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How many is too many? Social media and the line many of us have already crossed

Out with the old and in with the new. At some point in all of our lives, we gone on a cleaning binge where we throw out all of the old stuff we’re no longer using. So what about social media pages. In an effort to keep up with the exponentially expanding web 2.0, I’ve found myself becoming a member of Linked In, Facebook, Myspace, GovLoop, Twitter, Recruitingblogs, Ning and countless other Web Groups that never fully made it into fruition. At this point, I’ve managed to narrow it down to my top sites but still find myself struggling to keep up with what everyone’s doing on all of the sites. Is it too much to ask to have one central site that everyone uses? Or have we advanced too far beyond that into our own specialized niches? I for one do not think that this fad of countless social networking pages can last too much longer. I wonder which pages will last and which ones will flourish like the once popular Myspace seems to be doing? What will replace Web 2.0?

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Profile Photo Cindy Lou Baker

How about google.wave? Seems easy to learn and really useful. Have you seen the video? Ya, I have too many also. Sick. The problem is (if you believe in that sort of thing) when we get one single site for all the nations to use, we’ll end up with one single password inscribed indelibly into our heads! Rgiht? lol.

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Profile Photo June Breivik

Interesting question, I have asked myself the same one. Still I keep joining new sosial networks, and what is interesting I meet different people in the different networks. They broaden my horizon. My friends on GovLoop are not my friends on Facebook, or Twitter, or Linked in, or other networks. Still some of them becomme friends in more than one network. It’s like in our RL, we move in different circles. But I agreee, it’s much work to keep up.

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Profile Photo Craig Kessler

I don’t think it is a fad and the big ones will continue to dominate and become more important in daily lives as you see with Facebook, LinkedIn. There is a limit to everyone, it’s whatever you feel comfortable with and can update and do maintenance on on a regular basis. FriendFeed combines a few networks in one, I’m not on it though although a lot of people like it. It is difficult to update and build networks when there are so many, so just stick to the ones you like and engage in those. Like Cindy mentioned, Google Wave is going to be released soon and supposed to combine everything you could want in a social network into one, could be another big one to enter the market and really take over.

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Profile Photo Michaela Holmberg

Interesting, I hadn’t heard of Google Wave. I just wonder if we haven’t niched ourselves too much yet. After all, like June said, my friends on Facebook are completely different people than my friends on Linked In or Gov Loop. On the one hand, it’s great to meet different types of people. On the other hand, I find myself spreading too thin and getting more and more addicted to the computer…

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Profile Photo SGIS

Just by looking at the numbers, I think Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have secured their places in social networking priority. They’ve grabbed their audiences’ attention and grown because of them. Each of these pages serve unique purposes and are important to the public for various reasons. If a potential page can find its niche in today’s market, I think it has a greater chance of succeeding in the sea of social networks.

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Twitter: @SGIS
http://www.SGIS.com/Blog

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Profile Photo Bill Murray

@SGIS – I see your point. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have all reached a tipping point that a number of other social networks haven’t reached. I serve as vice president for PR at my Toastmaster’s Club and found myself addressing all three networks at an officer’s lunch.

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Profile Photo Michaela Holmberg

I see your point Bill and SGIS, but at the same time, I wonder how long it will last? Myspace was huge three years ago. Since then, I’ve quit my account along with most people I know because it got too blogged down with advertisements and other stuff when it’s popularity grew. Facebook, little by little is becoming the same way. A lot of my friends from college are no longer using it for that reason. The same is becoming true with Linked In. There are all of these new applications that are being added and they can get pretty annoying. If I’ve learned one thing from Web 2.0, it’s that nothing lasts forever and you can disappear just as quickly as you launched to success.

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Profile Photo June Breivik

I agree with Michaela, shift happens, especially in Web 2.0, and things change rapidly. We don’t know whats new and exiting around the next corner. Maybe our current social networks don’t meet the needs of tomorrow.

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Profile Photo John Ressler

To me a lot of it is the paradox of choice. We dont like it when we are given one choice but also 100 choices becomes too many.

The general trend is there is only going to be more data and networks.

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Profile Photo Ryan Warner

Interesting question. I am intrigued how the use of social networking site breaks down along generational lines. Based on my own observations I have noticed that Myspace has a slightly younger audience, than say Linkedin and Facebook. When using these tools in outreach, recruitment, and citizen engagementment it is important to consider the audience you are speaking to. For that reason I would argue that each site has a purpose for a specific community.

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Profile Photo Amanda Blount

I agree – it is just too much to keep up with every group. There is no way that you can spend your day on every site that you really enjoy. When the personal computer became something that I could have at home, and I had the internet, I felt like a kid in a candy store…. and that was early 90s for me. The first few days I had the internet, I did not move. I searched and searched (ok there was no google) for everything. I had so much fun. I fell in love with the internet and computers from way back. I have had to learn to limit myself to what I search for on the internet. For instance, I really like a number of fun sites, but with work, kids and such, I really must narrow my focus down to what I consider important to me. I use facebook, linked in, my own personal website, a couple of fun sites, and now govloop. I almost did not join Govloop because I did not want any other websites to follow, But, Govloop has many of the threads that I need in my field, so it would be crazy for me not to join. I think that is where many small start ups don’t survive. Each person has only so much time to fool around on the computer, so if a start up does not have what a majority of people will need right away, or if the website is hard to learn, then the startup will fail. I am not going to join an additional website if it gives me the exact same thing as a website I am already on. So, yes, we have to limit ourselves to what we like, need, and what we want to do in our free time. If not, we may end up with a connection right in our heads! LOL 🙂 (that was really a joke…really! 🙂

BTW – on LinkedIN I am Amanda Blount in Clarksville TN – and on Facebook I am Amanda Blount in the Nashville TN area. Feel free to friend me on either site.

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Profile Photo Moira Deslandes

I agree Ryan – it is horses for courses – niche connecting/marketing is not new – we all know where we are likely to find the people we want to network with and more often or not they overlap anyhow and we all self select and go back to the ones that work for us – it is true in the social media platforms as well. The social media market place will find its equilibrium as we all work out what works for us

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Profile Photo Kevin Lanahan

There’s two sides to this problem.

On the personal side, we will find some networks that work for us and some that don’t. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, GovLoop and LinkedIn, but really only participate in Facebook and GovLoop. I just monitor the others.

Our organizations, on the other hand, need to go where the people are. If our constituency is on MySpace, then it makes sense to have a presence there. And when MySpace becomes an also-ran in the social media wars, we should have the sense to pull out. If a start-up looks promising, create a presence and explore. It should be a fluid environment.

Haven’t quite figured out what LinkedIn is good for. It doesn’t have the interactions that FB and GovLoop seem to foster. But I’m sure someone (apart from job seekers and HR departments) is finding it useful.

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