Other media, through their offerings and services, target regular people, but social media is comprised of them. In fact, Web 2.0 is the only set of media that places the dynamic tools of creation and communications in everyone's hands.
Sure, twitter is growing by leaps and bounds. But even more extraordinary, as pointed out in last week's Time article, is this:
"In short, the most fascinating thing about Twitter is not what it's doing to us. It's what we're doing to it." (The exact same thing applies to Facebook and other platforms.)
More to the point, when companies launch Web 2.0 initiatives the success of them rests on whether they can engage enough regular people to contribute to their platforms, and tell others to get involved with them. Those audiences might be consumers or professionals but, I assure you, they are by and largely regular people.
And, as I've said again and again (and yes, again):
The story is not that social media enables us to connect to the world. The story is that, given access to one another, the world is now actively connecting (and swapping stories).
Regular people. The vast majority of them using FREE tools. To freely voice their likes, dislikes, rants, raves, passions, preferences, pain points... and, yes, a lot of what they're doing/eating/watching on TV at that exact moment.
Think of it this way: just as there would be no television networks without programming created by studios and no magazines without columnists and reporters, there would be no social media if not for the people using these tools to (1) create, innovate and share content and (2) building communities and networks around their interests.
So where we needed CBS to fuel broadcast TV, Life Magazine to fuel print magazines and Amazon/eBay/Google to fuel Web 1.0, we need the everyday tweeters, diggers, MySpacers, Facebookers, commenters and bloggers to fuel social media. Ergo, unlike all other media, every day folks (regular people) don't just consume this space's content, they create it... and in turn, power this space.
Now, will companies lose money in this space? Yep. Many will falter at their first attempt and a bunch of offerings will never get off the ground. But this notion of a "Web 2.0 bubble bursting and dying!!" would mean that people, like, millions and millions of them, would suddenly *poof* burst--and worse, die.