The ladder of participation in social media

Jeremiah Owyang was kind enough to send me his slides from yesterday’s session on Social Media: Hype vs. Reality at Online Marketing World. I have tweaked the presentation of the information but the findings are Forrester’s.

Here are six levels of participation in social media.

Here’s the picture in the U.S., Europe, and China. Draw your own conclusions.

And here’s the impact of age.

Last Sunday’s New York Times had a six-panel cartoon of two guys standing under a street sign saying “Wall St.” A wave appears to the right of them. It gets bigger panel by panel and finally engulfs them. Floating away, one says to the other, “Whoa, didn’t see that coming.” If the participation-by-age chart above means nothing to you, you’ll soon be able to say the same thing.