Colin Walker

on social media, tech, blogging and the internet.

Is the term ‘Social Media’ dead?

Social media, open communication, user generated content – there’s no denying that the way we use the web has been changing but is too much emphasis being placed on the label for change?

The joy of the internet is its ability to allow us to connect with each other irrespective of distance and the recent wave of services was dubbed “social” due to the way it lets us directly interact much like a “real world” community.

Some people, however, are questioning the validity or relevance of the term social media. Does it accurately reflect the services we use or is it just an over-used, meaningless buzzword that has no place in our terminology? Some like to refer to it as “new media”, others like Chris Hambly for example prefer the term “open communication”.

Today’s question, therefore is: what name do you prefer?

What term do you think most accurately reflects the services we are using? Please choose from the options in the survey below or feel free to add your own suggestions. If you want to explain your choices then comments can be added directly to the survey or on the post itself.


April 20, 2008 - Posted by | Social Media |


  1. Hey Colin,

    You make a good point; same thing I’ve been questioning too. I can’t yet figure out the term, but I think that social media isn’t it.

    We’ve had social media before (think BBS, CB radio)- so it’s not the first. I keep going back to Web – no media, just Web – that’s all it is; just the net effect of all things Web today…

    Comment by Lid | April 20, 2008 | Reply

  2. The problem is, we as humans generally demand classification so that we can stick things in nice little boxes – not ideal but there you go.

    Comment by Colin | April 20, 2008 | Reply

  3. I think what sucks the most is that people that see this post may be protective of the term “Social Media” because they are also ones that are preaching the term daily.

    If you want the gods honest is still ‘internet marketing’ that has infiltrated social arenas.

    Definition of internet marketing “Leveraging the Internet as a means of communicating a company’s messaging, attracting prospects and customers, and conducting market research.”

    Comment by spostareduro | April 21, 2008 | Reply

  4. Yea I really can’t see it being something worth arguing about… although I do find it amusing that the phrase web 3.0 is popping up every now and again… with as much ambiguity as web 2.0 had…

    Comment by Laurence | April 21, 2008 | Reply

  5. I honestly don’t care what it’s called. However, social media just fits in my mind. It’s media that I’m using to socialize through first and foremost.

    Comment by Corvida | April 21, 2008 | Reply

  6. @spostareduro,

    Totally agree that some may just want to protect the “social media” name as many have invested a lot in it. As far as internet marketing goes, however, that’s okay for business but what about Joe User? The description doesn’t really fit.

    Comment by Colin | April 23, 2008 | Reply

  7. […] this context I asked “Is the term ’social media’ dead?“ to gauge the feeling around the subject. While the responses were limited they give an […]

    Pingback by Colin Walker » Can the leopard change its spots? | April 25, 2008 | Reply

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