Monday, February 11, 2008

The Next Big Thing

In my work in social media here at General Motors we're constantly asking the question, "What's the next big thing?" Sure, MySpace and Facebook are the big dogs in social networks right now, but what's next? Is it the concept of creating your own social network like Ning is proposing? Blogs, in my opinion, still dominate the social media realm, but will this last? I think blogs are one channel of social media that will be around for a while, will the new concept of microblogging (Twitter or Jaiku) take off next?

It seems to me that once a new social media tool comes out that a number of PR professionals hop on it and start lauding it as the "next big thing," but I find that once I too get involved with this new tool that the only people using it are other PR people. I think Twitter is a perfect example of this. Granted, the likes of Dell, GM and CNN are using it, but I would venture to say that the large majority of people have no idea what Twitter is, much less how to use it. Is it really the next big thing if only the PR people know about/use it?

So my big questions for anybody reading this blog are 1) Is it the job of PR professionals to alert our publics to the next big thing, or do we let them find out about on their own; and 2) What is the next big thing?

I welcome your input!


folkheart press said...

In surfing many blogs I have repeatedly read about this or that next big thing in marketing, pr, or advertising.
While it's a good idea to be kept apprised of what is new on the horizon, I think that much of the debate about the merits (or lack of )of SEO, twitter, facebook, myspace, etc. comes down to a matter of semantics (interpretation), and that while it is important to understand the dialogs that occur, I would rather spend my time promoting my clients.
Best, Karen

Adam Denison said...

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the comment. Of course promoting our clients and organizations is the top priority, I think we owe it to them to keep ourselves abreast of what's out there to help us do the job more effectively. I do think some people put all their eggs into the social media basket, but I believe there are still some tried and true PR tactics we still need to employ.

Anonymous said...

Social media isn't the only form of communication. It is only a channel for messages to flow through. Yes, it might be a more interactive medium, but there are many more ways to get messages to people than through their computers. Who knows? The Internet might get so crowded with tools and information that messages coming from non-social media sources begin to have more impact.

Adam Denison said...


You're right, we have to be careful not to drink the social media Kool Aid! You're dead on about message overload. We need to keep our messages to a minimum and maximize the communications channels.

Karen said...

I've heard about Ning awhile ago, but haven't decided to walk down that road yet. But it looks like that concept might be the next big thing. Also, check out - that service is quite relevant.