aggregation. the solution for social media overload?

Fleet Street PR has an excellent post about the growing number of social media tools, and how there's less and less time in your life to use them. The graph above shows the number of social tools being used by the author David Fleet, over time.

This is the same dilemma that I hear from all of my blogger/social media friends. We're running out of time in the day. David points to the answer to all of our problems: aggregation.

Totally agree. But we need more of it. Faster. Now. I believe Facebook will become this in the near term. But there's another problem, too:

Content overload. I can no longer read all of my RSS feeds in a single day. Too many subscriptions. My Twitter feed is growing, and many days I miss important Tweets. I can see my Facebook newsfeed going in the same direction. I've decided not to participate in the Digg social profile/tool. Something's got to give.

Aggregation will be a part of the solution, but I fear that it's going to be necessary to limit the amount of content we consume, too. I've sadly nearly eliminated books from my life. No time. Replaced by RSS and other media. Aggregation can allow us to consume more, faster - but there's still a limit to the amount of media that a human can ingest. So...until Facebook can solve this problem for us, I think it still comes down to....content is king. The best will bubble up to the top, and the rest will sink to the bottom.


Anonymous said...

What about the opposite of aggregation? Many people, just as you, are posting content to a slew of sites/blogs/networks/etc ... When we will be able to push our content and commentary from one location to multiple? When will all of these sites/blogs/networks/etc be open source for such an application?

When will some high school student figure this out and build it?

Ben Kunz said...

I think there's a natural evolution, when new communication channels emerge, to first jump in too far, and then to retrench and set limits. We all did this with email in 1996 -- cool, let's email everyone! -- because at first we were delighted to find all the new people we could communicate with. Then we stopped, and told Uncle Ray to quit bothering us. Social media is the same deal. It's exciting to find new voices, new friends, new business colleagues, and to have them listen. But eventually, we'll draw the circle a little tighter, and yes, the best content -- and personal connections -- will win.

As for pushing content everywhere, I think the AP news wire already invented that.

Anonymous said...

But to get that quality content, you're still going to have to sit through a bunch of stuff because not everything that's published is either relevant or original. I estimate 1/5th of the 60+ blogs I scan in Google Reader regurgitate stuff from somewhere else. Another 1/5th maybe are original. The rest I can’t use.

The challenge then becomes, even if you do find something cool, putting your own spin/take on it. Otherwise, we're just contributing to the brandscape white noise.

Anonymous said...

Let me clarify my question of the opposite of aggregation ... Many users post content in multiple locations, such as FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, personal blog/website, company blog/website. In order to post content to these various locations, said user has to post individually to each location. When will the user be able to post content in one singular location that will in turn push all of said content to these various locations?

As for quality ... well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But your right, there is an absurd amount of duplication out there.

In regard to the AP, their content is corporately driven and posted to the news wire, then hundreds of thousands of sites pull this content down, aggregating to their site.

darryl ohrt said...

Oh man, Neil - I think you just discovered a million dollar idea...

Imagine a tool where I could write a post, and then check off where I want it published - and to what degree -
- one of my five blogs
- as a comment on facebook
- as a status report on facebook
- as a tweet
- on pownce
and so some items could be published to two outlets, other items could go to all of my outlets, etc.


Ben Kunz said...

Neil, your idea is brilliant, now that I get it. Darryl, sign me up once your programmers figure it out.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you guys agree. It seems so simple, right? What would be even better is for all these shilos of networks to become open source. Now that would make a big difference.

It seems that someone should already be working on this by now. It seems posting to so many locations has to have irritated PLENTY of people !!

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