It’s all about the bubble these days – the “web 2.0 bubble” that is. Everywhere I look there’s a new article or blog post talking about the bubble and more specifically assessing when it’ll pop.
The bubble has been so poorly constructed. Companies have (and continue to) exploit web 2.0 to the financial max – from consultants to marketers – they’re all looking to gain. This corporate extreme offers a talking point riddled with buzzwords and advice on how to gain financially. Not too mention a tangible entity with boundaries and a “life cycle” that will mean it’s eventually end.
Please bear in mind that I’m a graduate student currently pursuing my MBA. I’m all too familiar with the bottom-line and the notion that everything pursued from a corporate standpoint should satisfy that sole goal.
But web 2.0 (social media) isn’t about the bottom-line. It’s about community engagement, human interaction and conversations. A concept that’s difficult for many to grasp, because it doesn’t seem inherent that human interaction can be synonymous with anything related to the internet and/or technology. The key is to understand that social media isn’t about the technology – though it’s the profitability of technology-based companies or those leveraging it that has become the primary focus – it’s about a means of facilitation. Technology is nothing more than the vehicle that provides additional outlets for the conversation to thrive.
So while companies attempt to cash in on the bubble that they have defined (for the purpose of it’s own creation) they’ve missed the brilliance of what the bubble cannot contain. And maybe social media will ultimately burst that bubble, because how can companies harness a human condition? In the end, such a burst may enable corporations, institutions and individuals to attain understanding of what it is that’s actually occurring – even enable them to develop an appreciation and a desire to truly become part of the conversation.
Because how can something that is symptomatic of being human – human interaction and the desire to communicate as well as engage – burst and therefore cease to exist?