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Fads – we’ve all seen them. They come out of nowhere, become insanely popular for a few years, and then one day, they’re gone. There was Hula Hoops in the 50’s, tie-dye shirts in the 60’s and Disco in the 70’s. The Rubix Cube was all the craze in the 80’s and the 90’s saw the rise, and eventual fall of Pokemon.

As the first decade of the 2000’s comes to an end, what was the biggest fad of the last ten years? Street Racing? Energy Drinks? Reality TV? Some people have even said that Social Media sites have been the biggest fad in recent years. Well, I can’t tell you what the biggest fad of the 2000’s has been, but one thing I know for sure is that Social Media is not a fad – it is here to stay.


Technology Fads

Have you ever heard IBM Chairman Thomas Watson’s 1943 quote which stated “I think there is a world market for 5 computers.”? And I’m sure some of you remember Clifford Stoll’s 1995 Newsweek rant titled “The Internet? Bah!” –  an article that doubted the usefulness and future success of the Internet. Yeah, it sure is “useless”.

When it comes to technology, there will always be skeptics – and rightfully so. Most of the time they are short lived fads. The cool thing about technology is that it is constantly changing, evolving and improving. Look at the way we listen to music. It has evolved numerous times – from record players, to 8-tracks, tape players, CD players, MP3s, iPods…and who knows what will be next? But every once in a while, a technology comes along that is so powerful that it is destined to be much more than just a simple fad.

The Social Revolution

Many credit MySpace as being the first true Social Media or Social Networking site. It was launched all the way back in 2000, and since then we have seen the emergence of hundreds of other Social Media and Social Networking sites. World renowned marketer and author Erik Qualman recently published a book titled “Socialnomics: How Social Media transforms the way we live and do business” in which he analyzes the emergence and dominance of Social Media in today’s society. He compares the power of what he calls the “Social Revolution” to that of the Industrial Revolution.

Along with the release of the book, Qualman posted a video titled “Social Media Revolution” to YouTube. This video helps show the power of Social Media using…that’s right – Social Media. Enjoy.

So what do you think? Is Social Media a fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?