I remember that two years ago the we were all fussing about MySpace. Then last year we were all abuzz about Facebook. And this year the big thing is Twitter.
What this means for most of us is that we ought not fall in love with a particular social networking platform.
I don’t know what we’ll all be talking about next year yet. But I do know that it will be something new.
At this stage I have a glimmer that Google Wave might be part of the next big thing (Chris Penn‘s got some interesting thoughts on that). But I’m still waiting for my Wave beta invite so not sure on that personally.
One thing is certain, those who cling to brands & platforms in this space rather than focusing on good enough functionality, community, and just enough utility will be disappointed. Sometimes the product that captures the zeitgeist is not the best product (remember VHS versus Beta?).
An interesting lesson from Twitter is that not the best platform won. There were several similar competitors (e.g. Pownce or Jaiku) that had arguably better functionality. But they have fallen by the wayside.
What is important for businesses & individuals is how we can ensure that moving our data – relationships, contacts, information and messages – to the next big thing is not only possible, but relatively easy. Perhaps it’s time to think about that?