When is enough, enough?

In USA on June 12, 2011 by CJ

 Once upon a time there was no such thing as social networking. It simply did not exist.  I know it’s hard to imagine or even remember life with our Twitter and Facebook. Especially when every time I turn around there is a new social networking site emerging into this already overly populated space. In 1995, Geocities was created a website  that aimed to bring people together through chatroom forums.  People could share their ideas and thoughts based on their geographical locations.  In 2002, Friendster was established, the site gained over 115 million registered users and over 61 million unique visitors a month globally. Myspace and LinkedIn were launched in 2003. While Facebook evolved in 2004 and is to date the largest social networking site with over 600 million users.  Bebo and YouTube join the social media scene in 2005, Twitter in 2006, Foursquare in 2009 and Google Buzz in 2010. The social networking sites previously listed are only a few of the many social networking sites that have been created.  Over the past 16 years, the trend has been to create something better than the last social networking site and we’ve come leaps and bounds from Geocities to Twitter and Friendster to Facebook.  Not only has technology advanced these sites, but corporate America has played a huge hand in turning these small ideas into million dollar companies.

It seems that every time I turn around there is a new social networking site awaiting my username, email address and date of birth.  When does it all become too much? When are consumers okay with just having a couple of email addresses, a Facebook page and a Twitter account.  When do we start to block out all the new creations and just exist in social networks we are comfortable with and use to?

I think consumers and businesses alike are going to have to (if they haven’t already) begin choosing which networking site works best for their needs. It is almost impossible to remain connected on every site, and as a company you should not want to be involved in every social networking site. Small businesses and companies should strategically select the social networking site that provides them the greatest gain.  Innovators will continue to create new sites, but if joining the new site does not benefit your company, then what is the point?  I believe the same rules apply to consumers.  There is no need to get overwhelmed or feel overloaded.  Choose what works best for you. If you are by chance overwhelmed, check out this article, “How to Avoid Social Media Overload” from The Huffington Post and give four tips to consumers:

  1. Don’t be an early adopter.
  2. Sample widely.
  3. Focus narrowly.
  4. Schedule the time.
It’s actually amazing to me how new sites have been created, and I always think to myself…why didn’t I think of that?! I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next. No guarantees on the next new site actually getting my username, email address and date of birth, but we shall see 🙂 !!

2 Responses to “When is enough, enough?”

  1. You raise a point in your post that I definitely sympathize with – even though I would probably put myself in a category that disobeys the first rule you shared from the Huffington Post. Probably because of being an early adopter, I feel this fatigue in signing up for sites distinctly and so your premise here was personally relevant for me.

    What I missed in this post was the real trend that you were focused on here. Is it that there are too many social media sites for any of us to keep up with? If so, how are people dealing with this? Did you find any research or quotes about it? If your point is more about how businesses need to strategically choose the best social media sites to use as part of their marketing, then what sort of tips can you offer or find around how they might be able to do that?

    Your historical look at the rise of social media was good as background, but the ideal next step would be to hone in on which aspect of this you were going to focus this post on. Without that piece, this post read a bit more like an editorial on the state of overload that we are all experiencing – a good topic and a good post, but not really addressing the challenge that you were given for this week. (3)

  2. Definite kudos for the historical background — I’ll keep this as a resource for those years and user counts!

    As for the social media overload, I definitely feel the same many times. Moreso because it is much harder to manage a public brand/image when it is so spread out. I also fear it dilutes your effectiveness. Just my two cents.

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