Terms We Love to Miss (hate)

April 17th, 2011

Do you remember the days without social media? Really? It’s tough. I worked at a small digital agency in 2004 and we barely discussed it. This was also the year of “Web 2.0″, the term closely associated with Tim O’Reilly and the conference. I distinctly remember writing a proposal and using the term. The client called us to the table and asked that we stop using buzzwords (I can’t remember who the client was or I would totally call them out here).

At the agency, we spent most of our time designing and developing websites. There was more than enough work in this area. It was a small enough place that we all did a bit of everything. The “you can’t hide” belief was alive and well. These websites weren’t social, they were functional. We prided ourselves in creating “utility”. Yes, also a popular term and still is today. Although Facebook launched the same year, (Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dormitory room on February 4, 2004), it would be a while before we all started paying attention.

Someone sent me an email over the weekend asking my opinion about Facebook for brands. I believe Facebook is distinctly non-social unless the idea directly supports the reasons we are there in the first place. And I mean directly. This is not an easy task. Here’s a question for you – what was the most successful commercial Facebook brand application launched to date? Farmville doesn’t count. Don’t Google it. What immediately comes to mind? And you can’t name it if you haven’t used it.

The answers are about as impossible as a week without someone using the term social media. Web 2.0 is rarely used. The term New Media dates you about as fast as your first concert being ACDC (yes, that’s mine). When will social media stop being mentioned?

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