Getting into an industry in the early years

There’s a lot of formal areas of practice in the Web Industry, many of which you are very familiar with; Public Relations, Web Design, Web Development, Software Engineering, and even more recent and niched focuses like Information Architecture, User Experience Design, Search Engine Marketing, and many many others.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to chat with respected Social Media Club founder Chris Heuer in Palo Alto. He’s invited me to help lead discussions at the upcoming Social Media Workshop on June 11th in Palo Alto, if you register use my discount code “OWY”. I’ve discussed the benefits of attending; learning, networking, and growing.

One of the interesting discussion we had revolved around the evolution of the Social Media industry. I asked Chris, what year do you think we’re at? Chris suggested that we’re in the early years of the Social Media practice, maybe in year 2 (I thought 3), in which you could measure mainstream adoption.

Of course this could always be argued that these tools have existed since the start of the internet, but there’s a few key indicators in which we measure; 1) The tools are easy to use by non-techies, and more adoption and awareness by mainstream folks. I got in early, and if you’re already blogging or using these tools, you got in early too.

What do you think, which year are we in this “social media” industry?