Here's an easy way to understand it: marketers once aimed to have users "grab" a brand's widget and "place" it within their social media profile. But now, with feeds increasingly becoming the center of the social media experience at the expense of users maintaining and visiting profile pages, the goal instead is to share the links to branded content through feeds. Instead of publishing profile pages for their friends to come visit, users are granted access by their friends to program content that is fed (pun intended) directly to them.
OK, so now you can think of the world of social media as a world of millions of people programming content for friends, co-workers and total strangers, starting conversations and directing traffic. The question is how you get a critical mass of people to program your branded content into their feeds. Where the content lives is no longer important, as every destination is a mouse click away from the feed, most often behind a bit.ly URL. Add FacebookConnect and the other single login competitors that we talked about last week to a world of feeds, and we are fast approaching a world where destination doesn't matter. Everything is one click away -- AND your information and social graph come with you.
You have to understand what's happening before taking on the considerable task of what role marketing should and can play.
Two must-reads this week:
1. Randall Rothenberg (Interactive Advertising Bureau CEO) discussing the battle between creative and media on the blog I, A Bee.
2. Garrick Schmitt (Razorfish Group VP) with the best "why social media matters to brands" presentation I have ever seen.
Thoughts on Social Media 2.0? Or is the feed and portable ID (and social graph) really just Web 3.0?
I appreciate everyone's thoughts. Leave a comment and add to the conversation, or hit me up on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joemarchese