From Coca-Cola to Walmart to Sheraton Hotels, everyone wants to do the “Web 2.0” thing, which involves all the right au courant buzzwords: UGC, WOM, Social Media, Social Networks etc. But there are obvious limits:
- How many social networks can someone be apart of (and actively too)?
- How many “great” viral vidoes can there be?
- How much time do people have to consume all of this new media?
- Are Internet Users really expected to hold 10-20 social network accounts – one for Yahoo, MySpace, LinkedIn, Coke, Sheraton etc?
- Are there enough Internet users who will generate interesting content versus simply browsing content?
The whole Social Media space – which I include everything from social networks to UGC to WOM – has a saturation point like anything else. Indeed, the fast paced nature of Social Media will mean that the saturation point can be reached very quickly.
Around the Web
A lot of other folks have been asking similar questions, which is what inspired this posting.
From No Man’s Blog’s “virals: great oportunity or danger to reputation?“:
“If we are frank with ourselves, there are not too many original interactive ideas like subservient chicken or great pieces like still free, or genius practical ideas like spelling with flicker, or this brilliant idea from vodafone and soon, we will have a reality – just like good old TV days- in which there are 95% crap virals and 5% really great remarkable ideas.”
From SEOMoz on how the power-law seemingly still applies to sites like Digg:
Top 100 Digg Users Control 56% of Digg’s HomePage Content
“When folks think of Digg, they’re often misled into believing that the content seen on the homepage is representative of what a wide base of Internet users think is news-worthy and important. The numbers tell a different story – that of all stories that make it to the front page of Digg, more than 20% come from a select group of 20 users.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with this – it’s not a secret or a problem and it isn’t hurting Digg’s popularity, reputation or importance. But, it is something that many folks who use the site don’t realize and many marketers or folks attempting to use it to promote their content should be aware of. Like the college frathouse, it pays to know the right people at Digg.”
While the hype will fade and saturation point reached, Social Media will be part of the Internet and the web. But, will every major consumer website really need to have a social network to be relevent or even hip and cool? In the future how much money will be poured in to WOM, virals, and MySpace-too websites compared to the more “traditional” online channels?