Nov 142011
time is our greatest and scarcest asset

Last week Google launched their business Pages function for Google+, which required a business owner to type in almost identical information to the parallel Google Places service.

In the same week Facebook turned off RSS feeds into their status updates, meaning that new pages added to a website now have to be manually entered into Facebook. Tumblr did the same some time ago.

Across the social media industry, the various services are asking users to manually enter updates and details into each platform under the belief that unique user generated content will increase the value of their sites.

That’s all very good for the sites but for those using several services it’s becoming a tiresome chore.

One of the biggest barriers to social media adoption – particularly among time pressed small business owners – is the time involved in maintaining these different services. With the exception of Twitter, most of the services are trying to increase people’s time on their platforms.

For social media services the key measures of how much time users spend on the site is becoming a game of diminishing returns, people have only so much time in the day or so much inclination to spend a large chunk of their free time online.

As the burden of maintaining a digital footprint increases and the value proposition becomes less compelling, particularly as the privacy costs becomes more apparent, more people are finding it all too hard.

Social media services are going to have to show some value for the investment in time and the privacy costs incurred by users, it may well be that many just don’t offer a good enough deal.

  2 Responses to “Social media’s greatest enemy”

  1. A very timely post Paul, as only this week I’ve taken my Catherine White Photography Brand page off line. My facebook profile consists of approx 100 close family & friends. Because Facebook has become all too hard, & there’s no sign of covering off on the privacy issue, I’m now posting on Google+ (immediately cached my posts, and they were on the top page within hours)

    With that said, I keep my time at a minimum, and reserve my energies for creating content, rather than just engaging or talking about it.

    I believe social media is amateur hour. Just because someone can create a video or podcast, doesn’t mean they should.

    ‘The Emperor’s New Cloths’ should sit on the desk of us all as a sober reminder of that those wobbling bits are not very pretty when our ego is given unfettered reign.

    Thanks for this post.

    • Good point Catherine. I think the ego aspect of social media is another angle to be explored.

      For most people building businesses, pimping their ego is another time intensive luxury most can’t afford, which further works against them in building social media networks.

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