When It Comes to the Future of Social Media, We’re All Clueless

by Marcus Sheridan

Future of social media

A few years ago MySpace was the rage.

Today, although still popular, many laugh at the ‘antiquated’ platform.

Tomorrow, the creation of Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe will likely have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Such is the world in which we live.

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The same year MySpace was being developed (2003), some nerdy college kid named Mark Zuckerburg developed his own little platform, and called it ‘Facebook’.

A few years later, it exploded.

Today, the platform remains strong, but its seemingly daily ‘developments’ indicate more and more change in the future.

As for tomorrow, who really knows?

__________________________________________________________________________

In 2006, some guy named Jack Dorsey came up with a blue bird and a 140 character micro-blogging platform.

By 2009, the odd culture that is ‘Twitter’ had exploded in popularity.

Today, the platform still doesn’t make a profit.

Tomorrow, somebody will want their money.

________________________________________________________________________

Not long ago, Google developed ‘Lively’ in one of their first attempts at getting social.

It lasted less than a year…and then ‘Lively’ died.

Then Google got smart.

And they developed ‘Buzz’.

Unfortunately, it stunk too.

Bye, bye, buzz.

Now Google has circled the wagons again.

G+ is the ‘New Kid on the Block’, the ‘next great social media platform’.

Will it last?

Brogan says ‘Yes’. Kawasaki does too.

Frankly, I don’t think any of us have a dang clue.

Heck, even Seth Godin didn’t think the web would make it big.

And Seth is pretty smart.

What Will NOT Change

I cite these examples because although we talk, blog, and write books day in and day out about all this social media ‘stuff’, we really don’t have the slightest idea as to the future of any of these platforms.

Some will survive.

Some will not.

But chances are, as with everything tech and media, they’ll all be replaced, reinvented, or removed from the annals of history.

Again, that’s how it goes.

C’est la vie.

But do you know what won’t change, especially for any business that wants success as we all look to the future?

These words have existed since the beginning of time and their significance and importance moving forward are infinite.

Is it fun discussing whether or not MySpace will survive, or G+ will dethrone Facebook, or if Twitter will pay its bills?

Yeah, maybe so, but let us not forget the difference between binding ourselves to temporary ‘platforms’ versus attaching ourselves to the timeless qualities that truly dictate greatness.

 

Your Turn:

I have one simple question my friends: 10 years from now, when we’re looking back on all of this ‘stuff’, what do you think we’ll be saying and thinking?

Oh, and as always, feel free to leave any comments or thoughts below.

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{ 92 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruth - The Freelance Writing Blog January 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

So simple. Great perspective Marcus. It’s so easy to get mired in the minutiae of social media and process. We need to scratch beneath that surface every day to ensure that we are delivering the things that matter in our business. Love this!

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Hey Ruth, thanks so very much for starting the conversation here.

Yes, scratching beneath the surface is exactly what we have to do….may with keep at it. ;-)

Appreciate you support lady!

Marcus

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Rich Hohne January 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

I think the platform is spoken about way too much in our world. The content is the key. Let those at Google, Facebook, Pinterest, whomever, come up with the next big thing. Just be agile and ready to adopt meaningful new platforms with really good content. I don’t care that Seth Godin publishes on TypePad, a virtual relic in the blogging world. Promote what is timeless (as your list suggests) and the platforms can come and go.

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Rebecca Livermore January 19, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Great point, Rich, about Seth Godin publishing on TypePad. That just shows that what is published is more important than where (though where matters some, don’t you think?).

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Man, you really nailed this comment Rich.

‘Timeless’

That really could have been the title of this post. And that certainly should be our focus.

Thanks so very much my friend,

Marcus

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Jason Fonceca January 20, 2012 at 10:55 am

I — and my brand: Ryze — stand for “timeless, sexy success” and I totally connect with this. I love it :)

As for the discussion re: Seth, and TypePad:

Some would argue that what Seth is publishing, *could* be MORE powerful, were he to have began it on — or switched to — .

Others would argue that it is his unique that allowed him to succeed, and attract different markets and collaboration venues that he probably wouldn’t have if he wasn’t in the TypePad circles :)

Those arguments are specious at best.

It really comes down to focusing on timeless principles, and trusting yourself to make decisions unique to you and helpful to you, regardless of outside speculation.

This is the process + domain of the world’s most legendary successes.

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Murray Lunn January 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

For me, I think we’ll all be saying how much time we’ve wasted on the majority of these social media platforms in place of our real connections.

I’m almost completely given up on Twitter – I still use it here and there but it feels like it’s just spinning wheels in terms of legitimate connection.

Myspace died because it was trying to be a web page rather than a social network (might write about this actually). Facebook will stick but there’s always a new platform that will come along especially with the market penetration of smart phones.

In all, us tech types get way too involved with this stuff. We look too deeply into it and forget that the vast majority of people are using it for entertainment – so should we.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Really interesting take Murray.

I do agree in that I think many of us will look back and think, “Gee, why did I spend so much time doing that again???”

Guess we’ll see how it goes my man. ;-)

Mracus

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Ryan Hanley January 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

Marcus…

I hope people don’t take this post to mean that social media / blogging / new tech is not important or shouldn’t be an important part of business strategy because things always change.

The concepts you listed above Human characteristics…

The Business characteristic that will always yield positive results is the ability to adapt to CHANGE…

Use Google+ for all it’s worth and if it craps out, move on to the next platform.

Adaptability… Flexibility… Possibility…

Love the topic and can’t wait the conversation!

Ryan H.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Hey brother. Clearly, platforms are a big part of everything in business right now…and life too. Their importance can’t be diminished, but at the same time, I think it’s critical we understand that the ‘platform’ will always be secondary to the true qualities that equate to success.

But I’m with you man. Turn and burn. Change at will. And make it happen.

Great to see you brother,

Marcus

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John | Married (with Debt) January 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

I think there are a lot of problems in the world. Many nations have debts owed that cannot be paid, no matter what they do. There will be a time of reckoning, probably starting in Europe.

When you see articles written by top advisors to banks like UBS that say: the only smart investment is guns, ammo and canned goods, one gets a little worried.

Unless we come up with some grand strategy involving a RESET button, we may see growth only in countries whose quality of life is well below ours. What that means is things may have to move backwards for ultra-developed countries like USA, EU nations, Japan, etc.

I hate to sound like a pessimist, but math is a cruel master. I hope we all remain comfortable enough to be able to “socially network.” But, there aren’t that many people on Twitter who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Dang John, now I’m depressed man. ;-)

No, but seriously, I know what you’re saying, and let’s just hope that’s not the case.

Thanks so much for dropping by,

Marcus

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Eric Pratum January 19, 2012 at 11:51 am

I don’t want to point any fingers of course, but it’s easy to predict/claim something will or will not stick when you’re on the take from that company ;)

If you’re considered an influencer within social media and I’m launching a new social network or social media tool, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’m doing everything I can to get you on my side…which unfortunately will color your supposedly unbiased and transparent opinions, and that sadly leads to a lot of people potentially wasting their time and money investing in what you’ve just told them is the next big thing.

To take an offline example, a lot of people criticize Jim Cramer, saying that many of the stocks he says will bomb in fact don’t and that many he says will grow in fact don’t. Now, I doubt he’s on the take from the companies he hypes (that’d be illegal, right?), but still, his opinion carries a lot of weight, and a lot of economic value is wasted when he’s wrong.

Much the same, if Influencer A is getting paid by Up-and-Coming Social Network X (or even just pampered by them) and that person then says “it’s going to be huge,” there’s a pretty good chance that a lot of resources – dollars, hours, blood/sweat/tears ;) – will end up going to waste when it tanks.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:40 pm

This was such an interesting take on all of this Eric, and a subject we read almost nothing of online but it’s certainly happening out there.

Hmm, you really got me thinking bro.

Thanks for this,

Marcus

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Eric Pratum January 20, 2012 at 10:03 am

Thanks, Marcus. As usual, I realized only after I posted that I dodged the main point of your post and only dealt with a tiny aspect of it ;) Sorry about that.

Anyway, I definitely agree with the primary thrust of your post. There’s something to be said for being a first mover, staking your claim, etc, but at the same time, there are few people that have ever run their business into the ground due to logically moving from one proven method (or channel) to another. They might not have been big winners during times of change, but chances are good that they also weren’t big losers.

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Jason Fonceca January 20, 2012 at 10:49 am

I also like this interesting line of thought, thanks Eric!

I hear what you’re saying about bias + influencers, and I’d like to take it a bit further:

Anywhere people’s attention is focused powerfully (whether that be on a platform, company, or influencer), is an opportunity for extremely effective growth or ‘waste’.

(or if you wanna get really deep, *nothing* is a waste.)

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Beth Kinder January 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

To simply answer your single question:

Google what? Facebook who? Tweet when? MySpace how? Youtube why?

Who knows what’s around the corner in 10 years. I couldn’t have imagined all that we have now. Maybe we will have something called COMPLETE-IN and it will be the one-stop shop of internet media, networking, social, research, and marketing guru all wrapped up in one nice package.

The fun of life is anticipating what we don’t know and embracing what we do. I don’t put my eggs all in one basket, and I certainly don’t count on the things that are temporary. Cause what’s going to be around long after the top dogs have come and gone are people, and that my friends is why I do what I do. How I get to them is simply logistics.

Nice post…

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm

what’s going to be around long after the top dogs have come and gone are people, and that my friends is why I do what I do.

And this is exactly what makes you awesome Beth. Loved your take here. :)

Great to see you lady,

Marcus

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barbara January 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Marcus, I have to say you have your finger on the pulse of what’s important. As Lou Holtz likes to say “WIN stands for What’s Important Now”.

As a *ahem* mature blogger/ social media junkie I welcome change. Every time there’s a change in someone’s platform and I have to go through mind cramping to get back up to speed it keeps me that much further from dementia. ;)

My husband recently retired and I have already warned him not to dismiss the importance of keeping up with social media because he’ll get so far behind what’s going on in the world there will be no catching up. I’ve seen it in many of my peers and it’s sad.

So I say, bring it… I’ll keep up and remain true to the values that really do matter within all of it.
Thanks!
b

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:35 pm

LOVE, LOVE your positive attitude and approach Barbara.

To fighting dementia!! ;-)

Marcus

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John Gizowski January 19, 2012 at 1:59 pm

You know what I hope we’re not saying 10 years from now? I hope we’re not saying things like people say now about the old days of physical(offline) days of commerce – but in the digital context. Like, remember when the digital communication meant something? Small communities with transparency and authenticity; people who cared and helped one-another. Remember when online stores used to know your name when you came through the digital door? Remember when people used to give you value before they sold to you? Those were the days….before brands came through and swallowed all the goodness up into big, uncaring conglomerates of deceit and operate as they always have.

That would suck!

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:34 pm

I hear ya John! Love how you put that my man.

Here’s to ‘that’ NOT happening! ;-)

Marcus

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John Gizowski January 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Double-dipping…
Gary V.’s forecast for the future is that social media is going to die down over the next couple of years and then have a big spike. I wonder if he’s talking about platforms or the conversation & content. I’ll have to ask him the next time we go out for drinks, ;) ….

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I’m having dinner with him next week John, so I’ll be sure to ask. ;-)

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Phil Donaldson January 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Great points, Marcus — it’s not about the tech, but the content. It’s not about the vehicle, it’s about the precious cargo. There will be many bandwagons to come, with folks jumping from one to the other. Back in the day, we didn’t compare phones, we just got on and communicated, building relationships, exchanging information — getting stuff done.

I appreciate social media for what it provides. I also like what this video suggests about social media:

http://youtu.be/7mFJdOsjJ0k

Hey…anyone remember Google Wave? :-)

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Hahaha, forgot to mention Google Wave Phil. Dang, just goes to show money doesn’t buy social media platform success!!

Now let’s go and get some stuff done ;-)

Marcus

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Matt @ Photography Wisdom January 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Excellent post. I agree we have no idea where social media will be in a year or 5 years. I am always amazed that so many companies put the brand and website traffic on facebook. They advertise facebook.com/mycompanyname. It’s important to have a facebook presence, but don’t use that as your main site. What about when facebook is the new myspace.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Completely agree with you Matt. FB is great, but goodness knows, no one but a guy named Mark really owns it.

Which means control is out the door.

Thanks for bring up such a great point Matt.

Marcus

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Tess Wittler January 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Such a right-on post, Marcus. Like all the comments, who’s to say what’s around the corner a few years from now … let alone a decade from now. But I believe that no matter the platform – including in-person – those who continue to be authentic in their dealings with others will rise to be the cream of the crop. The others will continue to be noise, as they are today. Thanks for the insight.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Love how you put that so frankly Tess:

-There are those that will rise…

-And those that will make noise…

Here’s to rising lady ;-)

Marcus

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Matt Southern January 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I think in 10 years from now there will be one social network to rule them all and we will be thinking to ourselves how did we ever put up with having so many different social networking platforms competing for our attention.

Instead of websites having a retweet button, a like button, a +1 button etc. there will be one simple “share” button that will deliver content to this network in which we are all connected.

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John | Married (with Debt) January 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

That’s scary, but probably true. Count me out!

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Hmmmm Matt….That is a really, really cool take on it my man.

Thanks for putting it out there for all to chew on!

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer January 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm

WORD. I can break out 5 crystal balls, read the palm of knighted prophet AND analyze the tea leaves of a dozen ‘gurus’ still can’t predict the future. And I love that Barbara taught me a new acronym – ‘What’s Important Now.’

I’ve done the “Twitter is dead again obit” and still wonder if/how/withWHOM Google+ may catch on; all the while reminding folks that while the networks are great, they are just tools – and someone else holds the keys. Better to use them to your advantage, but not abandon your own territory (website, blog) for them.

Actually I CAN tell you what will happen next Marcus: Change. Change, that’s the one constant – along with as others have pointed out, human behavior and good business. We’re not working for ourselves, by ourselves, with ourselves; making connections and developing relationships, that won’t change much. The tools we use, the networks that enable us – some will rise, others fall and many will carve out their ‘niche’ in the world. But they won’t change the fact that we’ll have to reach out and work with others, connect. FWIW.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Awesome, awesome, awesome comment Davina. And this one will go down as one of your best ever:

I can break out 5 crystal balls, read the palm of knighted prophet AND analyze the tea leaves of a dozen ‘gurus’ still can’t predict the future

That, my friend, made me laugh out loud. ;-)

Thanks so much for dropping by,

Marcus

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Craig McBreen January 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Hi Marcus,

Who knows how long this social media blip will last. After many iterations of these platforms and a constantly evolving model, there is no way to predict what things will be like just a couple of years from now. BUT 10 years, yikes!

I agree with you that staying power involves things like value, real relationships and great teaching, but authenticity is a big one. People who value authenticity don’t want to deal with someone playing a part. They can sniff out the insincerity. Plus the real relationships are still what is important.

Of course you can never be 100 percent transparent and people do tend to embellish. Embellish away, but just don’t BS.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I hear ya Craig. ‘Authenticity’ is clearly one I should have listed above. There’s a big lack of it out there, and so those that show it really do stand out well.

Thanks again for stopping by my friend,

Marcus

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Colleen Kelly January 19, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Hi Marcus.

I really liked this. Your right. We have to stay aware that all “this stuff” is just that “Stuff” and life is in our living rooms and in the faces of the people filling those living rooms.. We have way too much going on I think. I love Twitter Facebook , all of it. It’s fun and I have gained so many great friends using them. But Nothing will take the place of the things you listed. Thanks for reminding us of them! True gifts.

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Marcus Sheridan January 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Hey Colleen! So glad you liked this and like you, although I love SM, I try to keep all things in perspective.

Thanks so much for dropping by Colleen!

Marcus

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Ameena Falchetto January 20, 2012 at 5:17 am

This is why I say, when it comes to business, online should not be treated differently to offline.

Yes, online there is more opportunity, but with that opportunity comes more competition, more choice.

Social media are tools and like anything tools evolve, change, and become redundant.

Before industrialisation people chipped at mountains to get rocks to make buildings, now the tools are power tools – the results are vastly different but the basic need for shelter still fulfilled.

Who know’s what it’s going to look like in the future. All I say is never turn your back on the basics …

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Deimar @ Business January 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

Just imagine how anyone could be building the next “big thing” right now in their garage. Also think about the SOPA or CHINA on owning big part of facebook and the effect it could have on the social media.

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Mark January 20, 2012 at 9:04 am

There’s nothing new under the sun. Technology doesn’t change that.

As you said:

“Great teaching, Value, Powerful Communication, Thoughtfulness, Transparency, Kindness to others, Genuine Service and Legitimate Relationships have existed since the beginning of time and their significance and importance moving forward are infinite.”

I love that!

10 years from now or 100 years from now these words will be the foundation of progress, growth and advancement.

Hind sight is 20/20 – the only thing you’ll be saying (if you’re looking back) is woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Looking forward 10 years from now, there will be mountains to move, new trails to blaze, live’s to change – onwards and upwards!

Cheers Marcus!

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Adarsh Thampy January 20, 2012 at 9:31 am

I really don’t want to predict the future. So I’d start off with something else, but related.

The way I see, everything is evolving.

Hard Selling –> Inbound marketing, Content marketing
SEO Link building –> Content strategies + Social Signals + Links
Blogging to make money –> Blogging to establish brand and audience
Organic Results + Adwords = SERP –> Adwords + Google Plus results + News + Videos + Organic listings = SERP

So, social media will evolve too. Most people don’t even remember Orkut, but it’s still there and I know a few people who are active over there. And Google has not taken it down either. Maybe they’d merge Orkut and Google plus. Who knows?

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Josh Sarz January 20, 2012 at 10:33 am

Hmmm. We’ll still be talking about Content Marketing. Heh

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Jason Fonceca January 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

Yeah man! Fantastic post, (message and examples)!

A focus on the timeless principles of success is what I’m all about, and I really resonate with this.

10 years from now I think we’ll be saying:

“Man! Things have changed, but still… We wanna create more value, contribution, and quality relationships.”

I feel pretty solid in this general prediction ;)

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Brandon January 20, 2012 at 11:01 am

I’m glad people realize this. Great insight, Marcus.

Granted, I did just streamline my “platforms” a bit, but I finally realized that I couldn’t hold all the eggs in one basket. I think spreading things out will help ensure that a site going to the wayside won’t hurt as bad. Now it’s time to spread equally, just on a handful of sites rather than twenty. :)

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Streamlining is the best thing you can do brother. This whole ‘be everywhere’ mentality is pretty dang difficult.

Thanks so much B’,

Marcus

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Jackie Paulson January 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

You hit the nail on the head with this. Social this social that, networking and more networking. What does make the difference is real comments, real conversations and real friendships. In the end if you have a service someone NEEDs, or solves their problem, they will use it or buy it or share it. AMEN to that.

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Hey Jackie! Thank you so much for your thoughts and words. :)

Let’s just keep meeting those needs. :)

Marcus

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Leon Noone January 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

G’Day Marcus,
Who bloody knows indeed? Anyway I’d rather try to create the future than predict it. Because I’m a curmudgeon and an old bugger to boot, I’m quite entertained by the schoolboyish enthusiasm and naivete of lots of people in the blogosphere.

Did you know that 3D has had a number of incarnations dating back to the 1920s? And the idea of combining the motor car and the airplane into one machine was first predicted In “Popular Mechanics”…..also in the 1920s.

In 1981, Al Ries and Jack Trout wrote a book called “Positioning, The Battle For The Mind.” In 2011, thirty years later, “Positioning” was voted “Best Marketing Book Ever” by the readers of “Advertising Age.”

Yet I still see web marketers ignoring what Al and Jack have been telling us successfully for three decades! Truth is Marcus, It is not “different on the web” About 10 years ago, an Australian marketer wrote a book about web marketing. Among other things he said, “If you think that this sounds like old fashioned mail order, that’s because it is.” It’s only that the tools to make the wheel have changed have changed. But it’s still next to useless if it doesn’t turn smoothly.

And there’s one thing that will never change…….make sure you have fun

Regards
Leon

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Jason Fonceca January 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

“And there’s one thing that will never change…….make sure you have fun”

Always droppin’ gold lines, Leon :)

Seconded!

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:53 pm

He is hilarious, isn’t he Jason ;-)

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Leon Noone for president….

That’s all I’m saying. ;-)

Marcus

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Andrea January 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I would find interesting to see how many of those into the social media thing were right. As you say everyone tells that to be successful you must be good at social media, if not you must pay someone to take care of your social media profile. And so there is a flourishing of courses and ebooks and services about this. They might be right, but I don’t think so. It might be that Twitter survive, if they find a way to earn some money because I guess they have to pay the bills too. If I’m not wrong there is an Arab millionaire who bought a piece of it and so they have a bit of money now.

As for Facebook which in these days seems to be the next golden mine or a virtual Klondike, and maybe it is for those selling stuff about it, I guess it will collapse just like MySpace. At the end Facebook it’s pretty useless and sucks time like nothing else, plus their concept of privacy is something that would have made Big Brother in 1984 laugh ’till his belly split. And, anyone remembers Second Life?

Big G? It will follow the same fate of Yahoo when a better service will come out, where results won’t be affected by strange business practices and possibly that it won’t sell everything about its users.

It might be that social media work for some business and some products but for the great majority of us they are pretty much worthless. It is much better to focus on writing and connecting with other bloggers, thing that also protect your business in case Big G decides to delete you from their search results. Which can happen. Or if one day Twitter decides to close your account.

As you say Marcus everything we’re talking about today will change and so probably almost all social media will disappear to be substituted by something else, I guess a kind of fast sms given how much the mobile world is growing, but what will remain, if we work well, is our blog or business website. Because in the future when people will be looking for information on some topic they’ll go to blogs and specialistic websites where it’s easier to find sound information. But not on those made-for-money blogs or websites which plaster the net.

And now please don’t throw me in the fire, it’s just my opinion. :)

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Throw you in the fire Andrea?? Girl, this was awesome stuff. I love how you bluntly say what you think is going to happen. Not enough people have the guts to put it out there.

Good stuff lady!!

Marcus

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Tom Treanor January 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Marcus,

Nice post and great message. I’m banking on the blog as the hub of my universe and enjoy experimenting in a handful of the social media platforms. Trying to avoid the bright, shiny objects – I’ll leave that for others. I do like jumping into the ones that appear to have enough lasting power thoug. Thanks for the post!

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Hey Tom, how are you man? Like you, I think the blog ain’t going away for a while, and will only grow in importance and significance.

Thanks for dropping by brother,

Marcus

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Billy Delaney January 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I see this developing.
Apple, Google and Microsoft will end up with all of the goodies and we pay a premium for them.
As it goes it will go.
New things come along, they grow, they develop and then they consolidate into a usual three or four players. Think Automobiles and their history.
Likewise on the social scene.
Eventually someone is going to buy their own telecom, broadband, T.V., Movie and Radio conglomerate and set up a one stop pay to play, tiered and bundled for every taste.
Microsoft, Apple and Google seem the most likely to do this, with a possible few smaller players.
It’s the way of things.
Facebook, Twitter, Linkdin, and a host of other channels will combine to offer the best package to you and me. Right now it’s the scramble to be one of these essential products.
Apple are nearly there already.
Mobile, T.V., TheCloud, and whatever they have next: most likely a real T.V. deal.
Google are just about the same too.
Microsoft seem to be lagging behind but I don’t discount that they will be there too.

I think you article looks at the pieces, and that is good. However it is the coming shape of the whole package that is going to be something we never saw coming. Or did I just predict it?
Anyway, nice to stop by and say hello to you.
Billy

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Billy, this was a really, really keen observation you’ve made– this concept of 3-4 major players.

I think there is a very good chance of something like that happening, that’s for sure.

Good stuff bud,

Marcus

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Shakirah Dawud January 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Since the majority of us on social media aren’t ancient (or even close to middle age yet), I honestly don’t think we’ll be doing much looking back just yet. Give it 20.

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I’m not sure I agree Shakirah. I’ve been actively blogging on TSL for 2.5 years, and during this time, things are already very, very different. Stuff is constantly evolving, and it’s only going to evolve faster going forward. What took 25 years to change in the last century will take 10 in this one. And 3 in the next one. At least, that’s my prediction, and I could be dead wrong. ;)

Thanks so much for dropping by,

Marcus

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Shakirah Dawud January 23, 2012 at 8:37 am

I think that’s what I mean. I’m not looking back yet–still looking forward as things change and change again, just a bit too fast for me to keep up. But it could be time to look back much sooner than 20 years, true.

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Hajra January 20, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Hello Marcus,

The comments here have loads to say! And yes, social media is changing by the hour. Also, I really don’t know what might happen say ten years or twenty years from now. Maybe, there might be better things, maybe worse. But for me, what matter is what we make out of what we have right now.

Like you say, we are clueless! Who is to argue with the lion? :)

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Hahaha Hajra, the Lion is as clueless as the rest of them, that’s for sure. ;)

Rest assured though, it’s going to be a fun 10 years, and I look forward to talking about it :)

Marcus

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Tom Ewer January 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Hey Marcus,

I think social media is here to stay, and I don’t think that whether platform A or platform B is the most popular in 5 years time is that important. Why? Because the fundamentals remain the same across the board.

Yes, the strategy you apply to Twitter growth is not the same as that for Facebook, but everything you do in social media is based upon two basic concepts: interactivity and incentives.

In order to establish and grow a social network identity, you must communicate and interact with your followers. If you add value, engagement will grow, as will your number of followers.

And for the most part, people will not give you something for nothing – and believe me, their “follow” is worth something (just ask this guy: http://socialnewsdaily.com/1511/twitter-lawsuit-places-value-of-followers-at-2-50-per-month/). So you need to incentivize people – they need a solid reason to follow you.

If you embrace those two principles, it doesn’t matter which social media platform you are operating on – you’ll do well.

That’s my opinion anyway – I have recently become rather fascinated by social media :)

Cheers,

Tom

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:40 pm

GREAT stuff Tom. And it is fascinating, isn’t it! :-)

Just watching all that has occured within SM in the 2.5 years I’ve been studying it is crazy man.

Love your points about interactivity and incentives. That’s a great way to boil it down.

Thanks for your support my man,

Marcus

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Celestyn Tyler January 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Yes, you are exactly right that these internet platforms will soon vanish maybe 10 years from now. I don’t know what will happen in the next decade. When reach there, I can probably look back and see these existing ones to be obsolete. How long did it take facebook to prosper like this?

Thanks for the encouraging words! Values will always pass on from generation to generation!

-Celestyn

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm

So glad you liked it Celestyn…and good luck to you with all your social media efforts!!

Best,

Marcus

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Matthew Stock January 20, 2012 at 11:31 pm

You always seem to be light years ahead of everyone out there Marcus. While social media might be the hip thing to do – in the home improvement industry – old fashioned customer service will never go out of style.

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Thanks brother, I appreciate that a bunch…and I do try. ;)

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Adam January 21, 2012 at 7:58 am

You made me think of the old quote “the medium is the message.” It is interesting how the different platforms shape our messages (Twitter and brevity, for instance). So, you wonder what platforms will survive or emerge and how they will shape what we say in the future.

But to your point, that phrase is not meant to be literal. No matter what the platform, the content of our communication is what has resonance and where value is truly given.

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Adam, what’s up brother? :)

“the content of our communication is what has resonance and where value is truly given.”

That’s it my man, it’s the ‘content of our communication’. Perfectly said.

Stay well my friend,

Marcus

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Annie Andre January 21, 2012 at 8:11 am

10 years from now I’m pretty sure i will have re-invented myself over a couple of times but still striving to suck the marrow out of life. Improvise, Adapt and Overcome is my husbands motto. I wonder if that’s why Madonna is still so successful today. No more white laced gloves.

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:30 pm

“Suck the marrow out of life.”—-Love, love, love that one Annie. :)

And yes, that Madonna is something else, isn’t she!

Great seeing you,

Marcus

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Judy Helfand January 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

Marcus,
It has been awhile since I stopped by, a busy few months with family and clients. Just wanted to say that next week I will be making a presentation to a client about social media—social marketing. And I think your premise provides a good overview. Basically one can set up all of the social media accounts, blog, tweet, like each other on Facebook, but if one and one’s company are incapable of being “real” by promoting your points:
Great teaching
Value
Powerful Communication
Thoughtfulness
Transparency
Kindness to others
Genuine Service
Legitimate Relationships

then…the curtain will eventually be pulled back!

By the way…let’s not forget Googles’ WAVE!

Thanks, again.

Judy

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Well hello Judy, and a big welcome back to you :)

And yes, Google WAVE was like an expensive firecracker that didn’t even leave the bottle….eek ;-)

Thanks so much for stopping in,

Marcus

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Jason Fonceca January 22, 2012 at 12:42 am

Google has tried many social platforms (Lively, Orkut, Buzz, Wave and now Google+).

To me this is the mark of the successful, passionately pursuing what they want, and learning from (even enjoying) the ‘failures’ :)

Google+ is definitely a contender :D

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Philos Mudis January 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

I do agree that no one clearly knows what will happen next. Social media just gets people guessing and tweaking, learning and unlearning and cherishing good memories.

However, as you have already pointed out, we should be able to create something bigger than social media itself – something of value, something gets old but many young and old people still take their time to show their love.

This value should be rooted in the concerns of human beings. It should be created in a way that time won’t even bother slapping mandatory retirement on the ‘value’. It is not easy to do this, but with constant practice it becomes a habit.

Happy blogging everyone.

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:24 pm

This value should be rooted in the concerns of human beings.—That’s it my man. Perfectly said. :)

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Jens P. Berget January 21, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Hi Marcus,

I’m thinking that we’ll be looking back and think to ourselves, why did we spend so much money on building one social service, like Facebook, when it was never about the service, but about building strong relationships and trust. I know companies that are spending a lot more than $10.000 a year on Facebook alone, and they are not communicating at all… just trying to get more fans, and more traffic.

To me, marketing is still today, what it used to be back in the old day, strong relationships and trust and caring for your customers will win forever (it’s never about the numbers) :)

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm

And that’s exactly it Jens. Marketing really hasn’t changed if you look at ‘principles’. Yeah, sure, the platforms are new, but not the goals and principles of all of this.

Good stuff my man, and thanks a bunch for dropping by,

Marcus

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Howie at Sky Pulse Media January 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Dear Sensei

The one thing I have absorbed and accepted from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, is there is only one thing guaranteed in life. No not death and taxes (we all live forever anyway). It is the idea of Impermanence…Change….Change is the only guarantee and when people say something is too big or will be forever…I know they can’t grasp this concept and those people will always be left in the dust. Followers. Complainers. Possibly eating at waffle house every day drinking the same free 3oz glass of OJ (ok so somethings never change).

Love this post Sir. And it is why I preach to all to be nimble and quick like Jack because he could jump over the candle stick.

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Once again Howie, you prove why you’re one of the wittiest guys on the dang web. Seriously man– eating at waffle house and drinking from the same free 3oz glass of OJ was an all-timer. ;-)

Hope you’re well my brother, and thanks for the wisdom…

Marcus

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Godfrey January 21, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Social media has strengthened the growth of e-commerce in today’s generation. However, the lifespan of this channel is uncertain. Thank you for giving me new insight on this subject. YouTube is really solid though, but how about Facebook? How long do you think it will really last?

Thanks!
Godfrey

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Harriet January 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I remember when Bebo was all the rage! And then it was myspace and then facebook and now tumbrs gaining popularity and its all getting very confusing! Nice to hear from you again Marcus.

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Marcus Sheridan January 24, 2012 at 1:17 am

Always appreciate it Harriet ;)

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Venus@Social Network Design January 23, 2012 at 1:36 am

I think 2012 will be all about Social media.Internet Marketers are already making HUGE money from Ads campaign on Facebook.Now Google Plus also manipulated its algorithm and included content for G Plus profile on its search results.This will surely influence the marketers and they’ll target this in future.

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Shirley Williams January 23, 2012 at 9:02 am

On point! and given the response this has resonated with many! I have not read all 85 responses ;) but quite a few. Alot in agreement. I would perhaps add to your list:
- Good leadership: with good leadership it does not matter where you go to tell your story, do your thing- your followers will come
- Openness of mind- this speaks to the opposite ie not being narrow minded, embracing new ideas and working with it.

Love you posts- keep them coming.
Shirley

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Marcus Sheridan January 24, 2012 at 1:16 am

Love it Shirley! :)

Thanks for the additions,

Marcus

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Srinivas January 23, 2012 at 10:45 am

I think you’ve made a great point Marcus. It kind of puts and end to this notion that anybody is really an authority. I think all of this is its infancy. But 10 years from now here’s what I’d say. Every comment, every tweet, every status update is a digital footprint. The way we’ve studied drawings on the insides of caves, people will study our digital footprint. So we have a chance to be a part of history.

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Marcus Sheridan January 24, 2012 at 1:14 am

Awesome way to put that Srini….thanks for adding to the conversation like you do my man.

Marcus

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Walter Paul Bebirian February 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

well in 10 – 20 – 50 – or 100 years from now – will people in the societies that will have developed still value what you have said is still important today?:

Great teaching
Value
Powerful Communication
Thoughtfulness
Transparency
Kindness to others
Genuine Service
Legitimate Relationships

then perhaps we will have the same and improved tools or new tools that allow us as individuals to these things even much much much better – that of course depends on how the new developments can be capitalized to allow them to flourish and continue to grow –

I believe – now that we are the cusp of the beginning of the public capitalization of Facebook that there is a great learning lesson that we may be about to go through – since it is evident to me – by looking at the value of so many of the private Corporations in our country – that they do much much better than any of the publicly traded companies – and if this is indeed a fact that follows throughout all industries – then perhaps Facebook will be heading for a downturn and leaving room for another one or many platforms to begin taking its place – perhaps with many of the things learned from Facebook built into their systems –

What is evident, also, is that there is always a chance or hope for or opportunity for my space or RYZE or any other platform that people are utilizing for connecting and developing relationships to change – to make themselves over and to be reborn into new and improved platforms – accomplishing greater and more valuable tasks than ever imagined before -

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