Erik Sass, a MediaPost blogger, wonders whether social media is becoming a bubble. He believes bubbles share five symptoms:
1. Media frenzy, characterized by breathless, only occasionally well-informed reporting.
2. Redundancy, with multiple companies doing more or less the same thing.
3. Volatility marked by the rapid rise and fall of companies.
4. Volatility marked by wild changes in the estimated values of companies.
5. Companies getting funding without revenues or business models.
The Onion, once again showing a keen sense of current cultural zeitgeist, seems to confirm his first symptom. Taking note of a recent New York Times article on Foursquare, they wrote:
"Foursquare is a little bit of everything-a friend-finder, a local city guide, an interactive mobile game," said company cofounder Dennis Crowley, as if reading from the same tired script used by every one of these Web 2.0 or whatever-the-fuck-they're-called startups. "But more than that, Foursquare is an [endless string of meaningless buzzwords we just couldn't bring ourselves to transcribe]."
Although it recently hit the million-user mark, Foursquare has yet to approach the vast subscriber base of Facebook and Twitter. But that all could change as people become increasingly reliant on the.okay, here, here, let me sum up this whole "news" story for you: Aging, scared newspapermen throw themselves at the latest mobile technology trend in a humiliatingly futile attempt to remain relevant.
There’s a steady stream of new media articles flowing from these aging scared newspapermen, a lot of them about services like Pandora. The Onion take on this phenomenon is a fresh perspective. Remember it next time you read the latest gushing article on Internet radio.