is no share-worthy content out there and social media has nothing to talk about except cats, zombies and social media?

I believe it's rather the opposite. Ever since second generation social services came around, and Facebook became Twitter (allowing asymmetric relationships), we've discovered it's not just about how many people you know, your message, if it contains added value, can be amplified and distributed very far away. And since everybody's trying to sell something anyways, people began to study how their presence and stories can be optimized, how their reach can be extended. I've seen it a many times, people who come on Twitter with a specific message, but then inevitably become "social media experts" and start tweeting about how to tweet right. Others are planning the best times to publish on Facebook, hoping their posts will get as many likes as possible. Social media marketing can be homemade, and since there are so many people interested in this topic, there's simply a lot of quality content about it.

Social media enabled people to speak up, enabled them to be heard. It seems Andy Warhol was right, everyone is a celebrity these days, but this doesn't happen randomly, it's rather the consequence of a strategy, planned or unplanned. That's why I'll make another bold statement: it may look like social media is empowering social media, simply because we're closing in on a future, where everybody will inevitably become a social media ninja. Or are we there already?

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written 7.11.2012 15:41 CET on chronolog
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