Saturday, November 24, 2007

Help! Too many social web services

People spend every hour of their lives in online social sites. There are too many popular ones: Facebook, MySpace, DIgg, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, orkut, Flickr, Yahoo, Twitter, Jaiku, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Xing, YouTube. Which leads to the question: which ones do I sign in for? All of them? Do I do it systematically?

One answer is to sign up for everything, but there are scalability issues: you will not be able to keep up with all the sites, especially today when we have competition between social services (e.g. Orkut, Facebook and MySpace). The correct answer is to be selective, to learn to say no to some friend's requests, and to resist the temptation.

Before signing up for anything, think about what you want to achieve first. Do you want to post your thoughts to the world, do you want to inform your relatives across the world, or do you want to share your photos with friends? Once you know what you want to do, then you must narrow down to the appropriate services. For example, if you are looking to share pictures with friends and family, you can use Flickr, Ofoto (Kodak Gallery), or even Facebook's photo application. Then, you should consider the impact of the service to your target audience. Do they have to sign-up for the service, or can they access the content without having to register? Would they mind registering, or not? Usually people don't mind registering to one site; but they do if they are already registered with a competing one.

The bottom line is that you have to be selective, and stick to it. Otherwise, you will not be able to keep up with all the new services coming in the next couple of years of Web 2.0. One last thing to note is that with social sites, there is a requirement for positive feedback. That is, the more users, the better it is. That is why these sites experience explosive growth.

1 comment:

Luke said...

Web 2.0 is a scam..

As Nicholas Carr, former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review, wrote in his blog: "It's a nifty system: First you get your users to entrust their personal data to you, and then you not only sell that data to advertisers but you get the users to be the vector for the ads. And what do the users get in return? An animated Sprite Sips character to interact with."