There is some kind of a social media bubble. Not as much in a financial sense as in a conceptual sense. If you’re (over)using Friendfeed, Twitter, Wordpress, Wikipedia etc. you slowly begin to believe that this is the world. Maybe a bit larger than Silicon Valley, but no more than a global village.
Many Startup enterprises are trying to sell solutions for problems created by other startups’ products. And in the line, there’s the next startup waiting to tackle the problems this new solutions generate. Of course, I am living in this social media world and so, the whole thing doesn’t look half as gloomy. Summize has been no more than a fix for one of Twitter’s shortcomings - it had no search. But, don’t forget, it has been a solution to a Twitter problems.
The number of people on this planet having Twitter related problems still is small.
So, instead of incrementally looking for solutions of solutions of solutions, the foremost task should be to expand the bubble. The task is to find “real-life” problems, that can be tackled with Twitter, Friendfeed and the like. Problems, that can be better be handled with social software than with other means. This would really be crossing the chasm.
Of course, the punchline is, that with more and more people using social media because even a mainstream user is able to integrate “the entire experience into his life/work”, as Alexander van Elsas just remarked on Friendfeed, more people have social media related problems that call for new incremental solutions (see above).
And more than that: it’s not only about integrating social media into daily life, this sounds like social media were some kind of a foreign body that has to be integrated. No, it should be an enlargement of your experience, something that gives you an indispensable addition to your life. Your real life.
And with this enlargement/extension thought, we’re back with Marshall McLuhan who once said that all media are extensions of human senses. Social media has the potential to be an extension of our social senses and not just a Silicon Valley fad.