The label that is. Steve Rubel calls for the end of the use of social media because: “In 2006 all media went social.” Continues Rubel: “So as we roll into 2007, it’s fair to say that ‘social media’ as a separate entity is dead. This will only accelerate as individual publishers add employees and build networks of sites that compete with the big boys. Need proof? Look at what Om Malik and Michael Arrington accomplished this year.”
Yes, there’s certainly less and less distinction between social media and mainstream media, but it’s hard to believe a label can become extinct so quickly. And I suspect we will keep it around for a while, even if it’s only to explain how media has changed so dramatically in the last couple of years and credit those who introduced, uh, social media.
The more interesting question is what happens from here as bloggers become business owners with advertising revenue to protect. One of the most interesting characteristics of social media so far has been the number of distinct voices beholden to no one and willing to challenge everything. Do they go mainstream and lose their punch? As the technology-fueled distinction between mainstream and social media disappears, the new distinction may be between mainstream media and independent voices, how individuals move from one to the other, and where we choose, if we choose, to place our trust.