Think about the following platforms and when the first traditional media activity/participation occurred in that platform's history: Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Foursquare, Chatroulette. It was a shorter and shorter period for each platform.*
Let's call this the adoption half-life. It's a bastardization of Moore's Law, but the level of adoption required for a social platform to be covered as The Next Big Thing in social platforms will continue to decrease until NBT status is bestowed upon a platform used only by those in the media.
I'd been writing a post about this that wasn't coming out the way I wanted, so I shelved it until I saw The Onion's take on last fall's New York Times' take on Foursquare. Then I decided to jam 2 posts together.
The Onion sums this all up way more succinctly:
Aging, scared newspapermen throw themselves at the latest mobile technology trend in a humiliatingly futile attempt to remain relevant.
The New Yorker reporter caught up with him as he moved from Moscow to the US...he's currently living in Palo Alto.
The best way to talk to Ternovskiy is through some kind of digital intermediary. Shy and evasive in person, he fills with a wry swagger when he is just a stream of text. "They have no business no money blablablabla," he typed to me one afternoon, feigning phlegmatic unconcern with the financial woes of an advertiser he'd been negotiating with-his only one. Like much of his generation, Ternovskiy has an online persona far more developed than his real one.
I spent about 30 minutes on Friday night on Chatroulette (very NSFW). You push the start button and you're instantly in a video chat with some random person. During my session, the average "chat" lasted about 5 seconds and I observed several people drinking malt liquor, two girls making out, many many guys who disconnected as soon as they saw I wasn't female, several girls who disconnected after seeing my face (but not before I caught the looks of disgust on theirs), 3 couples having sex, and 11 erect penises. In a Malkovichian moment, I was even connected to myself once...and then the other me quickly disconnected. In short, Chatroulette is pretty much the best site going on the internet right now.