My distinguished competitor, Geoff Livingston suggests that the market for social media services is mature. I disagree. Here are some trends I am noticing - people are using technology in new ways. For example I am now a member of four groups within the LinkedIn community. Before I just had my profile on LinkedIn and didn’t think much about it; but clearly others are forming communities within LinkedIn to promote their interests. Understanding communities within a social media platform is going to be very important in the near future. Very large PR agencies will not just have social media specialists, they will have microblogging experts, social networking experts, blogging experts, YouTube experts, and so on. Incidentally, I think video blogging is going to be a huge growth area for online marketing, it is so efficient.
I am also noticing a blurring between citizen generated content and professional news organizations. For example, Computer World has Tech Dispenser. CNN is using Twitter and blogs in its reporting. I have mixed feelings about this. I am concerned that cheap corporate management may think they can fill their pages with donated copy rather than paying salaries for reporters who know what they’re doing. Such a trend would not be in the interests of our clients. Journalism is work. You need smart people to do it and you need good salaries, health plans and pensions to attract and retain smart people.
I remain convinced that we are still in the very early days of social media and a year from now our world will be transformed again.