I have been blogging for 10 years, started Dec 1999 (dreadnet.editthispage.com which sadly died a few years back due to my own negligence) so some 2010 social media long term predictions and gratuitous advice which again is worth what you paid for it
Social Media 2010 predictions and gratuitous advice:
- Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Tumblr and other walled gardens are over in the long term; an open solution will replace them in 5 years or less.
- Don't be afraid to use and experiment with the walled gardens but recognize that your stuff can be deleted at any time and unless you have backed it up to an open format like HTML, it won't last forever (most likely scenarios: service goes out of business or your account is deleted for an arbitrary reason). I wouldn't shed a tear if all my tweets were deleted, YMMV. If you have fun with the walled gardens, get your domain and start a blog, videoblog,podcast, etc., you won't regret having an online presence you own and control
- If you care about your closed garden stuff, back it up to an open format. If you aren't geeky enough to figure this out, ask a geek, there's lots of them, just don't ask me :-)
- Have a "hook" and nurture and grow it. Not good enough in 2010 to be a jack of all trades social media whatevah :-) You actually need to know something. Most people do (they just don't realize it!) so that's not a problem.
- Don't know why I have to write this in 2010 department: Don't trust reviews or content on Urban Spoon, Yelp (i like the idea of yelp & other aggregators but in practise most of the reviews are shall we say not helpful), Gowalla, Facebook etc unless you know the person in real life or have read their stuff over a period of time. Most restaurant reviews like most content on the Internet are wildly biased but that's a good thing because objectivity in food reviews is ridiculous.
- Get your most valued content out of the walled gardens and your email (email rocks but it's not a place for long term knowledge storage and retrieval) and back it up. The best way to back up is to put the content in an open format like HTML on your own domain and backup all the stuff on your domain. Again, ask a geek. And really most people's stuff that is truly valuable is not a lot, myself included :-) e.g. I bet my best emails, best photos, videos and blog posts for the last 5 years could fit on 1 DVD!