LONDON – The smoke is clearing and the bandstand is empty as the crews begin sweeping up the park after the big event – the emergence of social media as a foundation-shaking paradigm that would change everything in how people communicate and influence each other.
Of course, that’s horseshit. Social media has indeed enhanced many aspects of social communication, but the real question is: is it delivering an improved result, or a qualitatively and quantitatively better experience?
Some results are starting to come in – PepsiCo’s well-documented plunge head first into the social media pool is complete. This is a superb example of “the project” succeeding and generating great numbers and winning awards (not unlike a lot of employee engagement stuff) – and the tangible results being, erm, not so good.
It didn’t work.
Clearly, social communication that is technologically mediated is here to stay (and it has been here for a lot longer than Facebook) – and for some things, it might be better, or faster, or more fun. I’m no Luddite, but the jury is still out on this one.