It is inevitable. At every workshop I present someone will inevitably ask, "Is social media just a fad?" or "What is coming next?" These are great questions. It means we are paying attention and preparing ourselves. From both a business stand point and a personal stand point, what is next is exciting.
In my opinion, web 2.0 and the evolution of social media has been about starting the conversation, opening the dialogue, developing the tools, and allowing industry experts and social networking lovers to separate the good from the bad. With web 3.0, small businesses and organizations are getting in on the conversation, learning how to use it to build our followings, and compete on a scale never before realistically attainable. Studies and surveys galore have been done to show us what social networks our audiences use and how they use them, giving us unbelievable precision in our target marketing.
Not to mention, social networks are branching off everywhere. Instead of being overwhelmed and intimidated by this, we should see the opportunity in it. There are social networks for just about any hobby or interest. I, for instance, love 'sampling' wine and am therefore on the social network http://www.corkd.com/. If you have a vineyard or sell wine and wine accessories, how awesome for you to have a perfect niche to advertise and engage followers.
This is where we are reminded of the importance of observation in social media. Listening and watching gives us even more opportunities. Have we listened to what people are saying about our competitors? Are we monitoring that activity?