Some more thoughts on Gary Vanerchuck’s “there’s no such thing as social media”

by Kate Brodock on 7 January 2012

Posted in: Discussion

I took a few minutes to layout initial thoughts to @garyvee’s suggestion that there’s no such thing as social media, and that social media was the same thing as the internet.

Here’s the two-minute clip of his thoughts:

I have a few more refined thoughts on the matter here:

[Please note, I'm going to ignore the fact that the internet is actually the network upon which everything we're really talking about rests on. Minor technicality, I'll let it slide.]

Yes, social media has gotten to be a very broad word, maybe too big for it’s britches, and applied to a lot of different things.

I agree that the term “social media” has lost meaning since we started using it years ago.  Everything’s social media this, social media that, new tools pop up every day, and people use the term “social media” for a TON of internet “things” out there.

No, social media is not the same as the internet. It’s about whole vs part.

Even so, there is still a difference between social media and the internet, and that’s the social part.  Social media, as I said, still encompasses the parts of the internet that allow you to connect directly (and usually publicly) with others.  I can be on a website that gives me no option to connect to anyone else directly, unless I choose to email that URL to someone, or copy/paste into Tweetdeck and share it.  I took part in a social media act by getting that URL onto Twitter, but it doesn’t mean

I think what he means is that social aspects are making their way into more and more parts of the internet.

I get what Gary’s saying.  But what’s really happening is that social features are being integrated into more and more parts of your online experience.

The internet is becoming so social, that there are now much fewer places online that are not social, that don’t give us options to connect with others immediately and directly.  Soon, the internet may be completely social, there will be no point to keep using the word “social media” because it encompasses everything that’s happening on the internet, and we can come up with the next big huge word to describe something phenomenal and earth breaking.


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