Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hype Cycle for Social Software 2008

As you know, there is a lot of hype around the new capabilities of the Internet and the new online communities that are created. Here is a chart you can find on, and it picture the social software hype cycle defined by Gartner.

What is very interesting when we watch this chart, is that right now, the different trends defining the web 2.0 are in the curve, which means that the hype is melting down. We could already notice this fact, especially on the stock market, where Google's shares were going down. Indeed, there was a lot of expectations coming hand in hand with this brand new medium. Like any other major innovation, it was difficult to figure out what would be the big pictures in the next 2 to 5 years.

The next challenge for web 2.0 companies
Now, web 2.0 technologies and services' advantages and the opportunities they are creating are clearer. There is however a next big challenge awaiting web 2.0. The "plateau of productivity" or the massive adoption phase, where more and more users will use the different services. This is a key phase, where the true uses will be shaped. A great challenge is still ahead for Facebook, Google or other Twitters (especially Twitters which is still mainly used by geeks).
The blogging is not hype anymore, and a real social trend
Another important information, the blogging hype has passed the trough of disillusionment. Actually, you could have noticed it: we had this past year a lot of blog closing, very few new people willing to open their blogs. Blogging seemed to have become "has been", old fashion compare to the excitement of video content, Facebook and cell phone craziness. Anyway, blogging is not dead, it just went through its puberty stage, and is now a mature phenomenon.

I really like this graph, and you can probably use it to explain the main trends of the Internet these past few years.

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