Social Media Revolution?

Social Media Revolution?

Summary: Here's another YouTube video - 'Social Media Revolution' - conflating a lot of stats in order to make a case for 'Social Media' being the 'biggest shift since the industrial revolution'.Web 2.


Here's another YouTube video - 'Social Media Revolution' - conflating a lot of stats in order to make a case for 'Social Media' being the 'biggest shift since the industrial revolution'.

Web 2.0...The Machine is Us/ing Us started this style of delivery and really amplified the potency of the Web 2.0 movement in 1997. The latest 'Did you Know?' video is all about the progression of information technology as we race towards the future.

'Social Media Revolution' takes the same music and style as 'Did You Know?' to leap to various conclusions in what is a coarser version of the previous two multimedia efforts.

While it took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users, TV 13 years, the internet 4 years and the ipod 3 years, Facebook added 100 million users in 9 months according to 'Social Media Revolution'. However the only item in that previous sentence that is free is Facebook - and you won't be seeing it unless you have access to a computer and the internet which aren't.

'Ashton Kutchner and Ellen DeGeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire population (sic) of Ireland, Norway and Panama' while Boston College no longer provide incoming freshmen email addresses.

True, but I'll bet most of Kutchner and DeGeneres Twitter followers are star struck 'zombie' followers with very little interaction (Kutchner follows 192 people on Twitter, DeGeneres 26 - this is a broadcast model).

Boston College have cut the expense of email servers because there are so many free cloud offerings out there  that offered an e-mail-forwarding service that will pass along messages to whatever personal e-mail account a student specifies and is the cheaper option, I'll wager. It's  the economy, stupid...

I could go on nitpicking but here's my point: Web 2.0...The Machine is Us/ing Us was ground breaking and thought provoking, while 'Did You Know?' also broke new ground in presenting facts and has been used in plenty of executive briefings over the last few months to demonstrate the pace of change.

How did we get from that quality of presentation to claims that 'social media' is the biggest shift (in what?) since the industrial revolution? The retread music and borrowed visual style actually does people making sense of the rapid pace of change in society due to technological innovation a disservice: it makes their job harder.

The thrust of 'Social Media Revolution' is to attempt to brand marketing communication via the internet as 'Socialnomics™' which is yet another book ('How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business').

Written by Erik Qualman, who is Global Vice President of Online Marketing for EF Education, ('the world’s largest private educator'), the Amazon summary contains gems such as 'social media has officially surpassed pornography as the top activity on the Internet' as well as more prosaic propositions to help the reader 'understand the implications of social media, and how businesses can tap the power of social media to increase their sales, cut their marketing costs, and reach consumers directly'.

Why do I keep thinking the internet is slowly being converted into an online variation of TV Home Shopping Networks?

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser


Oliver Marks leads the Global Digital Enterprise Team at HP, having previously provided seasoned independent consulting guidance to companies on effective planning of business strategy, tactics, technology decisions, roll out and enduring use models that make best use of modern collaborative and social networking tools to achieve their business goals.

These are Oliver's views and not those of his employer HP.

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  • Extension of Advertisement channel ...

    Loved the post Oliver, especially the last line - "online variation of TV Home Shopping Networks" LOL

    No doubts on the power of social media, but I'd commented on another blog that we can either use it as 'Speech' or a 'Conversation'. It's not that speech does not promote learning, but conversation is a much more powerful experience. Unfortunately, I feel on the current social media sites we have more of 'Speech' makers and less of thoughtful conversationalists.

    Lastly, I wish that the hype gets reduced a little to keep the expectations reasonable. Historically we have had so many cases where the flood of expectation wipes innovations off their feet!


    Sid Mishra
  • RE: Social Media Revolution?

    I think you are right on! We are in a social media revolution and anyone who doesn't believe in it is missing the boat! Thanks for posting.... I'll spread this around my network....
  • RE: Social Media Revolution?

    Oliver - I totally agree (and nice to see you being such
    a curmudgeon these days!)

    Nice to see someone else pleading for less lily gilding
    and more fact based analysis

    Well done!
  • RE: Social Media Revolution?

    Hi Oliver,
    Great insights. I like how you point out that certain celebs' twitter feeds are just a broadcast model. It's interesting that even though these twitter feeds are pretty much one way communication, they carry with them an aura of immediacy and closeness that doesn't really exist. In effect those twittering mega-stars are saying to their fans, you are part of the conversation, but are they? That's not revolutionary.
    Drue Kataoka
  • RE: Social Media Revolution?

    I don't see any insightful commentary here. Seems like
    a soapbox on other people's opinions and replacing
    them with yours.

    Does it really matter what that some say it is a
    revolution and other don't think so. Does the growth
    in using social media sites as a broadcast tool or
    marketing tool diminish the value of social media.

    Arrive at whatever conclusion you want. For me I love
    all the developments and totally appreciate Twitter,
    Facebook, open source, web based apps and more.

    Steve Pohlit
  • RE: Social Media Revolution?

    Oh, come on Oliver. Social media is the Woodstock of our generation. Feel the love. Get a little high.

    People who are passionate about this stuff want to change the world, and that's not a bad thing.
  • RE: Social Media Revolution?

    I find myself saying website instead of blog, article instead
    of posts, etc. but does that really matter? I'd say not. It's
    just that I prefer to call it a website. The point is not what
    it's called, or how it's described, but how it's used. People
    will call social media lots of things, but the best uses of it
    are what really matter.

    Case in point: both the Home Shopping Network and HBO
    exist on the same TV. One incessantly sells all sorts of
    stuff, and the other is considered one of the most original,
    acclaimed sources of programming. They coexist and serve
    different audiences, and you can choose which one to pay
    attention to.

    Stewart Mader
    <a href="">Future