Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Service and Exchange: Some social media sites just don't get it.

Got into a couple of new social sites today and they basically sucked.

Reason? They were pristine Ivory towers. Also known as silos. You couldn't link other sites in or import even tiny parts of your lifestream - and no one could get a link from you to check out. Everything was internal.

Much like the students above - a very inward facing group with their own little set of agreements which no one else makes much sense of.

The problem is that the group doesn't contribute outward and so will eventually wither and die off. Groups need to both service and exchange, internally and externally in order to survive and expand.

One of these groups had a good idea - to get people in to write reviews. Only problem was - they were essentially whoring. The people writing the reviews got really nothing out of it. These guys wanted to attract people who needed reviews of stuff. So it's a cute, but dead, idea. It's not social except within that tiny group of people who want to write reviews in 800 characters or more. If you could only live in Twitter and couldn't post your blogs or import your Friend Feed - or even have tinyurl links to share. Boring. Boring and whoring.

Probably only Facebook and FriendFeed really get this. (Google's social attempts are also probably on the mark all except they were started by a company, not a bunch of like-minded individuals and then popularly adopted.)

"Social" has gone beyond simply getting along with people around you. Now it's finding and building your own niche of like-minded people. And you are going to have several niches. Great for marketing, since more and different products can be offered and exchanged easily.

Nothing like the Internet for setting things on their ear, eh?

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