This is a piece o’ history document that rings so true to my personal experience that I have to say danah boyd is both lucid and clairvoyant! Social Media is Here to Stay… Now What?
Here’s one of the best snips from the document:
Many who build technology think that a technology’s feature set is the key to its adoption and popularity. With social media, this is often not the case. There are triggers that drive early adopters to a site, but the single most important factor in determining whether or not a person will adopt one of these sites is whether or not it is the place where their friends hangout.
This supports what more of us are saying every day “If you build it they probably won’t come.” You can’t believe how many times my customers have looked at me with disbelief (and even fired my consulting firm) because I told them they should adopt an incremental approach rather than launch a full-blown social site on their own.
The uptake of social media is quite different than the uptake of non-social technologies. For the most part, you don’t need your friends to use Word to find the tool useful. You do need your friends to use email for it to be useful, but, thanks to properties of that medium, you don’t need them to be using Outlook or Hotmail to write to them. Many of the new genres of social media are walled gardens, requiring your friends to use that exact site to be valuable.
And my advice on this is “Build your brand and then take your brand to where folks are hanging out.” If they’re on Facebook, then build a Facebook app, or a fan page, rather than trying to get them to come to your website and hang out there.
 Yes, all lower case letters. She is one today’s most prominent researchers of social media.
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