This is an interesting topic, especially since Facebook is looking at going IPO this year. The real question is what is the market value of social networking. Quantify that to real dollars and cents and you will have an answer. Look at the recent Groupon debacle for proof. Overspeculated market, negative growth and market saturation have spelled lost millions for investors longterm. It is the social media equivelant of ENRON, and it will start when FaceBook goes IPO. Other sites will follow and the frenzy will start.
What the underlying question is: What is the positive contribution Social Medium gives to daily productivity and ultimately contribution to Gross National Product? There are countless studies that show Social Medium are contributing to a breakdown of communication skills and the ability of our youth to properly spell words, this is fact. In 10 years, managers will not be able to find workers that can compete at the level we are competing at today, internationally. And let’s face it, we are already losing the educational battle today. China is laughing at us as we send more and more cargo vessels to pick up lead laden children’s toys. We return Google servers, made in China, and Facebook Offices. We have lost the production battle and are starting to lose the services battle. Guess what folks, there isn’t anything left except our gold, land and yes our people after that. This will ultimately negatively affect our society and Gross National Product. The question remains: Does Social medium positively contribute to our society?
Now I know there is an army of Social marketers who actually get paid to Tweet and post on Facebook, but the reality is that not a single dollar can be traced through a social network connection. Having said that, Facebook certainly can show you revenue from advertising, but I mean real tangible value of actually closing a sale or completing a project through a social network is very difficult to quantify if we are being completely honest. I have arranged meetings, discussed programs and colaborated through social medium to be sure.
I can host a server at my house for free with terabytes of storage for my photos and give secured web address to my friends to see my photos. Security versus convenience has to be considered. In Government, social networks are quickly being scrutinized, whilst some companies are using facebook instead of email.
Ultimately we will see companies like Facebook, and GOVLOOP :-), go public and ultimately be regulated heavily with legislation such as SOPA. Look it up, it is an important discussion happening right now in Congress and affects social media directly.
Is Social Media at an end? No, but social media will change dramatically over the next 2-3 years. We will see heavy regulation and even taxes on usage. Facebook will start charging annual fees of under 10 dollars, at first, to pay for the taxes. Personal Information will be regulated much like HIPA regulation.