Is Social Media Content Really Content?

I saw two articles just recently that looked at the same topic from different angles. The topic in question is – is what we’re posting via social media meaningful, or just so much hot air?

The first article was a piece of research by Forrester suggesting that we’re using social media much more, but that we’re not creating any more content. The implication being, that we’re all just re-posting and gossiping rather than saying anything worthwhile. Specifically, the report says that between 2009 and 2010 the number of people on social networks increased by 11% in Europe, 18% in China, and 11% in Australia, although only 8% in the US. However none of these markets showed an increase in the number of people who create social content, according to Forrester.

It makes me wonder how we define content-makers. Is this only commercial content? What about all the bloggers writing in their spare time about their passions – whether that’s their day job, their hobby or their family. What about businesses who are creating content for their customers themselves, because they can’t afford – or find – their own social media manager yet? What about social media managers (ahem – plug), who create content for their clients, manage their online presence, build relationships with their customers, provide informative articles, answer tricky questions. Does their content count?

It seems to me that it’s dangerous to rely on statistics about what is essentially still quite a new industry. How do you know what your statistics are really measuring? Do Forrester really think that we’re all on social media sites with nothing to say? Or is it that content creation has been opened up to new people, who are not captured by the old statistics?

On a lighter note, Mashable had an article on the 11 top trends in web logo design. Take it with a pinch of salt, as you could cover most logos with the categories they’ve recommended, but it’s a good read. For those who don’t want to read the whole thing, the top three most over-used types are:

  1. Badges and buttons – you know, the rounded, shiny Apple type with gloss and shadows. See the new iTunes icon for the perfect example.
  2. Speech bubbles and megaphones – would any new social media site go without? How would people know that you can, like, talk on the site otherwise?
  3. Opacity (and translucency) – yes, graphics have improved massively. That doesn’t mean everything you can do with them is exciting. Get over it.

What are your pet hates in web graphics?

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