Steve Rubel has probably been the most vocal, and he adds this:
The problem with all of these balkanized phrases is that they connote that the content created by digitally empowered individuals is somehow bush league. It's like we're a separate entity from the rest of the so-called "mainstream" journalists, filmmakers, photographers, etc. who do what we do and get paid more for it. We sit in a special dish like leftover meatloaf so we need a special name. If you use these phrases you're unintentionally perpetuating that myth.
I've been chronicling the changes in media over the last three years on my blog and been in awe of it even longer. In 2004, 2005 and into 2006, as "we" became more influential, the phrases were helpful as the world began to take notice. But now, it's different. We've arrived.
Robert Scoble is one of the better-known bloggers. Adam Curry might be the most famous podcaster. If you ask 100 random Americans if they have heard of EITHER of these people, I will be shocked if more than 2-3 admit to knowing who either of them are. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if none of the 100 had heard of either of them.
It strikes me that this latest attempt to stop using the phrase 'social media' is more about ego and elitism than it is about accuracy. Do some people misuse the label, perhaps intentionally? Of course. But the bigger issue here is the accessibility of the idea. Blogs, podcasts, and other forms of created content that fall under the 'social media' umbrella are wonderful communication and expression tools. By giving them a label such as 'social media' (which IMO is still completely accurate), it makes it easier to spread the idea and concept to others. Why pull the rug out from under an idea that's starting to seep into the collective conscious on the nation, just as they appear to be understanding it?
What's more important, to expose as many people as possible to these ideas, so that they too can find and add their own voice to the conversation, or to be seen as the 'thought leader' that decided that the term was no longer worthy of us?
The label 'social media' makes the idea of these wonderful communication tools more accessible to the masses. That means more people are exposed to the concept of blogs and podcasts and other forms of social-media, and as a result, more people enter this space, and find and share their own voices with us.
More participation is a GOOD thing from where I sit. And I guess I get a bit cranky when I hear of anything that even hints at wanting to shut others off from having an invitation to this party.
UPDATE: Tony adds: "Social Media has arrived, its here to stay. Get used to it.
(repeat while chanting)."
Yep. Personally I'd rather hold the gate open than attempt to be a gatekeeper to this movement.
The Viral Garden, Marketing, Social Media