Social media is itself as temporary as any social gathering, nightclub or party. It's the people that matter, not the venue. So when the trend leaders of one social niche or another decide the place everyone is socializing has lost its luster or, more important, its exclusivity, they move on to the next one, taking their followers with them.
I don't think tablets are where we should be focused. But I do think they could end up being an efficient way of delivering textbooks. They're just not really that, yet. There's all sorts of poisons and mined minerals and carnage that goes on to make a tablet. Way more than to print a book. Or a bunch of books.
Part of an icon's power comes from its indivisibility. The swoosh cannot be further deconstructed into its component parts. Just as golden arches mean McDonald's, and the little red tab means Levi's, the swoosh is Nike. The product is its icon, inseparably and without exception. To buy a pair of Nike shoes is to buy the Nike swoosh.
Once a teen has been identified as part of the 'target market,' he knows he's done for. The object of the game is to confound the marketers, and keep one's own, authentic culture from showing up at the shopping mall as a prepackaged corporate product.
One argument against open systems is that they become open to everything, good and bad. Like a Richard Meier skyscraper, the anal retentive, Bauhaus elegance of the Mac does prevent the loose ends and confusion of a less sterile environment. But it also prevents fertility. Apple's development must come from within.
For Google, the problem with being a free, abundant, and rather infinite set of services is that it's hard to create much of a stir about anything. There are so many major software service options under the 'more' menu on the Gmail page that they've had to go and add a final item called 'even more.'