Social Media Models

I set out to create the exhaustive list of social networks but only got exhausted. Wikipedia lists nearly 200 active sites and I found another 100 or so without difficulty. As I thought about it, it’s such an evolving landscape that this snapshot would become outdated the minute I hit “Publish”.

Since a picture is worth 1000 words, I thought one would be a better of way of depicting this information. What have others done previously? As it turns out, an image search for “Social Media” or “Social Network” turns up a bunch. Here are a few I like.

In October 2007, Robert Scoble did a video defining the Social Media Starfish. In his definition, “Conversions” are in the center and they are surrounded by the following 12 arms: Blogs, Photos, Videos, Personal social networks, Events, Email, White label social networks, Wikis, Audio, Microblogs, SMS and Collaborative tools.

Darren Barefoot created the following illustration of it for Scoble.

Social Media Starfish

Seven months later in June 2008, Fred Cavazza created the following diagram to describe the social media landscape. In his view, social media has the following 10 elements: Publish, Share, Discuss, Social Networks, Microblog, Lifestream, Livecast, Virtual Worlds, Social Games, MMO.

Social Media Landscape

In August 2008, Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas worked together to create the Conversation Prism to map the social media landscape. Over time, social media expands, evolves and morphs. Solis and Thomas recently release the following graphic as their third version of the Conversation Prism released. Their tentacles consist of the following 28 groupings:
Comments and Reputation
Wisdom of the Crowds
Questions & Answers
Social Commerce
Blog Platforms
Social Curation
DIY + Custom Social Networks
Discussion Boards and Forums
Social Networks
Listening & Targeting
Attention/Communications Dashboards
Business Networking
Reviews and Ratings
Virtual Worlds
Social Bookmarks

What do you think of these models? I’m working on my on view of the social media world and would love to hear your two cents.

This entry was posted in Social Media and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Anonymous

    Interesting post, raises some good questions. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your content.

  • Owl Saver

    Three thoughts come to mind. First, to map the social media environment immediately hits a “Forest and Trees” problem. That is, to see it all (the forest) you lose some details. But, to see the details (trees) you lose sight of where you are. Some sort of dynamic view that lets you zoom in and out is typically how this is handled.rnrnSecond, it would be nice if there was an automated mapping approach. That is, sites could add Meta files or tags that would let a web scanner pick up the site on a periodic basis.rnrnThird, what is the goal of the mapping? Maps, as abstractions of reality, should have a well defined purpose. So, a topographic map needs to show elevation but not roads but a travel map needs to show roads but not elevation. There may be many classes of maps of the social media landscape. How would you categorize the maps? What kinds of maps can you envision – even if you cannot see how to create them?rn

  • Antonio Tedesco

    Owl Saver, thanks for commenting.

    It’s a Forest and Trees problem with trees constantly falling down and new ones sprouting up.

    It would be nice if there was an automated mapping approaching. Wikipedia has a laundry list but they are no tags or and classifications. It such an evolving landscape so the process must identify emerging areas and create new categories, e.g., social commerce sites like Groupon are recent trends.

    I was looking for something to provide general information and shape the definition of the social media landscape. wkcd has an interesting Map of Online Communities .

    In terms of other maps,
    1) Climate map with a range colors for different zones, e.g., Facebook would be a hotter color than MySpace.
    2) Resource map to indicate activity, e.g., Twitter is primarily for microblogging but also messaging and sharing pictures.
    3) Road map to illustrate integration points and API, e.g., Disqus let’s you post with Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo.

  • Antonio Tedesco

    Thanks for reading it.

  • Mark Kampf

    Another graphic worth mentioning is one done by Burson-Martseller on how Fortune 100 companies are leveraging social media platforms.nnRead more:

  • Antonio Tedesco

    Mark, thanks for commenting and pointing me to this graphic.rnrnIt’s interesting to note in US & Europe the majority of companies (86% & 88%) use at least one of the following (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Blog) but in Asia only 50%. However, looking at companies that use all four, in US & Europe it drops down to (28% & 15%) while in Asia companies who use social media are more all in (25%).

  • Michael Cirafesi

    Tony, this is excellent work. nnHave you tried any of the traditional research organizations? I found this from Gartner.nnMagic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Softwaren,nnMichael

  • mciraf23

    Here is another resource that might be helpful. I cannot seem to find a social media model on it, but nonetheless there are some interesting articles, etc.nn

  • Antonio Tedesco

    Michael, thanks for commenting and the links.

  • Bart

    Here’s another site worth looking at:

blog comments powered by Disqus
  • I'm an IT consultant specializing in application integration, data modeling and SOA.

    View my LinkedIn Profile

    Follow AntonioTedesco on Twitter

    Subscribe to my RSS feed