Thursday, July 22, 2010

Has The Social Media Bubble Burst?

Twitter. Facebook. Myspace. Blogger.

Ten years ago, if you told someone that your full-time job was updating statuses and posting content on free-to-use websites, you'd be laughed at. Myspace, which I consider to have truly started the social media frenzy, used to be a fun way for high-school kids to connect with friends and meet new strangers. Some businesses and artists caught on early and capitalized on the free adverstising, often with great success.

Facebook when I first joined was open only to post-secondary students, to be used as a means to meet people at school and swap notes. Now everyone and their sister, grandmother and dog (literally) at least have an operational Facebook account.

Twitter is built entirely on constant 140-character updates, originally to answer the question, "What are you doing right now?"

Many bands, visual artists, novelists, businesses, and prominent social figureheads have experienced monumental success for doing nothing more than pushing their free online content. Hell, Justin Bieber's mom posted his videos on Youtube. Perez Hilton was just another blogger.

My question is this - has the bubble finally burst? With the ease of putting music, photos, and other content online, has the internet finally reached a point of over-saturation with too many voices shouting over each other, jockeying for your attention? Having 1000 followers on Twitter now is just 'alright,' as is a hundred blog followers. Have we finally reached a point where small-timers without something truly special and unique or revolutionary are going to be left to shrivel on the vine?

I'm not sure, and I don't think anyone can truly have a real answer. Youtube had already gone corporate with Google by the time Bieber was discovered - and that happened by accident when a record label mistakenly clicked on his link. Who's to say what may happen.

I believe the interwebs are finally reaching a point where services are being created that border on ridicious - enter Foursquare, a stalker's dream (but yes, I still use it) but I don't think it's truly over.

Remember, ten years ago a blogger was just another guy with something to say.

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