Ask the Readers: Is Social Media Getting Too Noisy?

by Chris C. Ducker · 48 comments

Snapshot taken via Instagram, whilst in Hospital

I enjoy my social media action.

I have just as much fun enjoying interacting with friends online as I do in real life… And its a great way to get to know my community here better, as well as hopefully help as much as possible, too.

Not to mention building brands and marketing businesses, too. Creativity to one side – being active on social media channels has become the ‘norm’ in our very online world nowadays.

Tweeting is my favorite form of social chit chat. It’s quick, very mobile and above all, simple. Effective.

Twitter is also a fantastic tool for finding new, real time, business opportunities, too (which I regularly do!). But, thats a topic for a future post, perhaps.

And, in the News: Facebook Buys Instagram

I also enjoy taking photos. Instagram makes even the most inexperienced photographer ‘cool’ with its different filters, and sweet blurring effects (I’m sure there’s a technical term for that, but I’m buggered if I know what it is!). As of today, I have 711 people following me on Instagram, and I’ve posted 192 photos in the year or so that I’ve been using it. If you’d like to follow me – just search for ‘chrisducker’ in the app.

A couple of days ago Facebook announced that it was acquiring Instagram in a deal that would total one billion dollars (a mix of cash and stock).

Immediately a couple of quick thoughts popped into my head, namely:

Will I still be able to share my photos from Instagram to Twitter?
Will Instagram itself, as an app, be slowly, but surely incorporated into the Facebook app?

Fair questions to ask, and although Mark Zuckerberg says that the app will remain the way it is, I have to be honest, I doubt it will. I just don’t think that they (Facebook) will be able to help themselves, and eventually it will become ‘part’ of Facebook.

Social Media is SCREAMING at Us – All the time!

I also have to be honest when I say that I’m actually getting quite sick of all these different social media platforms.

The social media landscape is just too damn noisy for me now…

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Four Square, Pinterest, Tumblr, and so on and so on. The old adage of “You’ve got to be in it, to win it!” is complete and utter rubbish, as far as I’m concerned. I only use a few of those and do quite well when it comes to building a personal brand and marketing my businesses.

I am contemplating making quite drastic changes in my social media interaction. I might even completely drop certain platforms all together.

I’ve started to dislike Facebook as it’s become more and more ‘complicated’ to work with and enjoy. Lets face it – did we REALLY need Timeline? I don’t think so. But, its hear nonetheless. Related Note: If you want a great tutorial on Timeline for Pages, then check out my buddy, Pat Flynn’s excellent post (complete with videos and templates).

However, I do enjoy the interaction on the VBL Facebook page, which currently has over 11,000 people who have ‘Liked’ it. Do so here if you want to be loved forever!

.

What says the VBL Tribe?

Are you feeling the same way as me….?

Or, do you love social media, in every way, shape and form?

Will Instagram be affected by this whole thing?

Are you finding yourself strapped for time when it comes to your Social Media playtime?

I’d love to hear your comments below…

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Harold Dodd April 11, 2012 at 19:46

Maybe. I know quite a few people who will avoid social media for that reason alone – the perceived noise, or, as they would put it – “The Useless Drivel”. There’s a lot you can do with it, and maybe those things that simply aren’t desired may be percieved as the noise.

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Rob Cubbon April 11, 2012 at 20:05

I’ve been feeling like that for a very long time now. I’ve always been very cautious with social media. It can be an extreme waste of time for the uninitiated and it can be very difficult to advise people just starting out.

People make the classic mistake of starting a Facebook page, Google+ account, Twitter feed and YouTube channel all at once, spend hours and hours on them, spreading themselves too thin and get very little in return. And then they could give up on social media for their business completely, which would be a mistake.

I would always advise people to pick the channel(s) they feel most at home with and interact and engage there. But still limit the amount of time two maybe less than 2 hours a week. Social media can be a real time killer.

Also, social media really benefits those who are successful anyway in the blogosphere – it amplifies the success but it doesn’t necessarily always cause it. I’m finding Google+ tremendously boring at the moment. It’s hard to pick out the interesting stuff amidst the deluge of shares of stuff you already know.

Slowly but surely, a little bit every week, to build you SM audience. My two cents.

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Steve wyman April 12, 2012 at 19:29

and your a huge tweeter :-) I agree with you though Rob.

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Chris C. Ducker April 16, 2012 at 00:17

Your two cents are noted, Sir!

Great additional insights, mate.

I also agree that to be mad successful via social media you have to have an online following to begin with. It’s rare, very rare that it comes to you, the other way around.

That being said – there are some that do achieve it.

Love to see you back and commenting, Rob.

C

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Valerie Joy Deveza April 11, 2012 at 20:34

Unlike the guy above me. I love Google+. I can see much more engagement on it than my Facebook account. Maybe because I’m able to search people who have same PASSION as me on that site.

We both love Twitter. Like you, I get real time leads there and I just love the engagement and reach it gives me.

I’m a social media junkie Chris! I really love social media.. Maybe because I don’t focus a lot on the tools but on the “social” aspect of it. That even though there are new social media networks popping up almost every 2-3 months trying to be the NEXT BIG THING.

Still I try to stick on networks where my community is and just jump to the next one if NEEDED. :)

That’s it! Tweet ya later! :P

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Chris C. Ducker April 16, 2012 at 00:18

Social media junkie or not, Valerie, you are one of the few Filipino’s I see actively engaging people on SM channels. Reaching out, conversing, etc.

We both know that the trait of the Filipino is to be shy and conservative, but trust me – I see you doing what you’re doing, and I like it. Keep doing it – it will carve out ‘something’ for you in the future, I pretty sure of it.

C

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Garry April 11, 2012 at 20:48

I agree, there are too many social media platforms, though that’s to be expected as the marketplace and technology develop, but what we need to do as users is focus on just the ones that are most popular with our target audience, and effective for us.

As annoying as Facebook is, it is the number one by a long way, so I think you’d be mad to drop it. Apart from that I’d stick to just Twitter and either Pinterest or Instagram.

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Chris C. Ducker April 16, 2012 at 00:20

Hi Garry

Agreed – I shall not be dropping it (FB)… And in fact, since writing this post G+ has gone through a design change and I absolutely HATE it… So, FB, you’ll have me for a bit longer, in regards to my community! :-)

Thanks for the comment, bud.

C

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Sophy April 11, 2012 at 20:52

So many schools of thought on this topic. I think if used in a way that you can accurately measure, sure go ahead and spend the time posting tweeting etc. as long as you can measure your results.

I like twitter for quick chit chat as well. I often link different accounts to different campaigns depending on what I’m working on.

I think we will see some changes around social media soon.

My question is – how will fb make money from instagram? I can’t see any advertising on instagram

Hope all is well

Regards Sophy

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:21

Hi Sophy

My sentiments exactly – how are they gonna make any $$$….?

I guess time will tell. I hope that FB Ad’s don’t start popping up in my photo stream, thats for sure!

Thanks for contributing.

C

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Tshepo Mashigo April 11, 2012 at 21:01

Well… It is said that Google + is like a gym Contract, everyone has it but they barely go there.

You right Chris. It is all too noisy. Pinterest for one is simply useless for me and i have decided not to get an account.. Its all too loud and slowly getting over saturated.

Tshepo

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:18

Hahaha.

I love your gym membership analogy.

Thanks for the smile, bud.

C

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Dan April 11, 2012 at 23:29

I’m convinced– Twitter is for smart people. I’d much rather to go my twitter stream than, say, the front page of the NYTimes. Add in the interaction and driving traffic benefits, and you’ve got my heart, twitter.

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:17

Agreed.

110%.

Nuff said.

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Charles Harman April 12, 2012 at 00:33

You know I was thinking of this just the other day just too much out here it takes a huge amount of my time just keeping track of all of it. I wish there was just one social network that did everything sure would make life simpler.
Lately I am working with Richare Essi of richardessi.com building up his website and getting ready for product releases. Take a look at his site: http://www.richardessi.com/ This is a work in progress. Got a book publisned to include on the website, and a product release soon, also working on the newsletter.

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Chris C. Ducker April 16, 2012 at 00:21

Hi Charles

Like the look of the Essi site – nice work.

C

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Danny Mallinder April 12, 2012 at 01:04

Yes I agree it is getting to noisey and why there is an industry growing as part of content marketing ie. social media management for business to outsource all their social media. The noise creates a problem for a business owner – time and understanding each platform well enough so they need help managing it all. A business should be at least on twitter and FB, especially very social businesses like a restaurant, I am here in Mexico consultantung with a frachise on social media and they will get more out of using FB and a FB app then their website. Personally I use Facebook more and starting to like Pinterest which is the fastest growing platform to date and why I believe FB brought instagram.

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Jeff April 12, 2012 at 01:22

I agree it’s a rookie mistake to create profiles at too many social media properties, while spreading yourself too thin.
On the other hand, we have to try and see what picks up steam.

Many complain (including myself) about Google + being boring, or underutilized. I’d really prefer not to add another social property to maintain.

Yet, when I look at how Google’s continuous algorithm tweaks factor in Google + activity, circle additions, rel=”author”, +1’s this will become a necessary evil over time, perhaps above all others.

Heck recent (some not so recent) changes with their algorithm give them the ability to rewrite your Title tag presentation in the SERPS. Anchor text may become less important over time.

It’s becoming clear however, that social signals , a real person/company behind credible content and frequent social updates are the next wave.

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:17

Hi Jeff

Amen on G+.

I popped over there today and the new design just turned me off even more.

I think I’m gonna be sticking to Twitter and Facebook as my two channels of choice. And Facebook is only a passing fancy for me – even though the VBL Community has a page there, its not the most active, and thats okay because whenever it is ‘active’, its usually really worthwhile stuff.

Hope all is good with you and thanks for the on-going support.

C

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Andy April 12, 2012 at 01:32

Hey Chris, I adore twitter and think that the platform is here to stay but I see Facebook pages (not ads) and google+ becoming a form of a social bookmarking service rather than a social network, I’d love to see someone create a FREE social network that links all your networks together, and for that service to go large so that all other social networks that pop up can be included, and I don’t mean a management suit to manage all the different networks but one that combines likes / followers / fans / pinners and so on, together :) what do you think? And is there anything out there like this already?

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Elmer Shore April 12, 2012 at 01:38

Chris,

Funny you should ask, I’ve been trying to unplug from all social medias, i.e.: facebook, twitter, linkedin, and spoke for long-time now, but somehow they program it so I won’t be able to do so with reminders, invitations, from virtual connections etc…because it seems to me, the more, we connect from it the more disconnect we are from the reality of things. There’s still no substitute for real face-to-face conversation, but with webcam & skype capability, it’s almost just as well, too, especially with family and extended relatives overseas. It can also be time-consuming doing postings, checking statuses, uploading/downloading photos, chats, etc..next you know half-a-day is gone. So I try to limit my logins to 2 or 3 times a week to no more than an hour per login. As noisy as it can get with these social medias, there’s also benefits to it from local businesess advertising & branding from it. But for us individually, let’s just meet and talk in person and be done with.

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:14

Hi Elmer

Great points.

And the idea of only checking in 2-3 times a week is a great time management tip, right there.

Thanks for taking the TIME to pop over to the blog and contribute to the discussion.

C

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Tom Kelly April 12, 2012 at 01:57

I agree withRob’s comment, but would like to expand it to include handling all incoming email in general, that one receives. I have not ventured into the social media arena as yet, because I have just reached the conclusion, that I have become addicted to my damn email. Now I am starting to seriously begin dropping some of my subscriptions, because I have arrived at the big question of time management… which asks how much is your time worth; how much did you waste reading and deleting junk; finally how much did you make, while on the computer?

If it comes up to a big zero, you might find that you too are already hooked did not know it! So… you have a choice, be the smart guy who knows everything going on in the world, or dump the crap and spend you time making $$$ and creating freedom for yourself and family! Chris, I have written to you before and never gotten a reply! This is my dream, to begin and build a online business. If the GuRu’s don’t have time to talk with prospective new customers, hear their concerns and answer their questions…Unsubscribe! They are to in love with their own success and no longer have time for the little person!

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Ian Robinson April 12, 2012 at 03:00

I think Facebook is on the way out. Thats bold statement, but I can remember when MySpace was the center of the social media universe. phhff, myspace…

There is no reason to think Instagram is going to remain the way it is. Facebook has been constantly developing since inception; Instagram will continue to morph too.

All this social media is undoubtedly a time warp. But it’s an immensely interesting time warp! We are so lucky to experience all this inconstancy and I anticipate that it’s just going to get more inconstant.

Exciting times. :)

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Chris C. Ducker April 16, 2012 at 00:23

Hi Ian

FB – on its way out… no way. But, about to lose traction – in some way, probably.

What’s MySpace, anyway……..?!!!!!!!!

C

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Tyler Andersen April 12, 2012 at 04:01

Personally I don’t go on facebook or Google+ very often simply because I would rather be surfing other sites like Reddit, and going over my RSS feed subscriptions reading up on articles I find interesting. But that’s the point, is that it is my personal preference.

I think that although at times we personally may not like once social network over another, there are thousands of others who will have a completely opposite opinion and have plenty of valid arguments of why they like them. Like your buddy Pat Flynn says, it’s important to “Be Everywhere” because depending on peoples personal experiences, one person may spend all their time on pinterest and never use twitter, or just the opposite.

What’s important is that you utilize all of the social platforms you can to reach as many people as possible. What you do with your personal accounts should be what your prefer. But as for building your online reputation for your business, I don’t think it hurts to branch out to as many as possible. I don’t really have a business that I do this with yet but I’m learning more and more that you should remember that you’re supposed to cater to your audience, and think outside of your own preferences.

Just my two cents ;)

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:13

Great points, Tyler.

I am also an RSS fan – however, have spent a lot of time recently unsubscribing from blogs that were simply gathering dust in my Reader. I now only have about 7=8 blogs in there that I read regularly, the rest are very sporadic.

Appreciate you dropping by and commenting.

C

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Claire Sowden April 12, 2012 at 08:04

Hey Chris,

I couldn’t agree more about the number of social media channels…
I think that the struggle to compete with Facebook has created a marketplace of want-to-be-the-next-big-things. It leaves the consumer confused… And as we all know, a confused prospect doesn’t buy. In this case, it’s a bid for time. The confused “Social Media-r” (my term for a person engaging in social media) doesn’t get the chance to buy in to the one channel with their time. Instead, they get stuck in that layer of noise, where despite a lot of output, not much happens.

Like Garry and Rob above, I’m advising clients to drop channels and mass strategies. Choose just one to begin with – even though you might be torn by all the apparent glitter of the newest band-wagon.
Does anyone else from the eighties remember the crushing pressure to get the latest pumped-up sneakers, because someone else at school had them? Social Media is just like that. And because of all our wonderful humanness, we think that if we’re not involved in that channel, then we must be missing out, big time.

So now to go cull a couple of cobwebbed accounts and refocus…

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:23

Hi Claire

I reckon your advise is concerning clients, as well as putting them at ease a little, too – especially if the whole social media world is new to them.

Personally, for me its TWO – Twitter and Facebook. I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

And, as you’re no doubt remember from my presentations in Phuket – Twitter is the hand’s down winner for me.

Thanks for commenting, nice to see you here! :-)

C

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Michelle Dale April 12, 2012 at 15:32

Hi Chris, really good discussion.

There is no denying that social media is overwhelming, people have created entire businesses, if not empires just helping people with it. I generally stick to Twitter and I have recently come to like Facebook a bit more because it’s a more manageable pace – but I generally use them for business networking since my biz is 100% online. Pinterest I like for personal reasons, I love to travel and collect images of the world, Pinterest is ideal for that. I would rather sit looking at Pinterest in recreational time than watching the news on TV.

I would say everything likely has it’s place – but not necessarily with every person. The best thing to do is not feel pressured to be a part of everything and feel stretched thin, when you could be a part of one or two and enjoy them much more. It’s like Claire said, we don’t want to feel like we’re missing out.

I am on Google + simply because it makes sense to post my important updates there and content. I have been trying to like it for months, but I can’t say I enjoy it that much, so rarely visit… I made a vow to stick with what I enjoy interacting on, but not to the point where I want to eliminate some potentially big players in social media altogether.

Bottom Line is my business would not be where it is today without social media. A Social Media site is like Marmite, you’ll either love it and stay or hate it and never bother with it.

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:11

I’m also on Google+ for the same reason.

Yet, today I pop over there to check it out and boom – new design. That looks like someone has literally given the entire design team the week off work!!!

What more can I say.

Thanks for commenting, Michelle.

C

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Wayne Edward Clarke April 12, 2012 at 16:58

There’s so much money in social media, there’ll be a constant stream of new companies trying for a share of it for the foreseeable future. Frustrating but inevitable. Because of this, the established companies are forced to keep innovating. No matter how good their present systems are, to stagnate is to die, and quickly. Facebook changes a bit too often, I think, but if they never changed for a three year stretch, their market share would drop. In a few decades there’ll be some standardization as the utility of digital systems reaches the limits of human potential to interact with them, but for now we’re stuck with the consequences and benefits of constant change.

Facebook has a few billion in profits laying around, so it’s pretty standard for them to buy up a few of the newer, smaller, and brighter companies. All the huge companies are doing the same. I don’t know why Facebook wants to go public, as they obviously don’t need an infusion of investment. I don’s see how companies like Instagram can keep going if someone doesn’t buy them, since they don’t make any money at all. I don’t really get how they’ve been paying salaries and keeping the lights on, unless their backers have been supporting them and waiting for just such an opportunity. I think that those who like Instagram should be glad that Facebook has guaranteed their continued existence, at least for the near future.

Which social networks you should use for business depends on your customers’ characteristics, and your own. Everyone should use at least one of the three most popular ones, simply to maximise their reach. Then try to match your customers’ demographic with one or two appropriate smaller social networks. Each attracts different kinds of people. Early adopters are always going to be trying the newest thing, conservatives and older types tend to wait until something is big enough to matter to the general public, etc.

I don’t tweet, except to have my blog posts automatically posted to Twitter, because I have trouble saying anything briefly. That’s why I stopped being a songwriter and started writing 400,000 word novels. Each to their own.

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:09

Very, very insightful comment, Wayne – thanks for contributing.

And I believe you’re right when you discuss the fact that Facebook has a bit of cash floating around. I still don’t see how that $1 Billion investment is going to pay off though. How they will make money from Instagram, at this point, is beyond me…

Thanks again,

C

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Rita May 25, 2012 at 12:22

Chris, I must say that I have been wondering the same thing re Instagram! As a lover of all things mergers and acquisitions related, this one has me quite perplexed; I’ve downloaded several articles to get my head around it, but got to point where I was like, “why even bother!”

Good article.

Cheers

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Steve wyman April 12, 2012 at 19:32

Hi Chris

I agree. To many platforms and to many places to check whats going on.

I really want a single universal interface to find what’s happening.

An whilst i might follow somebody I also just want to see what a very few people are actually talking about right now.

As you know ive raised this before. For me Twitter always should have been called witter. Theres to much “noise” in the interactions.

They also form in addition to email (and blog commenting !!) just more reasons to be busy reading instead of getting the next venture rolling.

regards

Steve

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:08

I agree, Steve.

Like I said, I use Twitter pretty much exclusively.

I would much rather be doing something that ‘makes more sense’ to me as an entrepreneur, rather than shamelessly wasting time popping from one profile or status message to the next!

C

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Adam Stanecki April 13, 2012 at 07:45

I use Facebook and Twitter every day for personal and business purposes.
I check LinkedIn 1-2 times per week for business.
Foursquare is useful for business promotion, so I do check-in but that’s all.
Pinterest is intriguing but I’m not using it.

It is getting crowded and complicated. I’ve tuned out to the newer platforms.
The thing is we can all choose which networks work for us and act accordingly.
And as you know, Chris, a VA can help with this stuff if it gets too much for one person.
There’s no use stressing over it.

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Chris C. Ducker April 13, 2012 at 23:07

Crowded and complicated…

That says it all. I couldn’t agree more, bud.

Indeed, a VA can help ‘manage’ your social media, but I believe the whole point in utilizing it is to NETWORK, not just simply be ‘on it’, if you know what I mean.

C

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Angie April 14, 2012 at 20:38

We all like new and shiny. When a new social network appears, we all jump into it, without reflection or thought about how useful it will be for our business.

I advise clients to choose 2-3 social networks, and work with those. And I tell them to choose the ones where their customers hang out – instead of choosing networks based on their preferences.

I also think that authenticity in social media plays a big role for small businesses – the VA can take over many important roles, but the social interactions need to be done by someone who really, really cares about the success of your business (i.e you!)

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Wayne Edward Clarke April 15, 2012 at 10:41

Two more points;

One; the purchase of Instagram can be profitable for Facebook if Instagram has unique code or patents for technology that Facebook can use in other, more profitable applications.

TWO; THIS IS GONNA BE HUGE!!: A new social network that automatically translates every language into text and voice synthesis. Potential market: 7 billion users.
http://themultilife.com/

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Lou April 15, 2012 at 23:22

There is a social media bubble will soon pop but never completly go away. The next big social media business will be one that excludes the most advertising. I really want to get away from the constant noise and just connect with friends. The FB purchase of Instagram for 1B is ridiculous but good for the people that created it!

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Chris C. Ducker April 16, 2012 at 00:06

Hi Lou

Agreed, the Instagram guys are laughing now, obviously. Man, if only I could have been an angel investor in THAT project!!!

The bubble will burst in SOME way soon, I believe you’re right. I also think that there will be more and more ‘private’ social networking sites popping up, too, like Yammer.

Thanks for interacting, bud.

C

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ralph@cantankerousoldcoots April 20, 2012 at 07:11

Chris,
I just can’t connect with Twitter. It seems so vapid. I look forward to hearing the ways you use it (to find out things I think you said) because it just doesn’t seem useful at all.
Facebook makes more sense to me although I still question whether there is real value there. I am pretty much only using Facebook for SM these days and yes I do think that there are more platforms than we really need.

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Chris C. Ducker April 20, 2012 at 13:41

Hi Ralph

Facebook is a great platform. And if you have a local business I think it’s a phenomenal way to promote yourself. What I love about Twitter is the speed in which everything is presented to me. Being less cluttered, means easier to digest.

Thanks for the comment, bud.

C

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Nica Mandigma April 24, 2012 at 04:25

I do find social media noisy but it comes with the job. I do better in Facebook than anywhere else but I’m finding Pinterest really useful in terms of finding content to post in other social networks. I do Twitter when neeed (something I ought to remedy soon) and do Google+ for SEO purposes.

However, a look at my analytics yesterday showed that Google+ is my second biggest referrer of traffic, next to Facebook, so it’s something that I should really pay attention to.

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Rodrigo Langeani April 26, 2012 at 09:33

I agree with you guys. I`ve just had enough of FB, linkedin, orkut (wich was very very popular in brazil), posterous, tumblr. I think i will just stay with twitter and youtube.
I think there are many annoying apps in FB now, and I think people will get tired of all this mess in a near future.
Don`t you think it?

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Rita May 25, 2012 at 11:56

It’s mind-boggling the amount of social-media platforms to choose from.

I want to start blogging (and have been encouraged to do so for years by friends), and experimented on FB; got lots of positive feedback, so now I am trying this out on Twitter. Will start a pukka blog later in the year…too much else to do right now.

I don’t like FB for many reasons related to privacy violations, however from all the social media platforms out there, and in terms of visibility etc, I will stick with FB, Twitter and LinkedIn for now, especially as far as advertising my businesses are concerned.

It’s too dizzying to even consider, let alone managing the rest.

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Rita May 25, 2012 at 12:08

Timeline totally sucks!

I find LinkedIn to be a great platform in terms of getting business and wish I’d started using it years ago.

On LinkedIn, I have an excellent one liner reference from a brilliant mining magnate known world over; that alone has caused companies and people linked to him to approach me to do work for them (one of the people who approached me is the CEO of an international junior mining company!); none of this has translated into income YET as some of these projects are large capital projects in Africa that require intensive fund-raising, but I have already started meeting with people; it has been absolutely phenomenal to see how well certain social media can serve a “one person show” in this regard.

So I will definitely stay with LinkedIN; if Timeline becomes mandatory, then it’s bye bye FB!

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