I was reading an interview with Stuart Foster, an East Coast blogger and social media strategist. One of the questions and associated responses struck a chord with me and got me thinking…

Brett Borders:"What are some predictions for the future of social media? What are two or three things that you think will happen?" 

Stuart Foster: “We’ll stop talking about social media for one. Social solutions will just be integrated into business in general. Models will change and rules will be broken…but social media will eventually go the way of email and just be integrated into everyday aspects of business."

Right now, Social Media, in its meaning as a form of online collaboration, is a movement of tremendous impact. As is typical with any serious changing of attitudes and behavior, you have the full and wide spectrum of advocates and skeptics. The vast chasm in between, represents the ebb and flow of discussion which takes place as the “convincors” take on the “convincees”, in a high profile duel of words and demonstration of strength. The result being; to determine if this movement and its associated PR, hype or buzz will become accepted in the mainstream or rebuffed to the curb like a discarded sweet wrapper. The former meaning that many “Social Media Gurus” will have to find a new Guru topic, as they pray on the uninformed and uninitiated.

The truth is that Social Media has always been around, in its various forms and guises, with the medium of communication simply evolving to become more effective and more useful to those who choose to act socially. The main point of contention is that the tools are simply becoming so effective, that those who have traditionally migrated around, finding loopholes that allow them to act under the radar of the social eye, find themselves backed into a corner with no-where to hide. And they don’t like it, at all.

In my mind – I want to be compared and contrasted to the competition. It gives me valuable insight and focus into continually improving my products and services. I can’t stand the responses I hear from Brand Marketers and Company Owners that want to control the social environment to such an extent that they want to be the only one taking part. They are blinkered and the net result is that their product suffers and as a result, so does the customer.

I truly hope that, as Stuart suggests, Social Media becomes a way of operating that is natural and expected from a business perspective, not a marketing add on or “nice to have”. I think it is inevitable, as community leaders in all areas stand up and be counted, by pioneering the community voice and forcing the change. It’s just a matter of time…