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Collective Wisdom:    Some expert thinking on five social media questions as we enter 2012

1. What surprised you the most about social media in 2011 and how has it affected your planning for 2012?

1. What surprised you the most about social media in 2011 and how has it affected your planning for 2012?

Visit Jeff Bullas's blog
Jeff Bullas
2011 started with everything much the same with the Facebook monolith dominating. The 7 surprises in 2011: 1 In July Google+ launched. The record growth of a new social network that no one apparently wanted, it reached 25 million users in less than 30 days. 2 Facebook rolled out a stronger visual format for its user interface with its much more engaging “Timeline”. 3 The rise of the micro blogging platform Tumblr (10 million to 90 million users in 12 months). 4 The emergence of the visual online pinboard, Pinterest. 5 The explosion of the social apps on Facebook. 6 Popularity of the infographic. 7 Revival of Stumbleupon. Planning will focus on developing content for a more visual and social web

Visit Mitch Joel's blog
Mitch Joel
Twist Image
Six Pixels of Separation
Nothing really surprised me all that much this year. In fact, I would argue that we've been running full boar for so long now that the excitement seems to be slowing down as we move into the very hard work or ensuring that Social Media works across the organization and does not get ghettoized into a solitary silo. The planning for 2012 is all about helping brands to leverage these social channels in a way to create better and more profound direct relationships with their clients. It's less about whether Facebook or YouTube are more powerful and much more about understanding "who" these customers are and how to best connect with them in a way that resonates.

Visit Seth Godin's blog
Seth Godin
Seth's Blog
I think the relentlessly ebbing of perceived privacy is happening faster than most people thought it would. This is leading to both small pockets of frustrated, trapped people who are afraid of what's known about them, and a larger portion of the population that's redefining what they think is normal. We haven't had privacy for decades, but the social web is making that really clear.

Visit Linda Bustos's blog
Linda Bustos
Elastic Path Software
Get Elastic
I have to say Google Plus. I notice that retweets of my blog's articles are down since it's launch, understandably, especially since Google Reader removed other sharing options in favor of the Plus button. This poses a couple challenges - can I compare today's Twitter engagement scores to last year's? How do I reconcile this in my social analytics? And, do I need to invest as much time in this new network as Twitter? Is it the same audience? Is doubling up tweets/shares going to hurt my social networking efforts? I'm also surprised that there's room for another social network. This and new sites like Pinterest show us there's still room for new social networks, provided they offer something Twitter and Facebook don't.