In the past three to 5 years we have seen an explosion in the use of social networks to promote web content but how much time is lost by fostering a social network child instead of building your own site into a valuable resource.
This seems to be a very hot topic on Twitter among the PR community. When twitter first became almost necessary for every business there were dozens of mostly unknown sites that skyrocketed to fame. We all know their names so there is no reason to go into pointing fingers but what has been lost or gained and how has that effected the content we read on a daily basis…
It is not as if content is developed purely for social networking but when you look at some of the articles that continue to be pumped out rather then information that can actually be helpful you have to wonder who is getting hurt.
It is almost impressive to watch how social networking sites can change people and by people it is not only stars like Miley Cyrus who decided to walk away from twitter… its technical writers even politicians and news agencies..
People of all trades seem to take that ride of insanity when they find something they said generated interest.
What is worse is they try to duplicate the experience by sticking to what they thought worked instead of understanding that their primary success is not related to bumps in social interest.
This ends up poorly with the loss of their base or primary support.
I will give you an example….
There was a tech writer who had been very popular on the web for a decade maybe more and one day he received a bill in the mail (im not going to say what company) that was generated by mistake. The calculation of the amount due was maybe 5000 times higher then he actually owed and instead of chalking it up to a glitch and getting on with his day he decided to rant about it on a social network.
Because the company is very large and generates tens of millions of bills there were a few thousand people that were in the same boat as he was… some of them were in his social network group and word started to get out and he became the master of the bad bill….
From that point on the guy continues to write about similar problems with bills and businesses and this became more of a primary concern then his technical reviews and previous content…
Sure the guy was getting a lot of immediate attention and that was a good use of Social Networking because it introduced a variety of other people to him.. but the people that he attracted were interested in Bad Bills not Technical Information … eventually the guy became lost in the madness of trying to please people that he had no business BUSINESS dealing with in the first place.
So I think you probably get where I’m going here… popularity on social networks can be very misleading and misguiding. In High School you can get very popular if you cut a loud fart in the middle of assembly but do you really want to live the next three years as Fartman having to chow down a can of chili before every play or concert just to maintain that persona?
yea.. didn’t think so..
So, my advice is to use social networking as a tool and don’t give into the hype.
If you find you are spending more time then you previously did managing your social networks start to examine how you are using them. If you see that much of your content is off topic then evaluate whether that is really a direction that you should be taking.
There is nothing wrong with finding a new direction in life.
The average person will change their careers between 5 and 7 times during their life and the reason for that may be fulfillment or just to make money.
Neither is a wrong reason…
However when you make changes in your life you want to do so with open eyes… and you also need to get a grip on reality some times.