My face twit linkedIn and the rest
Much time is spent in the corridors of business talking about the “social networking fad” that is Myspace, FACEBOOK, TWITTER and the like. The interesting thing about the discussions that happen in the corridors (brick and mortar that is) is that they are generally opposed to this “fad”.
Whenever the debate is taken into the on-line arena then the discussion centres around the virtues of the the various platforms.
I think that, as with most of life’s issues, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
There can be no dispute that from a productivity point of view social networking is a time drain, particularly if the time is spent checking 1400 friend statuses. What cannot be underestimated though is the power of linking many people together. The joint experiences that are brought together into a few platforms is able to enrich most everyone on the that particular network.
Collaboration is being taken to new heights, dissemination of facts is happening in milliseconds and in fact many will argue that this is enhancing productivity. Just yesterday someone on my TWITTER network sent out a question and received many helpful responses to his request.
I am of the opinion though that we are just seeing the start of this revolution. I am already seeing people acknowledging that they do not have the time to keep all of their networks up to date. Many are separating their platforms into personal and business relationships. This will bring about a natural downturn in the activity.
Ultimately this what we do with any new thing…We (the masses) let one or two people check it out, we then all go mashugana and get on board. We then improve it or drop it. From a social networking point of view we are simply deciding what platform is going to provide the best solution for each of us.
In short, while the revolution is just starting, I think the next steps will be a rationalisation amongst the social networking platforms. I also think that we will begin to see “paid” membership, whatever form that payment takes (ad’s that you need to click through, actual cash membership fees). After all as I am often reminded someone needs to pay for the lights and water
When this step comes we will see yet another iteration of this “fad”
In the meantime I am of the view that the “brick and mortar” corridors should adopt this “fad” embrace the virtues of people engaging with each other and then ultimately draw down on the value that is there.