I know it has been a long hiatus since the last post. Rather than say I have been busy, I will just say I have been really busy.
Lately what I have been thinking about is what most people think about in this industry -- what are the latest trends, where is this all going? You would not think that New York City is the epicenter for tech or for creating new concepts, but it has always been the media capital of the world. To say that digital media is not important for any company is an understatement, which is why we are seeing so much activity from start-ups in New York. And I suspect this will grow even larger in the next 24 months as the adjustment to the economy set in.
As I have written about in the past, the NY Tech Meetup has become a must see event for techies and digital media mavens. And this October NY Tech pretty confirmed the trends and what Social Media 2.0 will be about – Groups. It is ironic to some extent because I remember when Google rolled out Google Groups in what seemed like an eternity ago. A service I still use with my college friends. So are we back where we started? Not quite. In most cases the history around these things usually has roots from something that already existed. Google was not the first search engine -- it was just the search engine the ended up being the best.
Now under the radar Facebook recently has rolled out a Groups feature and has failed miserably. Is it me or is it the more Microscoft syncs their teeth into this company, the more it fails at execution. But back to trends.
Two companies that stood out at the NY Tech Meet Up were Fast Society and GroupMe. Both these mobile applications allow you to create groups using your mobile phone to allow for group conversations and texting in real time. A company that is further down the line is Foursquare with this concept of checking in to places so friends can find you throughout the evening. The bottom line is these companies are thinking about social applications that help improve communication with our friends on a more intimate level.
I view this as the early Social Media 2.0, where we will be creating and crafting our own communities. The early versions of MySpace and Facebook were open communities where we pretty much give access to anyone we met. But with tools like GroupMe and Fast Society we are living inside groups, people that we talk to on a more frequent basis. In addition, it will be about connecting more with people that want to learn more about brands or products. It speaks that principal about having a conversation with our group/community.
Another reason groups are becoming more attractive is they are closed communities. Meaning we have greater control who we connect with. This is not to say that the current versions of social media will not exist, but the reality is we probably only really know or talk to 20% (80/20 applies everywhere doesn't it) of the people that we are friends on Facebook. But more and more I am seeing this trend of ideas around creating crafted communities and groups with mobile devices.