Is Facebook and Social Media close to “Jumping the Shark”?


Back in the 1990’s a term came about when a Television show took one (1) step past its importance, reaching absurdity, or unlikely characterizations.  The term was invented by Jon Hein, who explained the terms as

"It’s a moment. A defining moment when you know that your favorite television program has reached its peak. That instant that you know from now on…it’s all downhill. Some call it the climax. We call it “Jumping the Shark”. From that moment on, the television program will simply never be the same”

Now stop to think about this term, and how it relates not just to television shows, but to all things.  I am hearing, reading, and observing IT people, Retail Marketing firms, and various Industry Analysts all talk about how Social Media is now critical for any businesses future success, how Facebook’s revenue stream will be impacted by the “socialization” of everything we buy and recommend.  I know it is true, I know it is the way everything is going, but for some reason I have a feeling that maybe the claims are too outrageous for the majority of companies, and that the “Shark” is about to be jumped. 

Performing a Google search for “Social Media Companies” returns 56,900,000 results.  Now there are not 56 million companies, but everyone is trying to cash in on the Social Media phenomenon, and perhaps the outrageous claims by so called “Social Media Experts” about millions of dollars of potential revenue, tens of thousand of new customer opportunities, and other outrageous claims, could have this topic on the verge of “Jumping the Shark”.

Now I know your saying, “Richard, your wrong.  We just started to scratch the surface of this “Social Media” thing, and we have a ways to go.  For me, a true believer that business transactions still have a “people” aspect to it, I think Social Media is very important, critical in fact to establishing your brand, and linking close customer ties.  But is does not replace the intimacy necessary with many company’s B2C (Business to Customers) and B2B (Business to Business) relationships.  B2F (Business to Facebook) or B2T (Business to Twitter) will not replace the traditional communication channels, but augment them with additional lines of marketing and sales opportunities. 

What I am saying, is given at all the hype and false statements, the real message gets lost, becomes unbelievable, and that could lead to the “Jump the Shark” point.  I hope this does not happen, and I think it has some time before the tipping point is reached, but it looks like we might be approaching the ramp….

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