by Geoff Livingston
This year’s SxSW had an interesting flavor to it (image by marcatsworld). You get the strong feeling that conversations and panels about social media have hit the wall. There’s an air of autumn to the conversations, and a consistent undercurrent revolving around what’s next.
Everyone knows that organizations are still rapidly moving towards adoption and there are still, MANY, MANY best practices to be adopted. Yet, there’s no longer a newness to the dance; rather an acceptance that it must be learned or a conversation about continuing to refine skills. From MysPace and Digg to Facebook and Twitter conversations, social media fatigue reigns in Austin.
The vibrant SxSW conversations focused on new technologies or new applications. From new contests and social good to GPS based activity and mapping, people were focused on what’s next. And for the heart of the interactive community, the early adopter community, this makes sense.
What does this mean for the average communicator? We are in a phase where it’s no longer hip to announce your new social capabilities. You either do it, or you need to quietly learn, adapt and get it. Further, it needs to be integrated within the larger offering.
At the same time, I sense we have a big mouthful to chew with social. Verticalization and specialization within social will be a huge factor. While mobility continues to be a big factor (FourSquare vs. Gowalla, for example) and is getting wrapped into the social conversation, there’s an unease as we seek what’s next. Maybe we already have what’s next, but there sure seem to be a lot of icebergs looming in the dark…