Social media is fragmenting

What are we going to do? How can anyone keep up with another social media site? Yes, I am talking about Google+, the new competitor for Facebook. Some people have switched over to Google + and not going back to Facebook. Others are trying to do both. Some like me are just trying to figure out why we need another social media site. My last post, Are you a Flowerdew? reminded me of the time when you could keep track of all your readers in one place.

An Alameda Garden was the blog I linked to for the post. Looking at the comments (all my old comments were lost when we migrated from Blogger to Wordpress) you recognize some of the people.  Back then if you wanted to comment you commented at the blog. Now when we post some comments come to the blog, but also to Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+. To keep track you have to visit each one of these social media sites. Not as easy as it use to be, but a sign of the times.

We have talked in the past about the fragmentation of the garden center businesses. What was once a unified trade has fragmented into box stores and their suppliers, mail order, independent garden centers and their suppliers, etc. Each with its own agenda, and not necessarily aligned with the others. We now see the same thing in social media. Some people will migrate to Google+ and to keep track of them you have to open a Google + account and start monitoring them there. It really is all too much, and likely will speed the fragmentation of the social media world, and the gardening world.

I read a great post at Lifehacker asking, "What Lucky People Do Differently than Unlucky People". According to the post, "Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner, and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through the newspaper determined to find certain job advertisements and, as a result, miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there, rather than just what they are looking for." How relaxed can  you be trying to chase down everyone posting at different places? Soon you find that instead of gardening and writing about that, you spend time focused on what everyone else is doing. "Gee, I put so much time in my social media, yet just don't seem to get anywhere".

This will continue as people will head off to different social media platforms that are comfortable for them. Tired of Facebook adding friends to your lists? Head over to Google + where circles will "straighten" everything out for you! My Klout score has been dropping. What does Klout tell me to do? "Share more content and engage with your network and your Klout score will rise!" So I need to start Tweeting, Facebooking, You Tubing, and Linkedining more. Sorry Klout, but it's not going to happen.

I feel that less is more when it comes to social media. It use to be that you we're told to blog daily so as to keep an audience interested. Stop for just a day or two and the next thing you know you have lost some of your audience. Yet I have RSS feed and know when my favorite sites have posted something new. I actually like sites that post when they feel like it, and post something really worth reading. It may be daily, weekly, or in some cases just a couple of times a month. I look forward to these posts since they are done when the author has something useful to say, and not just trying to raise their Klout score.

There is no way people can keep up with all the chatter going on in these different social media channels. People will pick and choose either the media channel they want to hang at, or who they want to follow. That's OK. As long as your fans have a way of keeping track of you they will follow you no matter which outlet you choose. In the future the ability to choose just one platform, be it blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and do almost all your work there, will be the sign of success since people will have to choose your platform to read your work. It will be a case of less is more.