First of all thanks to Jackie Danicki for chairing Social Media Group London this time around at Fleishman Hillard's offices on Longacre. It was interesting to catch up with some people that I knew like Stephen and meet some people that I kind of knew but hadn't met before like Stuart Bruce.
There were a number of themes that came out of the discussion that I found of interest:
- In terms of online media consumption patterns, about two thirds to three quarters of the attendees had reached a post-RSS stage in their online media consumption. Typically they had went through subscribing to hundreds of feeds, reached information overload and pared them right back
- Often they used a friends blog as as a meta filter for content, a kind of very tailored BoingBoing. Given that the attendees are likely to be high media consumers and early adopters this is an interesting trend to watch out for
- There was a corresponding decline in the 'trust' that these users assigned to both mainstream and narrowcast media. Film reviews were cited as a classic example, some of the participants were no longer willing to accept pundits viewpoints and instead wanted to only trust very close friends
- This concept of shrinking the community was discussed around Facebook, in line with the real-world analogy of a village how should marketers handle the parochial monoculture perpetuated on such closed communities?
- The challenge of surfacing quality free content was mentioned: how do you find the content that you want if it hasn't been recommended by a close friend? Flickr's interestingness seemed to be making in the right direction. There was a suggestion of a market-based engine of sorts. However, what happens if everyone wants to benefit and no one wants to participate (like the post-RSS culture)?
- What is participation? - What would be considered to be consumption patterns in old media (like reading a newspaper or watching television) was considered to be participation in new media. Many of the participants didn't see the contradiction, which I found to be an curious viewpoint