Will Commerce Be The Death of Social Media?

Over at OpenBusiness, Charlie Leadbetter asks whether social media will be a victim of its own success.
His short hypothesis is that many view social media as being stuck between a rock …

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15th December 2006 at 10:28 pm

Over at OpenBusiness, Charlie Leadbetter asks whether social media will be a victim of its own success.

His short hypothesis is that many view social media as being stuck between a rock and a hard place. It’s either on the verge of a bursting bubble, or it’s about to be ruined by the root of all evil.

If deals like Google’s partnership with YouTube do not pay off then the social networking craze will be seen to be over hyped, not worth the money being invested in it. Yet many will argue that if it does pay off it will also be bad, because the community will lose its bearing and becomes a slave to commerce.

The latter half of the 20th Century is proof that community can lose its bearings in the face of grand commercialism, the corporation and a broadcast ethos.

The first half of the 21st Century, however, will be characterised by commerce losing its bearing in the face of community. Technology is allowing us all to rediscover the commons like never before and the broadcast model is dying. That is why small business will be the big business of this century, something Prof Richard Scase believes in, not to mention Seth Godin.

Community and commerce is like sex. It works best when it’s an intimate exchange. That’s why an open business model has a future.

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Alex is the founder and editor of SmallBizPod, the UK's first podcast dedicated to small business, start-ups and entrepreneurship. Alex writes about topical small business issues, entrepreneurs and anything else that catches his eye here on the small business blog. http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk

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