The Real Winners In Social? Content Publishers!

Thanks to iMediaConnection For Publishing this First!

I have a pet peeve about the term social media. Social is a marketing style, not a medium. The real value of social is helping people talk about things that matter to them, not informing me that my friend Paul is eating bacon right now.

The power of social becomes evident on sites like consumerist, where shoppers’ problems get solved by both exposure and people power.

It becomes evident on HuffPost when a blog post about an issue creates fiery debate. Debate that extends beyond the pages of HuffPost into communities like FaceBook, into Meebo, and wherever else the message can spread.

It becomes clear when people share their POV on what MP3 player to buy, whether to buy an iPad or wait for the Android, and whether to rush out and see that new Jen Aniston movie. Those discussion can occur on brand pages, or in forums on CNET. Or in both. Or in neither. It occurs where it occurs organically.

In my view, the real winners of social are going to be content sites that use social as a way of driving stickiness, community and passion. THESE are the places where important conversations are most likely to take place. And that’s a good thing because content sites will be able to monetize their socialized environments better.

Every time we say social media, I think we enable a misperception that there is a special class of places and sites for social marketing. When the reality is that we need to think about empowering social everywhere, but especially in places that re most likely to attract passionate thought leaders. And THAT means content sites.