Social Media as a ‘Layer’

ABC News has relaunched with more “social media” features: comments, video uploads and so on:

The new site is designed to harness the power of community. And by community we mean “citizen reporters,” our viewers and readers who help us report the news by contributing, commenting and telling us what they know. The redesigned makes it much easier for our Internet users to add to the facts, ask questions of newsmakers and make their voices heard.

Users will also find it much easier to submit to us video from cell phones and their home video cameras — video that we may choose to broadcast on our site or on one of our television news programs.

ABC thus follows in the footsteps of other mainstream media outlets and publications in adding more “robust” participation capabilities. While very few sites will be able to make a living as “social networks,” social media and user-generated content are becoming a layer of all online destinations. This is what Carlotta Mast and I argued in December 2004 in a Kelsey Group white paper:

In some sense, “social networking” is a natural expression or extension of offline “word-of-mouth” behavior. This phenomenon is alternatively discussed in the context of “user-generated content.” But whatever label you want to affix, online community and social networking behaviors are important and must be carefully considered. In fact, The Kelsey Group (TKG) believes that “social networking” will largely disappear as a stand-alone category and become an essential layer of functionality or a set of features integrated into existing sites and business models.

(I generally hate when people do that: “See how smart I am I said this would happen, X years ago.” I guess I’m a hypocrite.) 🙂


Related: The NY Times on, mobile TV and social networking.


One Response to “Social Media as a ‘Layer’”

  1. Ty Graham Says:

    This is probably one of the most intelligent “big picture” blog entries regarding social media as a layer to extend social networking features. You can literally take it as the ultimate solution of the industry, because soon, everyone is going to get blipd!

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