Social Media: What It's Not

"It's not a one-way conversation," says Raquel Krouse, the social media guru at Interpublic's Emerging Media Lab.

Krouse was responding to a query from Interpublic's Brian Wieser, who's been probing the industry's best and brightest gurus all day long to get at the heart of, and to define social media.

In response, Wieser asked Krouse, "If I post something on my facebook page and nobody comments, is that social media?"

Krouse answered that Zen riddle with one of her own: "If a tree falls in the forrest, and there's no one around to hear it?"

And there you have it. Social media means different things to different people -- even when they happen to be media industry experts. So it will be interesting to see where Wieser nets out on this thing. Right now, Krouse is citing a new application that enables people to click on the image of a shoe in its catalog, and find out who bought it and where they bought it.

To Krouse, social media is a "collection of tools" that people use to exchange social media content -- both among consumers, and industry pros.

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