smOver a year ago I coined the term The 5 C’s of Social Media as a way of describing how, at it’s core, social media afforded us 5 base opportunities:

  • the opportunity to contribute – easy sharing of information
  • the opportunity to comment – your chance to have your say
  • the opportunity to collaborate – work with anyone, anywhere to achieve a common goal
  • the opportunity of conversation – getting involved in discussions with others
  • the opportunity of community – building relationships online

I expanded on how each of the C’s formed a part of the online social experience at the time and the ideas were well received, this post can be found here.

Whilst being a good base form which to start describing the ideas behind social media the phrase was primarily a headline, an attention bringer so – in that regard – was a throw away; useful at the time but not retained or revisited.

It, therefore, makes it more interesting to find that the phrase appears to have taken on a life of it’s own. The phrase has been adopted, repeated, altered and adapted but, regardless of how it is wrapped up, as one blog post put it:

“amongst the social media circles it is nearly universally agreed, the elements of a good social media strategy consist of the 5 C’s: conversation, community, collaboration, contribution and commenting.”

The Sixth C

Back in June 2008 social media was still primarily reserved for the geeks and the early adopters; the holy grail for any social media service was to achieve ubiquity, to enter the mainstream. Then, around 6 months ago, things changed. In one month Twitter saw over 1300% growth with celebrities and the mainstream media trying to claim social media as their own. Whether you are listening to local radio or national sports coverage or watching TV everyone is now talking about Twitter. It has truly entered the public consciousness in a way that not even Facebook with it’s millions of users has managed to do.

People are now using short status updates as a matter of course, supplementing and even, in some cases, bypassing other forms of communication. I believe we have reached the point where social media can honestly be described as an extension of our normal behaviour and it is still growing.

The importance of the social network in our society is finally starting to fulfil it’s potential and, with more and more companies interacting with their customers in this setting, it is rapidly becoming just another way to do business.

My original suggestion for The Sixth C can, therefore, finally be adopted: culture.


 
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