It’s tempting to think that social media is a good place to be right now – after all, there’s good evidence it’s one of the few areas of growing employement.
There’s also plenty of talk about how it’s going to grow as a low cost/more effective way to engage people, and therefore drive revenue – but also harder to measure. And it can be hard to tell who is bluffing, at least until someone came up with a checklist!
But the one question we need to keep asking is whether each group is really worth joining, and whether we’re actually going to have the time and dedication to make a difference.
It’s something I’ll admit to being guilty of. There’s Social Media Mafia, MeasurementCamp, Social Media Club, Social Media Today, P2PR, EverySingleOneofUs, just off the top of my head, plus Triiibes, which prompted this post when I thought about how much value others are getting from it – and I’m missing because I’ve spread myself out so much. And some groups, such as the Blog Council, are attracting some criticism. As indeed WOMMA has in this case.
Then add in several Facebook groups, a few LinkedIn groups, and others I’ve forgotten – and suddenly it’s sounding ridiculous, even though I’ve increasingly only tried to be involved in groups with a reasonably clear and defined purpose.
I’ve already started politely resigning from a few places, because I’m barely even remembering to check in and see what’s happening once in a while, let alone contribute to anything of value – from now on it’s about having a real focus on what matters to me personally and for my career, and selecting a smaller collection of key groups who I can offer value to (and perhaps where interlinks can be found).
Perhaps this is what Twitter has really affected for me – in the past I was a pretty active member of a variety of groups and forums, but now they don’t seem so important, as I’ve got an expanding network of over 1900 in my community for instant responses on a variety of topics, rather than forcing myself to go and check in somewhere else. The common complaint was that it detracted from blogging, but I tend to find the opposite – but I do find myself spending less time at other social locations, unless it’s a real focused community.
Perhaps it’s just me, and the fact I’ve got a great and involving day job, two blogs, and a young family to think about now? I know from forum involvement for a decade that there’s also a cyclical nature to forum membership – the new excitement, the start of seeing repetition from other members, taking a break and then coming back with new enthusiasm etc….
And I do know some people who seem to benefit from seemingly being in almost every group on every network ever created.
But what do you think? Have you been a little guilty of serial group joining without considering the value? Found yourself stretched too thin? Or do you think it’s fine to be a silent member in places on the off chance people might find you and request a connection/contribution?
And where have you found the clearest sense of purpose/best value?