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  • http://twitter.com/mnburgess Mark Burgess

    Avoiding the “sledgehammer” effect of intrusive advertising ranks up there for me. As a source of information, traditional advertising continues to decline. The “pull effect” of social media a welcome change.

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  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jfavreau jamiefavreau

    I have to agree. I have been actively involved in social media since about 97. Back then it was just an IM but then I saw it move to message boards and everything else. I have embraced technology and have had some success with media relations which I never thought would happen. I am a sports connoisseur and to be able to converse to the people who bring the news is great from a media relations stand point.

  • http://www.theprdoc.com Jim Bowman

    You have identified the enablers well, Jeff. As I read this, I thought of a speech I wrote in the mid-1990s about broadband technology. We included a reference to faxing to add some perspective on adoption rates of new technologies.

    When we queried the audience regarding when the first patent was issued for fax technology, most pegged it sometime in the 1970s, and the more daring people went back as far as the 1940s.

    The first such patent was issued in London in 1843 to Alexander Bain for “improvements in producing and regulating electric currents and improvements in timepieces and in electric printing and signal telegraphs.” That was 30 years before we had phones.

    The enablers for the fax, particularly ubiquitous phone service and high bandwidth, required more than a century to evolve. I’m glad things move faster now.

    Jim Bowman

  • http://www.danielnestle.com Dan Nestle

    Nice list Jeff. I also think the global financial crisis accelerated the spread and adoption of social media. Combined with your factors above, I’d guess that there were a few business trends that led to the perfect social media storm:

    1. Unemployment: so many knowledge workers (strategists, planners, researchers) were let go in 2007-9, and they naturally turned to social media to fulfill an intellectual curiosity, or find new jobs, or network with like-minded people
    2. Budget cuts: Companies needed to (and still need to) spend far less than ever before on marketing and PR; the marketers who were left after the purges gravitated toward social media.

    I experienced both of these (still experiencing #1) – and I think there’s still a ways to go before we see the perfect storm end.


  • Sam Makhoul

    Its also because we do not live in a local village anymore. So this is the next best way to connect.

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  • http://wealthstreamnetworker.com/ J. Gregory

    Hey Jeff,
    Great article; really enjoyed it! Social Media has certainly evolved and is here to stay. It has become essential to all businesses’ marketing plans.

    J. Gregory

  • http://www.evins.com Glenn Johnson

    Great overview, I think it’s so important to add context to the warp-speed of technology and apps today, sometimes we can view the future a bit more clearly by taking a look at our recent past.

    I worked with The Palace software of avatar chat back in ’97 on chat rooms which we thought was pretty revolutionary back then, I just clicked around to see that they’re still round, and interestingly Robert Duffy’s vision for the new http://www.marcjacobs.com website isn’t too far off from those original avatars. Talking with Diana Hong from CreateTheGroup at a panel on Social Media I just moderated at NY’s Soho House, she explained that while some didn’t “get it” others embraced the execution of this familiar-looking technology (their avatars are based upon actual sales people at his stores). Some things change, some things remain the same.

    I think its worth noting the brands that brought us here too, the introduction of the iMac in ’98, the “i” stood for internet, and while adoption for Mac vs. PC is a separate conversation–what it did do was in 2 steps, allow users to log on to the internet (no modem?!) easily and intuitively. You couldn’t go to your mailbox at one point without getting a CD Rom from AOL inviting you to join their service, remember when AOL and “You’ve Got Mail” was cool?!

    Those marquis brands spent millions to make us all aware of the technology your chronology so succinctly outlines, and helped us all join the bandwagon, quickening the pace of adoption and demand (iPhone 5 anyone?)

    Glenn Johnson

  • sawa barka

    People generally want to keep abrest with technology ans as a result, follow as it evolves. Its a changing world and not following means being left behind. If other users are getting ahead in their businesses by by being on the social media why would u want to stay off the social media?

  • http://www.barloweinteractive.com John Barlowe

    Nice, Jeff – as usual. Social media had no choice but to happen. With a gargantuan, worldwide network of humans all connected, what else could have happened but the explosive growth and increased creativity of communication on that network.

  • Birdie Newborn

    The factor I see is the switch from the funnel approach of publishers and media outlets, who filter out what they consider to be “noise” and deliver only the “best” as they see it. The arbiters, however, are locked into the framework of what was news or what sold well last year or last month. They are behind the crest of the waves.

  • http://www.englishtrackers.com/en/services/editing Online English Editing

    If Internet opened us a wider door to the world, then the social media links all of us in this world.

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  • http://twitter.com/sudhanshu_80 Sudhanshu Saxena

    Great article.

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  • http://twitter.com/AnnDruce Ann Druce

    The trend to smaller businesses and owner-managed businesses (also facilitated by developments in technology and the internet) have lead to more people looking to empower themselves wih information and opportunities to market their businesses.

  • http://twitter.com/D_Sophisticate Digital Sophisticate

    Excellent article. But I wish the video weren’t “Private” and would let us watch it, too. Great point here, regardless, Jeff!

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      I will see if I can sort that out. Thanks for pointing it out

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