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October 13, 2008
The State of Social Media 2008

I’ve been on a recent whirlwind speaking tour recently, sharing and learning all things related to the socialization of marketing and service as well as how to measure these new strategies and tactics. From San Diego to New York to SF back to New York and then Vegas and SF again, I was reminded that no matter how grand an expert one purports to be, the truth is that we’re all still trying to figure this out as it continually changes – together. I’m not talking about what to do or how, but what must be done in order to ensure that this global renaissance paves the way for permanent residence in every media property and business through value, education, and reform.


The world of Socialized Media is maturing and along with it, our knowledge, expertise, reach, and personal and represented brands are only flourishing. It will continue as long as we realize that these new social tools and networks require an entirely new commitment and embodiment of what we personify and how we can be a genuine resource to the people who define the communities that are important to us.


In Technorati’s 2008 State of the Blogosphere report, the company observed that blogging is becoming mainstream, leading the way for an Active Blogosphere - defined as the ecosystem of interconnected communities of bloggers and readers at the convergence of journalism and conversation. I’d also add that as the Active Blogosphere further permeates our daily information consumption and distribution processes, that the Social Web equally becomes pervasive. But, it’s so much more than an Active SocialMediaSphere. As networks become densely populated and new communities arise and thrive, we're experiencing a fundamental shift in content creation, distribution, and consumption, thus creating an Active and Participatory Media society that is inspiring and seeding a more literate and enlightened generation.



Blogs and social networks are now part of our daily lives.


* comScore MediaMetrix (August 2008)

- Blogs: 77.7 million unique visitors in the US

- Facebook: 41.0 million | MySpace 75.1 million

- Total internet audience 188.9 million


* eMarketer (May 2008)

- 94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (50% of Internet users)

- 22.6 million US bloggers in 2007 (12%)


* Universal McCann (March 2008)

- 184 million WW have started a blog | 26.4 US

- 346 million WW read blogs | 60.3 US

- 77% of active Internet users read blogs




YouTube = 10 percent of all internet traffic (source: Ellacoya Networks)


YouTube & Wikipedia among top brands (source: brandchannel.com)


Five of the top 10 websites are social (source: Alexa)


Over 100 million blogs exist (source: Technorati)


120,000 new blogs launched every day (source: Technorati)


1.5 million posts per day (17 per second) (source: Technorati)

Everyone is a Social Media Expert

You’re a purveyor of new media, but then again, so is everyone else it seems. So what are you going to do to rise above the fray while also delivering true, incontestable value to those you’re helping?
Are you an evangelist or a consultant?
Are you an extension of your company brand or are you an employee?
Are you a leader, follower, or are you meandering through your profession?
Are you confined to the role of a social marketer or do you represent something with longer-term value?
At the end of the day, everything that’s transpiring around us is actually improving the existing foundation for our business, from service to marketing to product development to sales to executive management, and everything in between.
Social marketing revitalizes and empowers every facet of our workflow and its supporting ecosystem. Seeing the bigger picture and tying our knowledge to the valuable feedback from our communities will help us guide businesses towards visibility, profitability, relevance and ultimately customer loyalty.
In every single case, it doesn’t just take an expert; it requires a champion to make an impact.
You are that champion.

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Brian Solis is the author of "Engage," a new book that helps businesses build, cultivate, and measure success in social media. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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