|By Udayan Banerjee||
|April 5, 2012 04:30 AM EDT||
Struggle and Contradiction in four different dimensions – that's how I summarize the trend in social media.
- Open Web vs. Walled Social Media
- Social Media Usage vs. Social Media ROI
- Adding Social Dimension to Search vs. Biasing the Search Result
- Media Convergence vs. Social Media Proliferation
Having said that I need to admit that in another dimension there is no struggle, no contradiction – it is going up … up … up.
Usage of Social Media Through Mobile
Whichever statistics you look at – whatever prediction you see; more people are accessing social media sites through their smartphones and tablets. More social media applications are getting downloaded. This trend is not going to decelerate in the near future.
The State of Media: The Social Media Report – Q3 2011 from Nielsen brings out these interesting facts:
- Close to 40% user access social media content from their mobile phone
- Next to GPS, social networking is the most valued feature in a smart phone
- In last one year, Social Networking App usage has gone up by 30%
- Social Networking Apps are third most popular app category after Games and Weather
- Over twice as many people aged 55+ visited social networking site from their mobile phone compared to last year
Another interesting piece of stats appear in eWeek:
Of Facebook’s 845 million users, 425 million of them used Facebook’s mobile apps or its mobile Website in December 2011, up from the 350 million that Facebook reported last.
This clearly shows that mobile usage is growing faster than Facebook’s desktop usage.
1) Open Web vs. Walled Social Media
Till Facebook came in, web was mostly open. Two of the key drivers behind the success of the Web are (1) the ease with which pages can be hyperlinked irrespective of where it is hosted and which site it belongs to and (2) the ease with which you can search a specific page which has been indexed by search engine mainly Google.
However, most social media especially Facebook do not allow Google to search and index their pages. Even if you have access to specific pages in Facebook, you will not be able to search and find those pages using Google. You will necessarily have to login to Facebook and do the search. This is not true for sites like Wikipedia.
But, is that not a fight between Facebook and Google? Anyway, this is true for most sites which require a login. So, what is the big problem?
You may not want to classify this as a problem but you need to acknowledge that this is a big change because people are spending more and more time inside their favorite Social Media which is likely to be Facebook. What you do inside Facebook and what you do outside becomes almost two different worlds with very little linkage.
The question is:
Will this division increase in the coming future and make the web into multiple walled gardens?
Will social media become more open preserving the open nature of the web?
This issue was first raised by Tim-Berners Lee more than a year back but has again become a point of debate because of the coming IPO of Facebook. The views differ from “this is a serious problem” to “users don’t care” to “it is not a big problem” to “we need to do something about it”.
2) Social Media Usage vs. Social Media ROI
Look at these stats:
- Facebook has more than 0.8 billion users (see Wikipedia)
- Use of Social Business Software will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 38% through 2014 (see this)
- Social Network and Blog continue to dominate time online accounting for 22.5% (see this)
- 57% of the SMB surveyed plan to use social media marketing, an increase of 7% from the prior year (see this)
On every count social media use is not only increasing but increasing very fast. There is also no shortage of expert opinion on the necessity of increasing social media presence like “how social media is indispensable to news reporting” to “why social commerce will take off in 2012” to “why business won’t be able to afford NOT to use social media for marketing”.
This should translate into clear measurable benefit of social media influence … right?
There are several studies which put a dampener on this enthusiasm. Here are 2 of them which paints not so rosy picture of impact of social media.
- Facebook is unlikely to correlate directly to near-term sales – Forrester
- Only 12% of the consumer turn to social media for purchase decision – Cone Trend Tracker
So, on one hand -
You feel that social media cannot be ignored and you need to be present and invest in it.
On the other hand –
You are worried about how to justify the investment.
BTW: Do you have to justify ROI on email?
3) Adding Social Dimension to Search vs. Biasing the Search Result
If you have to point out one company that is the prime source of the two contradictions mentioned above, it is obviously Facebook.
However, for this point it is Google is the prime mover.
To counter the influence of Facebook, Google has decided to go social, that is, to add a social dimension to everything that it does. Therefore, the search results have started showing so-and-so has either shared or liked this result. It has even started saying that you yourself have shared or +1ed this link.
Is this good?
Because you immediately get the opinion of people you know and probably trust.
Or, is this bad?
Because you are stuck in a close loop where “A” influences “B” and “B” influences “A” creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Only time will tell.
4) Media Convergence vs. Social Media Proliferation
Traditional TV and the internet will probably converge and reshape the way we choose how, when and why we watch television. All of our media devices including our television sets, computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones could come together to offer us more social and sharable television experiences that we can enjoy whenever we want. Many of us are no longer consuming digital content on a single device. We now have two screens when consuming media (TV + laptop, tablet + Phone etc) and the lines between those devices will become even more blurred. Instead, we tweet on our laptops while viewing a TV program, watch another show on their tablet during a commercial or look up lyrics on our smartphones while listening to a song on the radio.
As consumers begin to access digital content from a wider variety of devices — including, most recently, smartphones and tablets — publishers are beginning to offer subscription packages that allow them to access content on all of those devices for one flat fee. Because of the acceleration of print to Tablet swap, the smart traditional publications are already making the transition, but many will get left behind as printed media will quickly become obsolete as time passes.
This is one side of the picture.
Because of the dominance of Facebook, the other side of the picture is slightly obscure and not clearly visible. There is no doubt the Facebook is huge compared to all the other rivals. But, look at some of these statistics:
- LinkedIn 277% More Effective for Lead Generation than Facebook & Twitter (see this)
- YouTube hits 4 billion daily video views (see this)
- Twitter is the most popular social media channel with content marketers (see this)
- Google+ Hits 100 Million Users and may reach 400 million by year end (see this)
- Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Retailers (see this)
- Tumblr is the emerging social media player nearly tripling its audience in one year (see this)
Granted, these platforms put together may be smaller than Facebook but you have to admit that there is proliferation happening in social media with niche players emerging. The problem is they do not talk to each other. Therefore…
Different media are converging.
The problem is that –
Social media are diverging and they are not interoperable…the walled garden effect that we had talked earlier.
Will we see a Social Media Black Swan in 2012?
No, I am not talking about Black Swan the movie; I am talking about the “Black Swan Theory” proposed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Till the black swan, a member of the species Cygnus Atratus, was described scientifically by English naturalist John Latham in 1790, people thought swan could only be white.
Similarly, there are unexpected and unpredicted events happen in technology evolution which takes us by surprise. The event has a major impact and we try to rationalize as if it could have been expected.
Are we going to witness any such event around Social Media in 2012?
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Nov. 24, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,479
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
Nov. 24, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 850
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
Nov. 24, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,374
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Nov. 24, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,486
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
Nov. 24, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,520
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Nov. 23, 2014 07:30 PM EST Reads: 1,729
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 1,669
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Nov. 23, 2014 07:45 AM EST Reads: 1,645
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,381
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Nov. 22, 2014 05:30 PM EST Reads: 1,496
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,485
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Nov. 21, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,434
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nov. 21, 2014 07:00 PM EST Reads: 1,345
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
Nov. 20, 2014 09:15 PM EST Reads: 1,409
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
Nov. 20, 2014 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,364
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
Nov. 20, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,618
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Nov. 20, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 1,816
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
Nov. 18, 2014 09:00 PM EST Reads: 2,033
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Nov. 18, 2014 08:15 PM EST Reads: 1,601
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Nov. 18, 2014 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,026