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Welcome to Wonderland: The Social Media Edition

Posted on: December 14th, 2012 by Laura Maas | No Comments

In the digital age, the landscape of every industry can change with the click of a few keys and the push of a button. Business moves faster than it ever has before. We are all constantly looking for ways to keep up and stay on top.

Social media is no different. Right now, it’s a lot like falling down Alice’s rabbit hole and looking for the right treat to eat so you can unlock the door and, hopefully, not get lost in what is clearly a topsy-turvy world.

Consider me your social media Mad Hatter, guiding you through the strange changes of digital Wonderland’s top social media platforms.

Twitter is the new Instagram?

Like our friends Tweedledee and Tweedledumb, Twitter and Instagram are currently fighting to maintain control over their individual user base. The result? Twitter has denied Instagram access to its database and Instagram has denied Twitter access to its photos. Twitter then announced the addition of photo editing and filters as a response. According to Bits blogger Nick Bilton, the Twitter app will offer eight filters and allow users to crop and enhance photos in the platform. The biggest losers, like in any battle, are the users. Removing the ability to cross-pollinate content is like painting the white roses red. It’s crazy. Users will drop a platform if it is too hard to share one piece of content in multiple places. Users like instant gratification – and complete integration. Not to mention that it makes marketing harder.

Myspace is bringing sexy back?

Well, Justin Timberlake is trying to make Myspace sexy again. If you read my post on Digg coming back from the dead in October, then you know how surprised I am that Myspace is throwing itself back onto the digital stage. Of course, I had to sign up. And like the Caterpillar, I find myself asking, “Who are you?” And like Alice, it seems that the new Myspace really has no idea. It isn’t really a place to connect with friends or colleagues. You can listen to and discover music, but how can you find your friends to share your favorite findings? I have to say that I agree with Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle when he writes that it tries to marry too many features from other social networks, such as, “Spotify-style music streaming, YouTube-style video streaming, pseudo-tweets, a Faux Facebook News Feed, all swirled together.” It’s not an intuitive platform and it is unclear to me where Myspace hopes to end up. I suppose, if you don’t care where you’re going, then it doesn’t matter which way you go.

Are LinkedIn groups going the way of the oyster-bed?

LinkedIn groups were like pots of gold for business professionals and thought leaders alike. It was a place to discover what’s hot in a given industry and to share your thoughts on any topic with the people who will take the most interest. It started as a friendly place for eager oysters to share their insights, to talk of cabbages and kings, if you will. But then the rest of the oysters swarmed. The purpose was lost – LinkedIn groups have become cluttered with thoughtless commentary, linking back to content that hardly fits the discussions at hand. If it fits the discussion at all. The jury is still out on this issue, but we hope for the best – and that the moderating Carpenters can stop the spammy Walruses before they clear out the oyster-bed.

Of course, this wouldn’t be Wonderland if there weren’t a little bottle of vaguely marked liquid to bring you back to your normal size and show that everything is, more or less, right with the world. So I bring you this nugget: Google+ is still trying very hard to make itself relevant. The platform launched Communities, a new feature that allows users to set up a place, other than their own page, or a business page, to cultivate discussion around any topic imaginable. Essentially, Communities create a new way for you to share your content with your target audience. Regardless of this new addition, we are all still waiting for Google+ to become more than just a fabulous SEO tool. According to Janko Roettgers at GigaOM, Google+ has 400 million registered users, but only 25 percent of those users are active. And they may only be active because they’re using the site to make video calls or to “Hangout.”

With that, I wish you a very merry unbirthday, and will proceed to sit back with a cup of tea as I watch the insanity unfold.

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