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Predicting the future of social media

The Nieman Journalism Lab asked me to contribute to its series looking ahead to what 2012 will bring for journalism.

For my contribution, I suggested that the excitement and hype over social media may start dying down in the coming year, and this is something to be welcomed.

My argument draws from Roy Amara‘s First Law of Technology:

With every change in technology that affects consumer behaviour, We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.

In my post, I suggest:

Technologies reach their full potential when we forgot about the novelty. Instead they become boring and blend into the background. How often do we think about the technology behind the telephone, or the television set in our living room?

With any luck, this is what will happen with social media. Social media tools and services will be so ingrained within our everyday experiences that we forget that they are such recent developments.

Essentially, the technology will become invisible as we shape it to meet our political, social, and cultural needs.

Read the full post at the Nieman Journalism Lab.

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