Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year`s Post

Dick Clark is an icon. Like the Polaroid brand, he has name value. Ryan Seacrest does too. I like the way he is positioned for the future without pushing Dick Clark aside.

Name value, brand value, faces. This thinking pushes me into the Facebook / MySpace vs every other social something that is trying to ning them if you pardon the play on words. I just started using a ning site related to education. I sort of like ning. Facebook is one social thingy that I have accepted that I will have to use. MySpace I have abandoned. The education ning site has grand plans. I doubt they will get enough faces to be useful. Sadly to say, a Facebook group would likely get more faces unless a serious plan is put in place to build the community membership and to build activity (and value) within the community .

The countdown for social network sites is on. They are stacked up just like the advertising billboards at Time`s Square. I predict that some sites will live a long and properous life once they reach critical mass as it applies to the community they are trying to establish. That might be a community of 5 or 10. It might be a community of 10,000 or 100 million. If I was involved in one, I'd determine what my critical mass was and execute a plan to get me there. I've seen good idea sites start and flounder. I've also seen them grow and reach a steady state with longevity.

Is the ball dropping and is there a sense and reality of urgency for all these social thingies ?

I think yes and no. And it as usual will come down to money. If an ROI is required, there is a reality of urgency. I expect alot of good ideas will be floated, invested in and will flop. This goes along with any hype cycle. Social this and social that is at the peak of the hype cycle. This applies to social infrastructure and to social networks themselves. Technology will be rolled out. Some will fly and others will fall. Communities will be built and some will reach critical mass. Others will flounder and die off. Good technology will help form communites.

I think yes that the free for all will quickly stop and there is a reality of urgency. The ball is dropping and there is 6 to 12 months before the bottom is reached.

I think no where there is little or no investment and time can be spent to build out technology and/or 'faces'. Time is the enemy where money is involved. Time is the ally when change is involved. Migrating people from me to we needs time. A race against the money clock to establish behavioral change is a tough race to run.

In this world of islands of social technology, we need bridges, trains, buses ... anything that will join technology that people use and are comfortable with to the technologies that support communities and social interactions. New wonderful shiny things can be an impediment to creating critical mass in a social network. That is why we need to link the old with the new. We need to really look at the use cases and actors and design ways to facilitate communication and sharing.

What we have today are a bunch of shiney objects. I might pick on some of our shiney objects in the future. My favourite love/hate is twitter. But that is for another post or not.
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