Twitter go mainstream, lifestreaming take over blogging, and we've tried what felt like a million different applications. We've joined then abandoned new services recklessly, leaving our accounts to wither away on platforms long forgotten. What more could we possibly do in 2009?Over the past year, we've been inundated with social media. We've seen
What Will Our Social Media Experience Be Like in 2009?
Given the current economy, there may be fewer applications and services to try next year. Whatever will we early adopters do? We love to flit from service to service, trying the latest shiny new thing, endlessly discussing whether or not it will stick, whether it will "cross the chasm." Without the endless barrage of new services being released one after another, in 2009 we may find ourselves having to more deeply embrace the ones we have left. More importantly, we'll finally have the time to figure out how we can really integrate them (or not) into our daily lives.
As we discover how to better manage the social media apps we added to our daily workflow during 2008, we may end up turning a more critical eye towards any newcomers in 2009. Enriched with a better understanding that doesn't come just from being enamored of "shininess," but from experiences that grew over time, we may question the new arrivals in ways we never did before. What value does this bring me?, we'll ask. Is this really doing anything new?
Thankfully, the answer to that last one will likely be "yes," as the funding possibilities for straight up clones of popular services will probably be dialed back in 2009.
What We Want in 2009: Help Us Manage Social Media Better
For the entrepreneurs still looking to get our attention with the latest social media toys, their pitch may no longer be "come try this, it's new," but instead, "come try this, it helps." Because if there's anything we learned from 2008, it's that social media overload is not sustainable.
information overload. We added our friends to lists in both FriendFeed and Tweet Deck, we categorized our RSS feeds and even cleared out some for good, we de-friended the strangers we had collected on Facebook, we synced our social network friend lists, and we found ways to multi-post to our preferred networks. Yes, we became more efficient..but there's still so much room for improvement.Over the course of the past year, we found ourselves drawn to the apps, services, and features that helped us better organize the madness that is
Our Social Media Wish List
Perhaps next year, we'll see more apps that help us better organize, if not filter, the information we deal with every day. We have some thoughts about what we would like to see and we hope that 2009 will bring these ideas to fruition.
- Google Reader add-ins and/or Greasemonkey scripts:We want Labs for Google Reader! It seems Google is more interested in revamping the Reader UI than giving us any real tools to deal with our RSS overload. If they won't help, then someone else should. We would love to see tools that let us view our feeds based on our attention data, without having to manually reorganize the feeds ourselves. We also want duplicates marked as read - if we read a friend's shared item from a feed we subscribe to, why do we have to see it again as we plow through our unread feeds? Finally, we need tools that let us better filter our subscriptions to reduce noise. Why can't we click a button to hide all the posts where someone has spliced in their delicious links or Twitter updates, for example?
- Auto-categorization tools: We tried to emulate Robert Scoble and what did we end up with? Only several thousand friends whose updates fly by at the speed of light. We tried to organize them into lists, but do you know how long that takes?! What would we would like to see are tools that organize people for you. Is it really so hard? The tools could parse our friends' Twitter profiles, for example, to categorize people based on location, business, or company. All the local people could be in one list. Everyone whose profile says "SEO" in another. Anyone in the top 50 or 100 users (based on followers/friends) in a third list called "noteworthy." Just because we want to customize and personalize our lists doesn't mean we couldn't use a little help getting started with the task.
- More Friend Synchronization tools: We want to friend you - really we do - but it's hard because you're here and there and everywhere. To make matters worse, you don't even use the same username on Digg as you do on Twitter. How will we ever find you? What we want is a tool that allows us to friend people, with one click on all the networks we possibly can, according to our preferences. It should also be able to delve into our social graph and sync up the friends we have already added.
- Friend List Sanitizers: OK, we followed/friended you, but we don't know why. We don't know you, we don't have any friends in common, in fact, we think you might have requested our friendship by mistake. So why are you still in our Facebook friends list? We need tools that help us clean up our lists to remove the accidental "stranger friendings" left over from our MySpace days. Even better, the tool could compare our Facebook list to our FriendFeed or Twitter friends to see if we know you elsewhere in order to determine whether to retain or remove the friendship.
These are just a few social media tools we would like to see developed in 2009. What are yours?
Image Credit: Noise - GetEntrepreneurial