On Sunday, I'll be hoping for more than just another Super Bowl where the New York Giants leave New Englanders weeping in their clam chowder. I'm hoping to see advertisers use social media in ways that make sense for them -- and their consumers.
It's the morning after the Social Media Insider Summit, and I find my head stuffed not only with memories of how beautiful The Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo is, but also with factoids and insights about social media.
Florida is one of our more unpredictable states. The weather, the voting patterns, and the Florida Marlins can constantly surprise the locals, and there aren't many other places where you can reasonably ask, "Is the Buick driver in front of me taking a nap, or is there an alligator crossing the highway?" That helps to explain why MediaPost's Social Media Insider Summit in Florida this week sparked far more questions than answers.
When your 14-year-old son and the checkout guy at the supermarket are thoroughly conversant with the latest attempt at Internet-controlling legislation, you know someone, somewhere, succeeded with their communications. And so it was yesterday, with the forces unleashed through the most powerful Internet companies in the world -- which, in a movement that built up to one big day of protest, effectively killed SOPA and PIPA (aka the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act). But, of course, this wasn't just about the power of Internet companies; it was about all of us, using the technologies they created, …
"Now therefore, if You will obey our voices, and keep our covenant, then social media shall be a special treasure to us above all media. For You are holy media to us, and we have chosen You to be our treasured media from all other media on the face of the Earth." - The Gospel of Zuckerberkowitz 3:16, shamelessly bastardized from Biblical passages cited in Wikipedia
While many of you were trolling the aisles at CES, some of us were tied to our desks -- or, in my case, headed elsewhere. But, fortunately for those of us who didn't get to see any cool gadgets this week other than the ones we already own, a great social media story began to unfold outside of Las Vegas. And that's the fracas that's broke out between Google and Twitter. (Facebook, at this writing, is playing the role of Switzerland, or maybe, in its isolation, North Korea, but, trust me; this story will eventually involve it, too.)
At CES. it's the devices who won't shut up. Emcee (an actual microphone): I'd like to introduce you to CES, which we all know stands for Consumer Electronics Socialization. We've got a lot of great speakers here -- and Bose SoundDock, you know that doesn't just refer to you!
As is always the case this time of year, I've been spending a lot of time pondering Best Buy. Most of the year, the superstore sits up on that hill near where I live, monolithic, and I don't go near it. But as December and January contain both the holidays, and both of my children's birthdays, it becomes, however briefly, a frequent stopping-off point for purchasing DVDs, games and, of course, electronics. And that's why I had time, the other day, to contemplate the disconnect between the store experience and the company's social media experience.
Learning from previous events to plan ahead may not be as exciting as claiming psychic powers and telling fortunes, but there's value in it nonetheless. That's why a lot of my so-called predictions for 2012 are really extensions of the previous week's roundup of everything that happened in 2011. Read that for added context, and read more below about what to expect for social media this year. You may not be shocked or even awed by this modest list, but it should lay the groundwork for all of our work ahead.