This weekend I helped a friend get on Facebook, she already had a myspace and livejournal in order to keep up with individuals there but now she found her extended family is on Facebook so she is now ‘forced’ to open yet another social networking account to keep up with another circle of individuals. Less then 24 hours later she’s overwhelmed with friend requests as her high school classmates all find her there and begin trying to friend and send her messages. She doesn’t know what to do, she doesn’t want to be rude and not friend them but she also doesn’t remember many of them, so what does she do now?
For me and those who utilize social networks for work it’s not a problem keeping up with multiple social networks. But what about those people we’re trying to connect with out there? Are we overwhelming them with information? Are our messages getting lost in the sea of information that many individuals just can’t keep up with in their daily lives?
Chris Brogan today talks about the annoyances of bots on social media and I have to agree, we who use social media most often will find it ‘annoying’ but what about the average user? How many of these are they seeing in a day? How much more annoying are they to them and do they deminish the real messages being sent?
I find myself in the same conundrum as I have Facebook, Livejournal, Myspace, Twitter, Digg, Mixx, Stumbleupon, Reddit, and now this blog on WordPress. How can I possibly keep track of and update all of this on a regular basis? I don’t. I admit even I as a social media professional have had to pick and choose the circles I spend more time on. Honestly Myspace, Mixx, and Stumbleupon have taken a back seat to the other networks because I find more interaction, and better results from the others. But each of my networks has a different purpose and is a different type of audience so it’s not easy because the content for each is so different.
So how is the average person keeping up on their social networks? They probably aren’t…many social networking accounts are under utilized by the user due to lack of time. Ping.fm and other sites like it are a big help but many people don’t even know that they exist. But they aren’t as widely known by individuals out there. And that is a pity because they just might be the key to solving the social networking overload that so many end users are feeling