by Michelle Lentz

Of course, most free giveaways have a catch. In this case, it’s a contest.

At the beginning of the month, I posted on O’Reilly’s Graphing Social Patterns East. It’s a conference closer to my coast, in Washington, DC, that takes place on June 9-11. readers can save 15% off registration with the code gspe08bbu.

I still want to go. I’m not attending, but we are going to make it a bit easier for you to attend. We’re giving away two tickets to the event (you must be able to foot the bill for your travel and lodging expenses).

We’ll decide on our favorite answer to this question:

What emerging social media application or trend will have the biggest impact on mainstream society?

Be creative! All answers must appear in the comments of this post by 5 pm PST on Friday, May 30. We’ll make a decision and get back to you by Monday, June 2. Make sure you leave a valid email address in the comments.

All contests need boring rules. Here they are:

***Only one attendee per pass (two people cannot share the same pass to attend the conference on separate days).

The prize is nontransferable and non-endorsable; no cash or other substitutions will be offered. Winner cannot sell his/her pass.

The winner must cover all travel and expenses. We are just providing the tickets.

The winner must provide full name, job title, company, address, phone, and email address.

The winner consents to the use of his/her name and/or likeness for publicity, advertising, and commercial purposes, in perpetuity, without further compensation unless prohibited by law. O’Reilly Media and its agents are not responsible for lost entries for whatever reason. Entries will be disqualified if O’Reilly Media determines, at its sole discretion, that entrants have attempted to circumvent the terms and conditions of these rules. All decisions by O’Reilly Media are final.

Events, news, apps, and more – let me know at michelle[at]writetech[dot]net, via Twitter, or via Pownce.

About the Author:


    no imagemarc (Who am I?)29 May 2008 5:45 am

    What emerging social media application or trend will have the biggest impact on mainstream society?

    Follow me on Twitter to find out! ;-) As soon as the masses learn of twitter… suddenly SMS texting has meaning/function for that fancy phone they’re all walking around with. Going to Disneyland with kids ~8 and up now includes giving them all a mobile. If Twitter (or the replacement for Twitter if they can’t get their act together) can clearly communicate the benefit package, families will love the idea of sending one message that can go to their entire family/circle of friends. Twitter is community. Twitter is WOM marketing. Twitter is the killer app for social media that will make the turn into mainstream.

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    no imageStephanie (Who am I?)29 May 2008 5:50 am

    Edopter is a new website for social trendcasting. As word of mouth, peer to peer marketing becomes more and more powerful this tool will allow trendsetters to comment and adopt peer trends. It has power on both the marketing and brand side as well as the consumer side.

    Another social tool will be dataportability, allowing you to keep your info private yet be active on all social networks.

    I would love to go to Social Trends East! I would love to see Chris Saad speak. He is very smart.

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    no imageHoward Levenson (Who am I?)29 May 2008 5:58 am

    What emerging social media application or trend will have the biggest impact on mainstream society?

    I applaud the growing use of social media in the world of non-profit and social action. I’ve seen a huge number of new “green” campaigns in social media and in non-profit fundraising applications.

    Although this is not necessarily groundbreaking from a technical perspective, I feel that it can impact society in a significant way by increasing reach and awareness of important social issues; and will enable a larger number of people to participate and contribute to a given cause.

    Howard Levenson

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    no imageMarifer (Who am I?)29 May 2008 6:33 am

    Twitter is definitely the next social media application to gain over the masses. Hundreds if not thousands of people join twitter everyday. It’s just a matter of time before my 17 year old cousin learns about it, tell her million friends and instant messaging becomes obsolete. What’s better than joining a community of friends, learn what they do throughout the day, and the things they are interested on, without having to waste their phone minutes :) On top of that, in Twitter, thanks to the people you follow, you can find cool promotions and events just like this one.

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    no imageMary Anne Davis (Who am I?)29 May 2008 6:39 am

    I would focus on trend as opposed to specific tools. FriendFeed is it right now but that may change, and soon. The trend I see affecting society in a huge way is the WAY we communicate. I have seen a substantial shift in communication on blogs and in social networking sites as we become more civil, more sophisticated and more tolerant, with fewer trolls and a more engaged base of folks. Disagreements are handled in an exemplary manner, as witnessed between Brian Solis and Loic Lemeur recently. Peace on earth IS possible…and maybe geeks will lead the way. Figures.

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    no imageJodi Snare (Who am I?)29 May 2008 7:38 am

    I believe we’ll see peoples’ personal and business lives mix to such an extent that transparency will be everywhere — no more secrets or big corporations hiding behind expensive ad campaigns.

    -Companies will be accountable.
    -Companies will shift from trying to contain information inside company walls to creating an open culture and equipping employees with the tools to speak out.
    - Customers will reward companies that have a culture “just like me”


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    no imageNancy Tarr (Who am I?)29 May 2008 5:10 pm

    The biggest social media application or trend will be something that allows all to participate without barriers to entry. So far, social media exists for those who have the money for entry, but in world where broadband is cheap and everyone can participate, who knows what will happen.

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