Social Media Will Not Exist In 5 years

by Jay Deragon on 11/02/2011

Trends come and go. Some turn into everyday practices under a new name while others fade away because they prove to be non-productive. Given all the attention to social media one wonders whether it will turn into a everyday practice under a new name or simply fade away.

Just consider how fast social media has transformed mainstream media. Five years ago main stream media wasn’t paying much attention to this thing called “social media but today it permeates all media and no main stream media wants to be left out of “social media circles”.  The irony is that social media has turned into just another marketing channel and as such everyone is using it whether it is effective or not. However some people and organizations are moving beyond marketing towards understanding that the fundamental dynamics of communications has changed, whether called social media or not.

What About Social Media Positions Within Organizations?

Nieman Journalist Labs reports: Is the most up-and-coming job in journalism — the social media editor — a permanent position at news outlets, or a transitional role?

At a panel discussing social media best practices at the Journalism Interactive conference this morning, The New York Times’ co-social media editor, Liz Heron, said that her own position probably falls on the side of transitional. “I think my job will probably not exist in five years,” she said.

But! That’s “not because social media will die out or fade,” Heron noted. Quite the opposite. We’re in a moment of disruption right now — social media may be slowly transforming some formerly standard newsroom practices (and formerly standard newsroom assumptions), but, for all their impact, they’re not universal. Twitter and Facebook and social news in general are still things that need to be learned — and, within the newsroom, advocated for.

That won’t be the case for much longer, Heron suggested. (As Heron’s co-panelist, NBC’s Jim Long, put it: In a few years, having a social media editor will make as much sense as having a telephone consultant.) As social media become more diffusive, their impact will be, as well. Social media, and innovation in their use, will become more of a team effort. And so, Heron said, “it’ll be less necessary to have one person in charge.”

Communication Will Always Exist

How we communicate and the tools we use to communicate have changed and will continue to change as we adopt new methods, new means and new mediums. However, the fundamental need to communicate with others, with markets and the world will remain the same. When the means and medium of meeting a need change it changes everything, especially when it has to do with communications.

Communications IS the economy. Social media is not the economy it is only the label we give to the acceleration of communications. Tomorrow the acceleration tools will simply have a new name to describe changes to communications.

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