Lasting Benefits of Social Media?

Yesterday, I talked about how the value of face-to-face communication has not diminished in our online social media world.

BL Ochman talks about this concept and takes it a step further, reflecting on the sheer power of physical groups that remains for years down the road.

I think this is a very interesting point. I can recall many blogs or forums I have belonged to, that at the time had a cast of characters that became everyday members of your life. But as time moves on, either they do, or you do, and these “social” connections end up with no lasting impact.

In 2005 and early 2006 I read a Housing Bubble Blog every day, and was more interested in the opinions expressed via comments. I took a break from the site, and revisited it a few weeks back.

Ironically in some of the comments I read, people started asking what happened to some of the old members who were prolific contributors to the site, but have since left, most likely because their sleuthing of information about a potential housing bubble was no longer needed; the bubble had popped, so they moved on.

Evidently, the old comments were no longer available in archived form either. Robert Scoble recently talked about how his archives are now lost as well.

Even in community oriented sites, such as Facebook or MySpace: once people move on from one service or another, they often leave many “friends” as well.

The real legacy of social media has yet to be seen. But down the road, the lack of a lasting shared experience could downplay its importance and its benefit.


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