Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Forum - has social media become, like, just so last week?

I almost didn't have a Monday Forum this week, my attention was distracted by Commedia dell'Arte, but I am trying to firm up my weekly program on this blog. Maybe something on the other tomorrow. Still, free to comment in any way you like on anything you like. After all,Commedia dell'Arte was all about improvisation. And masks!

Computerworld's  Rebecca Merrett reports (Facebook fights user fatigue, while Twitter is fastest growing: report) on a decline in the number of active Facebook users. The story begins: 

Facebook has seen some growth in its active users, but Twitter has become the fastest growing social platform in the world, according to Global Web Index.

The research firm’s Stream Social Q1 2013 report found Facebook experienced a 35 per cent increase in total active users between Q2 2012 and Q1 2013, while Twitter experienced a 40 per cent increase over the same period. Twitter’s growth in active users also surpassed Google Plus' 33 per cent.

Rebecca goes on to quote figures from Social Bakers suggesting that about 33 per cent of countries on Facebook saw a decline in monthly active users over the last six months, compared to about 11 per cent over the last year. In the Australian case, active users fell by 202,880 over the last six months.

As you might guess, I am fairly active on social media. I am also interested in it in a professional sense. However, I must that admit that I, too, suffer from social media fatigue! I use it as a tool, but I find the constant chops and changes frustrating. I am also increasingly reluctant to invest scare time in new things. I have decided that I actually have no interest in the new, just the useful or the fun.

On Facebook, I am actually a fairly regular user because I find it useful in a personal sense. I have also been experimenting, not very successfully, with a public Facebook page. But I also find that the usefulness of Facebook has actually declined because some people that I am most interested in now post on an irregular basis. They still look from time to time so that they can (if they wish) see what I'm doing. But its now one way.

So what do you think is the future of social media? How do you use it or not? Now I know some of the answers here from my regular readers, but I'm still interested.        

14 comments:

Winton Bates said...

Jim, it seems to me that saying that social media 'is just so last week' is a bit saying that the motor vehicle is 'just so last week'.

Whether we like it or not, it isn't just some passing fad. There is no going back.

However, I guess you knew I would say something like that.

Jim Belshaw said...

:), Winton. When the car first began, great romance was attached. Then it all became, pardon the pun, rather pedestrian!

I agree that social media is here to stay. But in what form and for what purpose? I guess is that social media has moved from fashion to just a means to an end.

Winton Bates said...

Jim, one trend that concerns me is the tendency for people to choose to be exposed to the views of their 'friends', rather than a wider range of views. It would be nice if that became unfashionable.

Jim Belshaw said...

You are absolutely right, there Winton. It's actually a real worry in my mind.

Anonymous said...

I've not read this article yet, but thought I'd put the link up while I had it in front of me:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113053/new-york-times-buzzfeed-andrew-sullivan-herald-death-blog

kvd

Legal Eagle said...

I tell you what has really turned me off Facebook - the ads, and the way it doesn't allow me to see everyone's feeds these days (it algorithmically picks things it thinks I'm "interested" in). Also there are people who I now want to avoid on FB (obviously not anyone here).

Anonymous said...

alI think that social media are definitely here to stay. We may however learn to use them more effectively and select the ones which best serve our personal purpose. The media I know may be used to socialise, help in running a business, exchange views, organise events, notify of point of interest and perhaps many others; Maybe a discussion on particular use and strengths of some of them could be useful?
I thought that Twitter was best for sending short messages like notification of events, publications, meetings etc, and I am a bit surprised that it is getting more popular than Facebook. But maybe we like to communicate in a shorthand manner? Sign of the hurried times?

Anonymous said...

Just an update, now that I've digested that link I posted.

While the 'popular' technology seems to be passing on from blogs offering personal depth, or personal perspective, on topics de jure, I feel I'm being manipulated by the writer towards Twitter - which, while quite perfectly appropriately named, doesn't actually satisfy any of my personal information needs.

I need more depth, unaligned to a political viewpoint - or at least honest about that viewpoint. I am sick and tired of clever one-liners pretending to solve complex problems. Some of the most interesting stuff I've read makes no pretense towards providing solutions; just clearly setting out the particular problem is sometimes payment enough for my reading time.

kvd

Jim Belshaw said...

There have been some interesting comments, meaning that I should probably write a postscript to this post. Maybe not tonight.

One of the things I have traced on this blog is the progressive migration between different platforms. As part of this, I have also traced the increasingly rapid aging of platforms. Aging in part because of actual age of participants, aging in terms of the maturation and then relative decline of particular platforms.

Winton commented that social media is here to stay. Of course that's true, but its the moves in social media that interest me and especially the transition from fad to use based on practical need. That is what i meant by may comment that social media was just so yesterday.

Legal Eagle commented on her distaste of certain current features of Facebook. I agree. Facebook is just not as useful nor as interesting as it was. Twitter is going through the same process. It is past its peak.This doesn't mean that it will vanish, just that it is now dominated by particular uses (and users) that are starting too crowd out the rest.

The link that kvd specified - http://www.newrepublic.com/article/113053/new-york-times-buzzfeed-andrew-sullivan-herald-death-blog - is worth a read. It relates to aspects of the relative decline of the blog.

One anon commented "I think that social media are definitely here to stay. We may however learn to use them more effectively and select the ones which best serve our personal purpose. The media I know may be used to socialise, help in running a business, exchange views, organise events, notify of point of interest and perhaps many others; Maybe a discussion on particular use and strengths of some of them could be useful?"

The last suggestion is worth considering. I don't pretend to be at all sophisticated in a technical sense, but I actually use some seven or so different forms of social media as well as conventional media. I have been experimenting, always within tight time limits. It comes back to fitness for purpose, so I am always adjusting my use at the margin.

In my case, the blogs are central for they actually provide the content and glue for other activities. Here I have been remarkably lucky simply because it has brought me in contact with interesting people and had tangible if not always very financially profitable results.

I will pause here to see if any other comments come. I will also give another plus on Facebook and Twitter!



Evan said...

I use facebook to stay in touch with acquaintances.

I have tried using facebook and twitter to get more blog readers without a great deal of success

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Evan. I have got some blog feed from Twitter, much less from Facebook. With Facebook it's a numbers thing re number of friends.

With Twitter, I get less feed that I used too as Twitter has changed form. I haven't chased Twitter numbers, but you need a largish number to be useful. Where Twitter is especially useful is through re-tweets. My 159 followers, that's very small for Twitter, include a number of journos, so that's sometimes helpful.

Where I get some of the most valuable results, here I am speaking personally just in terms of the way I value them, is through interaction between platforms. That's a full post in its own right to explain, but it has all sorts of worthwhile effects beyond the the simple question of traffic.

Rummuser said...

For me Facebook started off as a must do for the family's sake and now it is a way to pass some time, which I have plenty of!

Jim Belshaw said...

Oh for so much time, Ramana! I too became active on Facebook for family reasons. However, the interactivity with Facebook can be addictive.

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