The latest social media flash-in-the-pan is the ALS "ice bucket challenge." Think what you like about the effort, it joins the ranks of a few brilliant uses of social media, particularly Facebook.
But it appears that the "challenge" is much more about self-promotion than it is fundraising for an important cause. What it demonstrates is the influence of the social media community, in which its members seek validation and acceptance within the context of that community.
This excellent post by Catherine Palmieri makes a compelling case for how marketers should approach social media. I think she would agree that the "ice bucket challenge" proves her point.