I do my best musing when I'm stuck in a boring situation and have no choice but to fire up the old brain cells: the treadmill, in the shower, getting my hair cut. So, as I was sitting in the chair around 30 minutes ago getting my monthly buzz cut -- #3 on the top, #2 on the sides -- I thought about the Google Alerts I've been getting for years.
I have quite a few set up, including one for mentions of my favourite band, Pink Floyd. Even though, unfortunately, they won't tour again, I still like to read news and comments about them. The little snippets of info and conversations arrive in my inbox, and I scan them to see what's being said about the band. All cool.
So, my point is, that's been an available service for years. It's social media. I monitor the Internet looking for those mentions of a brand -- oops, I mean band -- and then talk about it with other people, or blog about it, as I am now.
Someone, in the last few years, uttered those immortal words, social media, and a whole new movement was born, encompassing everyone from nervous newspaper barons to excited PR agencies. Now everyone can jump into social media and get involved, if they want to.
But, this is now. It still has a way to go before people start to omit the words "social media" in front of their strategies, job titles, workshops, webinars ... there will be no need to specifically mention it. It will be built in.
So -- and thanks for bearing with me on this theme! -- once people get restless, they will start to label the NEXT BIG MOVEMENT as, let's face it, we all want to be early adopters, or at the cutting edge of communicating with each other.
What will replace social media?
And, on a totally but kinda related FYI, I just downloaded Google Toolbar version 6, and now, when you open a new tab in Internet Explorer 8 (yes, flame me) you get a choice of "most visited sites" similar to Google's Chrome browser. Very useful; saves me at least six seconds of my very, very precious time writing blog posts and getting my hair cut.