don’t fall in love with your social networking platform

I remember that two years ago the we were all fussing about MySpace. Then last year we were all abuzz about Facebook.  And this year the big thing is Twitter.

What this means for most of us is that we ought not fall in love with a particular social networking platform.

I don’t know what we’ll all be talking about next year yet.  But I do know that it will be something new.

At this stage I have a glimmer that Google Wave might be part of the next big thing (Chris Penn‘s got some interesting thoughts on that). But I’m still waiting for my Wave beta invite so not sure on that personally.

One thing is certain, those who cling to brands & platforms in this space rather than focusing on good enough functionality, community, and just enough utility will be disappointed. Sometimes the product that captures the zeitgeist is not the best product (remember VHS versus Beta?).

An interesting lesson from Twitter is that not the best platform won. There were several similar competitors (e.g. Pownce or Jaiku) that had arguably better functionality. But they have fallen by the wayside.

What is important for businesses & individuals is how we can ensure that moving our data – relationships, contacts, information and messages – to the next big thing is not only possible, but relatively easy. Perhaps it’s time to think about that?

8 thoughts on “don’t fall in love with your social networking platform

  1. Pingback: Twitted by chrish10

  2. attended your talk at the acs last night. since I’m passionate about and in the business & technology space, i currently put alot of my efforts towards learning more about enterprise social platforms to better help my clients, which is why i found your talk to be an affirmation as it was an eye opener of the road ahead. great presentation, thanks!

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  3. Hi Kate,
    Good luck getting your Google Wave invite – I got mine, joined the “sandbox” but have no idea what to do next. It seems hard. I do need to put more time into it admittedly.

    As far as the next big social networking thing is – I’ve got my eye on FriendFeed – http://friendfeed.com I love it’s search capabilities – much better than Twitter’s. Interestingly, http://friendfeed.com/friends/search was recently introduced to allow easy import of “friends” from the other platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Gmail etc) so it’s easy to get started. I think the main thing lacking locally is that our communities are not really using it yet – so we stay with Twitter, Facebook and blogs for now. I do think its one to watch though!

    Cheers
    Tony

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  4. I see social networks as nightclubs.

    Some keep on going for years (with the crowd getting older), others come and go out of fashion in a matter of months – only to appear again with a different name and look somewhere else.

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