Key social media sites these days are heading towards a major backlash because of the prior sins of their fathers. This is part of why its so hard to get a great new social media idea to catch on, people are growing skeptical about social media's benefits in a sea of high priced commercial promotion, and in the uphill process of generating a healthy user following. This discussion came about from an article posted on CNN [ http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/01/07/r ... e/index.ht... ] about the impending demise of FaceBook. The article is well written, and quite believable from my angle because I've been logging on less and less as time passes, and getting more and more frustrated with Facebook when I do sign on, now so are my "friends".
People, make sites like facebook popular, commercial entities buy in and then subsequently corner the initial value that these sites created. Commercial companies then squeeze any sense of culture out of a social media site by adding ads to your content and encouraging users to repost ads. Before you know it, you're on what looks like an overcrowded mismatched-color Geocities page, when all you wanted to do was to share your music. All of the marketing potential individual users had in the initial stages vanishes once disguised commercial ads, click boosting, user tracking appear. And all hell breaks loose once a monetary value is placed on a social media site. Myspace still gets great hits, but mostly from spammers and bots, which makes it value worth less than the computers its hosted on. Its their own damn fault. Tom played the game right when he sold early I tell you!
Some big name social media sites aren't doing anything substantial in order to help productivity nor promotion for individual users. They have features that encourage users to spam each other, which make their added peers end up blocking each other because of incessant tagging and messages to user inboxes that require tedious manual deletion, etc [all tactics to generate empty clicks]...
These social media sites all make the same mistakes in not emphasizing their talented users, and helping to build followings, while promoting businesses and services that are reliable and relevant to their own users. I'm a firm believer in a future of micro-social sites that focus on specific user communities rather than trying to warehouse everyone into a huge template. Facebook, as it is really doesn't provide much in terms of letting "like minds come together". There should be no reason why I can't communicate [through a social media buffer of course] with Jay Z about rapping, or Kanye about being a douchebag, or ask the real Ivanka Trump out on a date, and they all should be able to block me if they get pissed off in the process, thats what happens on Twitter, and thats why this year Twitter will capture a large percentage of Facebook's user shares, because its much more fulfilling than fake user profiles [for the moment]
Instead of working on promoting normal users you don't know, most social media sites are geared towards the "celebrity machine", for celebrities that are already popular. Promoting the same stuff that's on TV, and the radio, because someone paid for the ad space. Following this "celebrity machine" is a losing battle because it has to put on a new expensive outfit every time its launched, and it fails once people uncover its motives, or once innovation can't disguise it.
Facebook makes it appear to users that the only method to generate 5,000 followers requires landing a major record or movie deal, so much for being a talented musician. Programming and monetizing is only a tiny part of creating a successful social media site, this is why most get it wrong. If you want 4 years of profit, who cares, make the next big social media warehouse, if you want a lifetime of success, think carefully of the benefits your site can provide to the average joe, and make sure you keep that in your mantra for as long as your site lives. The motives have to be clear cut, highly functional, and it must offer fair and equal promotion for all of its users while limiting spamming and upholding privacy, otherwise it will stay the game of rise and downfall. There's a reason why YouTube has been a great site all of these years, it sticks to its user base and keeps them content.
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