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Is ‘Social Media’ becoming a tired term?

August 4, 2009

I have social media in my job title at work as that’s a convenient way of succinctly summarizing what I do.  Or is it?   

Several years ago, “Social Media” was a convenient term to bundle together a variety of web based platforms and tools that created ways for individuals to create and publish their own content, to interact with others, and to manage and organize content for easier consumption by themselves and others.    

I suppose that is still a fair definition, but as many of these technologies and platforms become increasingly mainstream,  they no longer reflect something new and separate that needs to be labeled, discussed, and analyzed apart from the way people and business function primarily operate.     As such, perhaps working in this space isn’t uniquely a job function best defined by these social tools.

As this continues to evolve, does “social media” fade away as an all encompassing term?  Will Facebook, Twitter and their like become self explanatory terms the way Television, Radio, and the newspaper are today?   

So, does social media still fit?   If not, what is it evolving into -what’s the new superset term?

Update:  I appear to be a little over a month late with this thought.  Steve Woodruff posted along the same lines, and did a much more credible job back in June.    I do think that personal and business objectives will move to the forefront, and focus on venue, tools, measures as objectives unto themselves will fade into the background.    I’ve got to think about what is the core of my business value and rethink my own personal branding.  Social is the venue at the moment, but it’s really just a most recent iteration of what I do, which is probably to analyze needs and foster positive change – I’m a fixer, perhaps…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. vijaysaradhi permalink
    August 4, 2009 2:28 pm


    I still believe there is place for social media which encompasses facebook,twitter and the likes…the Open ID system adapted by various networks to provide seamless data sharing proves this..Social media will prevail in the end,regardless of whichever platform the user chooses.

    I would rather say it can be a super social media or ultimate social media in the end 🙂

  2. August 6, 2009 8:10 am

    mark –

    ‘social media’ may not be a tired term but i’m getting tired of hearing it.   it’s starting to rank up there with ‘global warming’ and ‘green’ in the world of overused, under-understood terms.

    the moniker “project manager of social media” sounds too vague to me.   you’re much more specific in your goals.   i’d go with something along the lines of…

    – director of customer collaboration
    – VP of discussion fostering
    – executive VP, swiss army knife™ skillset department
    – senior VP, online customer communication network

    while somewhat in jest, you can quickly see how business job titles aren’t easy to create without sounding like you’re paid too much for what you do.   it’s like the janitor who gets to be the “executive VP of custodial services.”

    there IS a way to find a good moniker for what you do… you’ll simply have to compile a list of keywords/phrases describing your role and formulate a title from the top two or three.

    don’t feel bad though.   i haven’t found a job title for myself yet and am never sure how to answer the question when asked.   “graphic and industrial designer” sounds too specific and “swiss army knife” too vague.   somewhere there is a middle ground.   “executive VP of design, engineering, and collaboration” sounds fancy.   hmm…


  3. June 17, 2013 12:43 am

    Great article. I’m experiencing some of these issues as well..

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