The Evolution of Social Media
For those who think social media is a fad, a fast-forward overview of thirty years of social media history should provide some perspective. The article takes us through the ever-shifting ways we have used social media tools to connect with each other through several decades. I think it provides ample evidence that we are evolving ever newer ways of connecting and communicating.
As Clay Shirky pointed out in the book Here Comes Everybody,
"Every webpage is a latent community. Each page collects the attention of people interested in its contents, and those people might well be interested in conversing with one another too. In almost all cases the community will remain latent, either because the potential ties are too weak, or because the people looking at the page are separated by too wide a gulf of time, and so on."
In several ways I think that Google's Sidewiki is a step toward recognizing the potential of "community" in every web page.
As Shirky indicated, we are continuing to experiment with various ways to use these new communication tools. And they will continue to evolve. The article from Cameron Chapman at WebDesignerDepot is a real help in providing perspective.