On one of the training course I teach in sunny Sutton, I make the point
that, from its earliest days, the internet was a social medium: usenet, irc, BBSes,
e-mail discussion lists and forums were all early ways of socialising
the internet experience. We in the traditional media took a detour into
shovelware websites that emulated our print products, while the web got
on with inventing new forms of social publishing, like blogs, wikis,
social networks and microblogging. And now we have to join in, or be
left in the dust. Social media isn’t some bolt-on to a publishing
strategy – it is the publishing strategy for the web. It
doesn’t matter if it’s journalism in a blog, content curating through
social networks, or workflow tools with a social graph attached, the
ability to do things in concert with others is the defining feature of
the web, and using “social media” in opposition to “media” makes it too
easy to forget that.
Incidentally, I don’t see “anti-social media” as an insult. There are
times when I want to sit down and read a book or magazine all on my
own. That’s great. But it’s not the growth market. That’s the web.
That’s the social publishing envirnment.