We are abusing the new substance of ubiquitous conversation. Social media’s gifts are to help people communicate, filter, and organize. In other words, they are meant to help reduce and calm the information flowing towards us. It is to make things manageable.
But we get too much of a good thing and everyone asks “How do you get work done with Twitter on?” Some efficiency consultants recommend prohibiting the use of Facebook or Twitter in the office. We can’t have simple conversations over coffee without interruptions from text, phone twitter, etc.
A few weeks ago, I posted my Ten Tab Rule for calming social media. This was a personal guide to decrease the load of information. Your ten would be different I’m sure.
In business, more exposure is good, more distraction is not. Carefully picking and choosing networks to join and participate in is vital to your success.
The funny thing about networks is, after a while they become intertwined. What does this mean to you? It means if you are a regular blogger with a strong Twitter community and are familiar with many on, say, Urban Spoon – those networks will permeate other networks.
Well, let’s say that your Twitter community includes 300 people. Maybe 12 of those people are active on Twine, 15 on delicious, 25 on Yelp, 40 on Digg, etc. Some of your messages on Twitter will resonate with those people and they will pass the word to other networks as appropriate.
This is your true reach.
So, what I’m positing here is: maybe it’s better to be a strong member of a few networks than a weak member of a lot of networks. Don’t kill yourself joining and participating in everything. Always keep an eye on what’s new, but nurture your key networks. Grow them and let them provide.