Emergent Social Media

Four major types of social media (SM), according to Patti Anklam are:

  • Media SMnews, commentary & opinions
  • Customer SM – listening to customers, responding to market needs
  • Enterprise SMprovide the conditions for enabling knowledge & action to emerge
  • Personal SM – learning, creating, co-creating, sharing, weaving

Patti also asks, what’s the fifth SM? — “the networked, community, purposeful use of social media to bind networks, causes, and events.” Ideas include: Cause; Crowd & Community SM. My suggestion would be Emergent SM, because it is not separate but a result of activities in the other four.

Learning is described as an essential part of Personal SM but really it is part of all four. In networks, learning cannot be pulled out as a separate activity. We have to stop thinking of learning as a separate thing/area/silo. As I have said before, when you learn with and from your customers, learning and marketing are the same. Perhaps getting rid of the L word is a start. It’s all learning.

Here’s my perspective:

Personal SM facilitates cooperation in networks. It is self-directed.

Enterprise SM enables collaboration inside the organization and focuses on shared objectives.

Media & Customer SM are specialized areas for certain organizational objectives and are market focused.

Emergent SM develops as continuous learning, co-creating & sharing become the norm, at the individual, organizational and market level. As Esko Kilpi states:

Complex organizations are neither products of random experimentation, nor can they be perfectly designed beforehand  and managed efficiently top down. The Internet could not have been designed top down, nor can any living organism be planned from outside.

What is going on in these cases is called emergence. Interaction itself has the capacity to create emergent structure, coherence, consistency and change.

Emergent SM is the combination of self-directed learners and learning organizations who connect as a network that learns: Networking = Learning

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