Time magazine recognizes Mark Zuckerberg as person of the year, Facebook adds its 550 millionth member, Facebook becomes the most active web messaging service, Twitter is valued at $4 billion, Groupon turns down $6 billion, and More than 50% of videos on YouTube have been rated or include comments from the community. I could ramble on all day about these shocking statistics that are becoming seemingly irrelevant. Relevance is instead being shifted to what we ourselves and our network of friends find interesting.
We’ve reached the tipping point in 2010, and now we are seeing the explosive growth from the adoption of social sites by people of all ages and interests. Daily use of social sites to share media among our network of friends has reached critical mass. Virtually every business has been reinvented in the context of the social web. Take Groupon for example, they are powering the local deals of small business’s that was once dominated by coupon books. Tumblr has turned the traditional journal into a creative collection of digital media, which is manifested by the inspiration drawn from users with like-minded interests. Flickr users have now amassed enough geo-located photos so that we can find a point of interest in Google maps, and see photos from the exact location. But there’s more, the social web has moved extensively into our professional lives. Understanding the distinction between personal and professional is of utmost importance to maintaining an online identity in good standing. Yammer helps address this problem with an enterprise level solution that people actually want to use; several multi-national corporations are encouraging employees to collaborate online using private company networks.
So, the question lingers: What’s next? How will I be able to own my future in this virtual world? My opinion on the answer to those questions is to find the right balance between offline and online. We are going to be carrying mobile devices with us everywhere now, therefore staying connected is not the issue. Instead the issue will be: what should we be connected with, and how relevant is it to our lives? Meetup.com does an excellent job of directing traffic at the intersection of offline and online media. I encourage you to start with their advice:
Do something • Learn something • Share something • Change something