Definitive Social Media Aspect of 2008?

On his blog, Tom Raftery contemplates what Social Media will be defined by as we look back at 2008…

According to him, in 2004 we had blogs, 2005 brought audio podcasts, followed by video podcasts in 2006, and finally, 2007 was the year of microblogging.

He asks: “We are in November now of 2008 and I still don’t see any big transformative Social Media technology which has occurred this year. Has it stalled? What am I missing?”

This got me thinking… and I have two very different answers:

1. I disagree that 2007 was the year of microblogging. I would counter that 2007 was the year of the social network, with Facebook opening its doors to the general public in late 2006, and the continual growth of other sites like MySpace and LinkedIn.

That being said, I think 2008 could be the year of microblogging. It seems that everyone and their brother (and their brother’s business) has become a Twitter member, and the role of the site in the recent tragic Mumbai terrorist attack highlighted the platform’s reach and influence. And when Facebook comes knocking, to the tune of $500 million, and YOU TURN IT DOWN, you know you’re doing something right

2. Okay, so I know that I just told you that Twitter was the IT thing this past year, but there’s the thing, I don’t think it’s hit its peak yet… All though it has become a central part of my world, and probably yours, it still hasn’t been fully embraced by the public as a whole.

Given that, I really think that apps will be social media’s legacy in 2008. Seriously.

Think about it: Apple unveiled its app store for its iPhone, Facebook has been inundated with its app add-ons, and even LinkedIn has jumped on the bandwagon.

Companies realized that doing things the closed-off, aloof way is just sooo 2007. Instead, 2008 brought a spirit of openness and partnership… or at least the realization that it might be worth it to disclose some proprietary knowledge so that developers, both amateur and professional, can learn your product, become an evangelist, and help your site extend its capabilities — for free! Pure genius.

So there you have it. That’s my take.

Now it’s your turn: What do you believe to be the definitive social media aspect of 2008?

  • Mike Smith

    I think you’re absolutely correct. Last year was definitely social networking and this year was more microblogging and apps. Spot on what I would have said.

    Good post. Can’t believe 09 is already here. time flies

  • Julie Minevich


    I’m honored that you agree! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment – it was a great reminder that I wanted to get your blog ( onto my blogroll.


  • Michael

    I think you’re absolutely right about 2007, Julie. I also agree that this year was the year of apps – but I would broaden that and say it is more than just apps. It is about modularized content, both in the form of apps but also widgets.

    While microblogging hasn’t hit its peak yet, I think next year will be about an even bigger trend: platforms (such as Facebook Connect) and aggregators (such as

  • Julie Minevich


    Glad that you think I’m on the right track. πŸ™‚

    You also completely stole the topic for an upcoming post – “what to expect for social media’s future”, which I started drafting last night!

    I absolutely believe that next year we’ll see the consolidation (or at least further integration) of all these different networks.

    I can’t give too much away, but I’ll say that great minds think alike!

    Thanks for your thoughts!