Look in the sky…It’s a Web 2.0 release…It’s a social media release…It’s Marketwire’s Social Media 2.0 release!!!

Earlier today I read that Marketwire was unveiling their new product called “Social Media 2.0,” which they are claiming is the “industry’s Most Authentic Social Media Product.” This new release has an embedded YouTube video, social bookmarking tags, Technorati tags and trackbacks.

I must admit that looking at it made me ooh and ahh – it was quite the innovative news release.

Then again, I felt the same way when PRWeb came up with this stuff years ago.

Not that I have anything against pushing the envelop – rather, what I found curious was the claim that Social Media 2.0 is the “most authentic social media product.”

According to Merriam-Webster, authentic is defined as “not false or imitation.”  I am not going to make the claim that their product is false. I’m also not going to go into depth discussing how most of these features imitate things that PRWeb and others have already done.

Rather, I’m going to focus on their claim within the broader framework of social media.

If you were to ask ten different so-called social media experts to define social media, you would get ten varying responses.

We are talking about a movement that has been pushed forward by a global community of academics, innovators, industry professionals – that is still relatively undefined and amorphous. It is however a collaborative movement, and I think it is wrong for anyone to claim ownership over it.

I suppose on some broad level we can make certain claims about social media – I think many would agree that we are talking about a shifting media landscape where the role of passive media consumer is quickly becoming antiquated. Social media has empowered many individuals to have a voice amongst the din of big business – that is why I have always considered PRWeb to be a social media product – because we help individuals and smaller organizations speak with a megaphone.

Social media is about putting the social back in the media.

This product is simply riding the Web 2.0 hype wave it almost seems like they have created a list of all the buzz words and trendy brands (many of which are already on the way out) and found ways of adding them into a template.

In the newswire industry, I do not believe that places like Technorati or StumbleUpon or just distribution points to be injected with content. They are places where conversations about great stories happen.

To help our customers better leverage social media, we help them create great stories through text, images and video. Our tool will carry their story throughout the Internet to people who are interested in reading about it.

We also make sure that the release contains all the necessary content (images, file attachments, podcasts) for bloggers or journalists who are interested in turning the news release into a story.

Finally, we make sure that the news release becomes an engine to drive traffic and links back to the customer’s Web site.

For me, the most telling aspect of the Marketwire social media release was when I clicked on the Digg and Technorati links that opened up a search for the news release in those Web sites. There was some interesting content but no reference to the news release itself. The social media release had struck out in the spaces it claims to impact.

Maybe when Social Media 3.0 is ready to go publish, PRWeb should be used to announce it.