Saturday, January 24, 2009

Social Media Continues to Evolve

Social networking pioneer, MySpace, continues to push the envelope in regards to the growth and prominence of social media and its place in today's society. It plans to debut a new reality Web series as part of the larger strategy to build a reputation as an entertainment portal.

The interactive Web series, "Get Married on MySpace," follows an engaged couple as the social media community plans their wedding. MySpace users will influence almost all aspects of the wedding planning. They will vote on the bride's dress, the couple's rings, and even the location. The 13-episode-series will debut in May and conclude with the wedding.

If this is successful I believe we will see the concept grow. Everyone is searching for new and innovative ways to participate in the evolution of this phenomenon currently known as social media. Everyone wants to vote on everything these days. It seems as though the more interactive a site the better. At least that's what executives, PR people, and decision makers seem to think.

Still, why not integrate? People love reality TV and people love social networking. Those two things have probably grown in the past decade more than anyone could have imagined. Why not put the two together? It must be a recipe for success, right?

Plus, in a cyber-world where the competition is increasing every minute, marketers and communicators must find ways to differentiate their product/service from competitors. Why should I participate in your social networking site instead of theirs? That is what many are asking themselves. Most often the decision comes down to which site one's friends are on. But, by adding special features and focusing on engaging the consumer even more, companies such as MySpace can create a sense of uniqueness.

This is not the first aspect added to the popular social networking site and it certainly won't be the last. As the market continues to grow and obtain more users, the pressure to innovate and adapt will grow as well. Is this good for society to be wrapped up in this new way of life? That is for you to decide. Whether it is a positive or a negative, it exists. The integration of television, radio, print media, and the Internet will continue to become more and more relevant. The lines will continue to blur until social media will be a term used to describe everything. All of our media will be "social."