Let’s try to think about what this data means. Specifically, what does it mean for the future trend of content consumption and creation on the internet.
Does this mean that IT is being replaced by social media? Not so fast. First it is important to understand how IT skills and social media skills are learned. IT skills are learned in universities, technical schools, and within a business. Each one of these organizations has its own learning resources specifically designed to teach people the technical skills that they need to know. That means it is probable that many people in the IT industry search within their organization for the material they need to know.
Social media on the other hand is another animal all together. It is what the name suggests — a social phenomenon developed by IT experts. IT systems are the glue that make social media possible. IT is the framework of social media. People who use social media are content creators within the framework of the IT framework.
Social media strategies are so new, that people who want to get into social media would turn to an internet search to learn more about it. Many times, this is an activity that they do on the side. How many doctors, professors, musicians– take part in social media? A lot.
The only city in the United States ranked in the top 10 cities for ‘information technology’ queries is Washington D.C shown in the figure below. That is probably due to the fact that the United States government spends $80B annually on information technology services. The top 5 cities searching ‘information technology’ are located in India, a major outsourcing hub.
Before the advent of social media, in order to get your ideas out online you had to create your own website, join a forum, or use your company’s communicational resources. Now all you need is a wordpress, twitter, or facebook account. The level of entry has become intuitive.
The United States holds 7 out of the 10 top cities searching for ‘social media’ as shown in the figure below. Notice that even though the US holds 7/10 of the top city searches, it still ranks fourth in countries that search the term ‘social media.’
Does that mean that social media is replacing IT? I absolutely don’t think so. Social media, rather, is a funnel that allows more people to participate in a dynamic internet. It makes people who used to just be internet consumers, creators on the internet. It wouldn’t work if there wasn’t an audience. An audience will flock to social media based on the IT framework of the system.
IT systems have given us a field to play on which is social media. What we do now is up to us.
About Google Trends — search volume index