There has been lots of conversation about the value of social media, very sensibly proposing the case that simply getting a “like” is useless, you can buy them if you want them. The measure of success should be how much earned media you generate, how much of what you do is shared, reposted, linked, retweeted, rather than just “wombatted“.

Social media is an all encompassing term, it no longer adequately describes the range of options from facebook to E-bay, and everything in between. Each has a different role, and each finds themselves threatened by usurpers immediately they show some traction, just the way facebook replaced MySpace.  E-Bay has a role, to provide a means to set a price and sell in a manner that has not been possible before the web. It is not social media as it is normally seen, it is a two sided marketplace, but the power is in the social network effect , not in the notion of an auction.

Facebook is inherently social, when on there, people are not looking to buy, they are looking to see what their friends are doing, a different mindset, and it is why Facebook is having trouble generating revenue, a process that is intrusive on a social occasion. 

Pinterest is increasingly a commercial entity, it engages, informs, offers options, and often leads to a transaction, but there is no sales pressure, just information, and more information.

Then you have the various news sites, from authoritative, to the nonsensical, single issue brain-dumps. However, all these sites have in common the simple fact that you can take them or leave them, engage or ignore, download and share, or treat them as digital fish wrapper.

To be other than digital fish wrapper, the media needs to contribute to your day, your knowledge, or your network. If you are spending your most valuable resource, time and attention, and not getting value, throw the wrapper out.