In 2007, the eclectic webcomic site XKCD produced an interesting graphic called the “Map of Online Communities.” http://xkcd.com/256/
Recently, a blog called Flowtown decided to update this map to show new developments in social networking communities. This map, called “The 2010 Social Networking Map” is fun to look at and has some fascinating insights into the growth of social media. http://www.flowtown.com/blog/the-2010-social-networking-map?display=wide
Here are some of our own take-aways from comparing the two maps:
- Google used to be in one place. Google is now everywhere. If The Matrix ever happens, it will probably originate from Google’s labs. Ditto for The Rise of the Machines scenario.
- Not just for geeks anymore, wikis are gaining serious ground in popularity and usage.
- We don’t think we’ll be investing in Yahoo! stock anytime soon. We hope they are re-thinking their business model or they might find themselves being acquired in the near future.
- Facebook is causing MySpace to die a slow, painful death. People prone to seizures from blinking text and animation are probably thankful.
- Twitter sort of came on fast and furiously, didn’t it? And most people still don’t know what it’s good for…even people using it.
All humor aside, our two biggest take-aways are:
- Social media is not going away anytime soon. Nonprofits (and anyone else) who have kept their heads in the sand in an attempt to wait out this fad might want to re-consider. We know this isn’t what many of you reading this want to hear, but there it is.
- Don’t get overly attached to any particular social media tool and don’t break the bank working on it. If you spent hours on hours creating the absolutely perfect MySpace page for your organization three years ago, you’re probably balking against a switch to Facebook right now. Spend time making your site/page/profile look good (and by all means, spell check!), but don’t go crazy. By the time you’ve created perfection, the world may be onto the next big thing in social media.