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How Many Social Networks Do We Need?

by Randy Clark · 28 comments

lori r taylor, revmediamarketing, social media, social media marketing, branding, product branding, networking, oneclicksociety
From a recent conversation…
Me:”Did I tell you Amber (youngest daughter) is at an AP teacher’s conference this week?”
Smarter Person: (my wife) “I saw.”
Me: “She sent me a DM.”
Smarter Person: “I’ve been following her tweets. Did you see the facebook photos?”
Me:  “No, but mom did. She sent me an email telling me how much she enjoyed seeing the kids on facebook.”
Smarter Person:  “Did you add skype with the grandkids to your calendar?”
Me: “No… I forgot. When is that?
Smarter Person: “It’s this afternoon.”

Me: “Thanks. BTW—I posted the video from our last visit on YouTube. Was I supposed to upload the photos on flickr?”
Smarter Person: Yep, it’s on THE list, dude.”
Me: “Are we going to the store? Dad sent me a groceries list.”
Smarter Person: “As soon as I finish this Linkedin recommendation.”

 

My wife and family use social media. It’s part of our lives, and it’s how we communicate.
I love social media. I’m addicted to it, but I have a question: when is enough… ENOUGH?

 

How many networks do we need?


How many networks will we use? Are networks becoming commoditized?

 

I belong to a small, informal group we call a “friendup.” Our mission is to look for ways to help each other, while having a couple beers. I posted the time and location of the next friendup meeting on our posterous group page, and waited… and waited.

I’m old-fashioned. I like to know what’s going on, and as marvelous as posterous is, I still don’t know what’s going on. I’m not certain who’s attending. It’s not posterous—it’s how it’s being used—or NOT being used. In the good ole’ days, when email was pretty much it, I usually knew. Folks usually responded to emails back then.

 

As much as social media is changing relationships, communication, and the world in a positive manner—is there a tipping point?


Will there be a time when the scale becomes unbalanced?


Will survival of the fittest network (is that a new reality show?) whittle social media down to a smaller number of networks?


Will there be more networks, but in specialized niches?


Will an existing network become the next Myspace?

 

I don’t have the answers, do you?

 

I’ve got to go now and figure out what the Goggle+ Circles thingy I’ve been invited to is. Anyone know if there’s a dress code?

 

Randy Clark is the Director of Communications at TKO Graphix, where he blogs for TKO Graphix Brandwire. He is an avid flower gardener, beer geek, and he fronts the Under the Radar rock & roll band http://bit.ly/9mJ59m Randy is a proud husband, father, and grandfather.

You can reach him on TwitterFacebook or at his Blog.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Garth O'Brien - SEO August 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Lori,

I am already beyond the tipping point. I have a spreadsheet at home that has my login credentials for over 35 Social Media and Social Networking sites. I understand the gold mine is not tapped yet, but it drives me nuts that big players are still introducing new networks.

I pretty much live by LinkedIn (for my professional/resume self), Facebook (for friends, family and close connections sharing truly social content), Twitter (for content distribution) and maybe StumbleUpon for a webpage I really think is worth the extra few seconds recommending on SU.

Google + for me is too late to the game. I have the same friends and connections on Google + as I do for LinkedIn and Facebook. I really do not want to login and out on multiple networks to see if my friends are sharing different social content on Facebook versus Google +. Too much work for a movie review or an announcement on how someone’s kid did awesome in their first ballet recital. 🙂

G

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Hey I like the way you think! You seem to have an actual plan and focus!!! Stick with that and the hard work will pay off – I promise.

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Anonymous August 2, 2011 at 3:33 am

I can’t survive without RoboForm. I have over 150 logins for various sites. See my article about RoboForm here if you’re interested: http://www.byob.net/2011/06/23/i-love-roboform-password-manager/

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Nice thanks for the tip!

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John Bottom August 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

Lori – this has struck a chord. I like social media. It’s powerful, it’s important, it’s fun. But there’s only so much one can take. The arrival of Google+ just made me feel tired…

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Randy Clark August 2, 2011 at 4:55 pm

“Makes me feel tired.” I’m with you John. I don’t consider myself a lazy person, but…I think part of my resistance may be to change. Does that make me lazy? If any of you have resisted adding new networks I’d like to know why?

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Cruisecin August 2, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I am on facebook for family and friends (ie, staying peripherally in touch with those I already know) and I’m on Twitter to meet new people who share my interests in media, advertising and pop culture and are happy to share the like. For me, LinkedIn in is one too many/three’s a crowd, but I just signed up so I could post a reference for a peer. Now I’m getting invites to link in with more.
In addition to the time I spend on line researching for my writing and managing all aspects of my voiceover biz (it’s a whole new online world in the voiceover business), I spend an hour so each, over the course, of the day on fb & Twitter. By the time I back away from the computer (and iPad), the sun’s going down and so’s my blood sugar.
If I felt that LinkedIn was going to somehow propel my v/o bookings into the stratosphere, I might give up a little shut eye to squeeze it in, but for now I lean towards ‘tha ain’t gonna happen’ so I can justify just saying no.
Anyone out there getting something from LI that warrants the commitment? I would like to know… Get back to me @DotDraper.

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I actually think LinkedIn can be great if you join the right groups, answer questions and add value. Hungry and engaged people there – focused on business for the most part.

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I couldn’t agree more! I thought – wow how much more would I get done if I wasn’t trying to keep up on all this “collaboration”.

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Gregory A McMullen August 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm

@Garth – I’m right there with you. I’ve essentially kept to the Big 3 (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn). I utilize Twitter the most out of all of the networks because of how much I’ve enjoyed the experience.

Google+ hasn’t entirely drawn me in, but I am holding onto my profile in case it does happen to take off.

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Randy Clark August 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Hi Greg, Tanks for joining the convo. When I wrote the post I was debating whether to jump in to Google+ feet first or wait and see. I’m still waiting. On one side I have a lot of friends involved advocating the network on the other where do I find the time. #confused

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Gregory A McMullen August 2, 2011 at 4:06 pm

I’m sort of in the same boat like I said. While yes I’m “on” it, it’s not something I post to or rely on for content.

Maybe one of these days we’ll figure it out.

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

We can dream, right? When we’re old and gray we can say we remember when it all started. And will be funny to see how it changes – I have a feeling we doing it the hard way now. 🙂

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Randy Clark August 2, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Hi Greg, Tanks for joining the convo. When I wrote the post I was debating whether to jump in to Google+ feet first or wait and see. I’m still waiting. On one side I have a lot of friends involved advocating the network on the other where do I find the time. #confused

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Better to be safe than sorry right? Me too…

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Better to be safe than sorry right? Me too…

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Darryl Jonckheere August 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Choice is good online, but you have a point, there probably are a few too many social networks out there vying for our attention. I suppose stick to the networks that offer the best user experience and tools that are important to you.

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

It’s about finding out what your customers preferred method of communication is and focusing on that, I think. (IMHO)

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Matthew A Myers August 3, 2011 at 5:27 am

As many until your needs are met.

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Randy August 3, 2011 at 11:31 am

Matthew, a very wise answer, and those needs and networks are fluid, aren’t they?

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Just did an amazing interview with Brian Tracy you can access by joining the Power of Fear Summit at http://pickthebrain.com/blog/poweroffearsignup He said the number one thing you need to maintain right now is Flexibility. True that!

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Great answer. Just sometimes have to ask yourself are you spread too thin? Make work what you have now before jumping on the next new thing to stay focused is what I recommend. Unless what you’re doing now doesn’t work. Then you have to ask yourself – what do these “failed” strategies have in common? Only one thing. The user. 🙂

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The Simple SEO August 4, 2011 at 12:09 am

We’ve always used quality over quantity. 30,000 friends are only as good as the 30 of them that actually pay attention to your message.

I have to say though, if a new network improves on things, I’m all for it. I’ve never been happy with Facebook – from a “flow” stand point, it’s always been pointlessly cumbersome, the privacy issues will never get better because Facebook doesn’t want them to, and they have always given developers very little control over their promotional tools, which makes them limited for SEO at times, ….and the idea that the entire business was started because some nerd wanted to bash women has always kind of given me a bad taste about Facebook. I’m a nerd, and I’d never be motivated to start a development project because I wanted to attack someone.

My point is, I’d love to see Google + take over, so as long as the Social Networks keep pushing things in better directions, I’ll be willing to follow.

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:32 pm

The movie about Facebook really opened my eyes too. Funny a platform built for friends and collaboration started as the exact opposite either? Right up there with Google’s mission statement – “Do No Evil”. When a company has that as a mission statement you have to wonder, right?

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Kimberly Pinckney August 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Randy or Lori – Have either of you used Google+ much yet? What role do you see it playing in the social network game?

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Randy August 6, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Kimberly, thanks for asking, but I haven’t used it. I have an account and have been invited to circles, but haven’t committed the time to explore. Of course, I tell myself it’s because I have a wait and see point of view, but the truth is I’ve taken the path of least resistance

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LoriRTaylor August 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

I’ve only played with it a bit. Trying to figure out how to to link it to my overall strategy and maximize my minutes at the same time. I do love the interface and believe it will become more and more integrated with what I do. Just not enough time in the day!

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