This post began life as part of a discussion on our internal “blog ambassadors” mailing list, talking about nomenclature, terminology, and what we should really call all of this bloggy, community, social stuff that we do. And yes, there is a heavy dose of irony here, considering that my job role is basically teaching and promoting “social media”.
I’m starting to hate the term “social media”. For a couple of reasons. The first is that it’s just getting so popular that it’s way overused (talking about the world, not Intel). It gets slapped onto everything. Kind of like Web 2.0. And also like Web 2.0, it’s become so broad as to be almost meaningless. Ask 10 people what Web 2.0 means, and you’ll get 10 different answers. Same with social media.
I find myself always having to explain/qualify what I mean when I say it. “Social media, you know, like blogs, community, Twitter, and stuff.” I’m trying to discipline myself to just be more specific and say what I’m really talking about. The one time “social media” still has some use, to me, is when it’s used as an umbrella term for all of these social tools that we use. But it’s even confusing to use it that way, because you can never be sure that other people think it means what you think it means.
Steve Rubel, who’s arguably the King of Social Media in the PR world, has been arguing for dumping the term “social media” for a while now (first at the end of 2006, and as recently as a couple of months ago). His point is that “it’s all just media” now. I agree with him.
Sometimes I feel like this guy (actually, I just wanted an excuse to use this clip):
So, what do YOU call all of this online, conversational, community-based, fun, interactive, social, text/photo/audio/video-based stuff that we do?