I don’t get the whole social media thing… if I want to talk to someone I’ll just call them.
Social Media is on the way out. No one uses it other than those in technically related industries.
I say these people are:
- Truly missing out on a very useful and generally free service
- Are sorely misinformed about social media’s viability and popularity
Why do I find value?
While I am not a huge text messager… If I take an inventory of what I use a daily basis…
- I can say I am very well connected via Facebook and LinkedIn.
- We are playing with Ning and Yammer (have hooked into IM and phone) at work
- I participate lightly in an ad-hoc email list of friends and associates
- I submit articles and comment on Digg posts
- I have a personal but public Wiki and Blog that I post to on a fairly regular basis
- I frequently use Motley Fools’ CAPS network for participation and research into investment ideas
- I blog scan 50+ feeds of varied matter through Google’s Reader
I can say that I am more connected this year than I have ever been before in my life, even when in school. For example, yesterday:
My birthday arrived and I woke up to receive a phone call from a previous co-worker wishing me a happy birthday. I checked Facebook to see I had 3 current and previous co-workers sent a quick message to wish me a happy birthday. I left the house and stopped by my usual coffee shop for my morning fix and was greeted by “Happy Birthday!” by the employees who also gave me a free drink.
I subsequently arrived at work to a barrage of greetings and received a hail of additional notes through facebook and email from over 20 different folk I have different levels of communication with. My last “Happy Birthday!” actually came from my own Mother in the latter part of the afternoon (granted she had already sent a birthday card).”
A vast majority of this recognition came about because of the simple birthday notifications that comes with Facebook and displays current and upcoming birthdays. However I also received communication this week, albeit brief and simple, from:
- My high school valedictorian I connected with after the last reunion
- The AJUG president I speak to at most once a month, commented on my music preferences
- I saw two past brides I shot pictures of post them and got to see comments on them
- I got status comments from a handful of friends I don’t get the chance to speak with very often
- Kept us with close friends on vacation and updating their status via mobile
- Learned about some cool events I want to go to this week
- Updated information about an upcoming Halloween party I am throwing to all my invitees
Like the cell phone or internet, I just can’t imagine going back to the more disconnected way of life even 10 years ago.
Are they still relevant?
A quick search on the intertubes reveals that social networks are as relevant as ever.
- Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester says:
- Facebook – The hot talked company Facebook has the highest growth rate, and at Forrester we predict it to achieve the same number of registered users as MySpace in Q4 of 2008, or early 2009 given the current growth rate.
- General Growth: * More than 60 million active users * An average of 250,000 new registrations per day since Jan. 2007 * An average of 3% weekly growth since Jan. 2007 * Active users doubling every 6 months
- Jacob Morgan, a marketer that researched social media from compete.com
shows MySpace is declining
Facebook is climbing though
Twitter and LinkedIn are also up though
- Empirically, I know that I am more and more involved in a social media type of site all the time
- According to this site… Gen-X is actually one of the largest growing segments as well…
Maybe I’m not that unique in understanding the real benefit of these tools in making me feel more connected, more informed, and more effective.