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What is our personal saturation level for social media?

Could there be a point down the road where we all just get burned out on whichever social network we are a part of? Doing a search on any posts that point to or mention social media saturation brings up very little, with the exception of the aformentioned link by Illuminea. With that being said, Jeff Nolan in his blog noted that We now log an average of 9.7 hours each day consuming media. Some experts say we’re at the saturation point. Interestingly enough, he mentioned that in August of 2007! One year removed almost, I would have to say that that number has definitely increased. There are close to 2000 social networks, its growing by the day, microblogging is coming on hard and our mobile devices are now like an extra appendage!

So 9.7 hous per day covers media in general, not neccessarily social media but all media.  Because there are so many forms of media that we as a public devour, I don’t think we’ll ever get to the point where we all sit around and toss in the towel and say, That’s it, I’m saturated. I’m done with my Ipod, my laptop, my cell phone and the television and movies. Hell,  we could get finite and include, newspapers, magazines, kindles, and tin cans with strings, but I digress.

You see, here’s the thing. Jude Yew talked about how managing 13,000 friends might get difficult, but when does it just become a pain in the ass to manage x amount of SNS’s (social networking sites) and x amount of profiles and x amount of friends. When does it cease to be fun? When does it cease to be about Networking for the benefit of your business?  Case in point, there’s a guy on LinkedIn and Ning for instance whom I won’t name who links and networks with whatever is moving. It smells like an MLM but my point is it’s no longer networking it’s something else. Perhaps its his way to build a database with the guise of “Linking” I don’t know. But if thats what happens or is happening then networking and linking to people all of a sudden become water downed.  As Yew further writes:

I think that this brings up an interesting issue with how poorly the PR/Marketing/advertising industry understands how Social Networking sites work. We’ve seen the large migration of teen users from sites like friendster and myspace to facebook in the past year. One of the oft cited reasons was that the teens were tired of being hounded, not just by fake profiles (which is also a PR/marketing type issue), but by advertisers.

At one point in time I used to have a MySpace account but after being hit up by every hooker like name that ever existed,i.e. Domino, Ashley, Sindy, and Nicole, I decided that I didn’t need “that” type of friend. So I bailed.  But, what if every SNS begins to buckle under the pressure of letting advertisers trying to link and network and make friends with its database of actual users?

2 things happen. Real actual users are going to leave in droves and real actual users are going to be wary of any subsequent social network they join. Amazingly enough, isn’t that what is occuring now? Everyone is a member of anywhere from 2 to 5 social networks? Why? Because one is bullshit or turned into just a jive network, whereas another delivers x but not Y. So we use them until more come along and we use them and we may or may not discard the old ones and before you know it, we’re saturated.

So now what? How do we manage our profiles and our memberships and keep it at a palatable level? Or even better, how many of you just abandon that profile or membership without deleting the information? I’d bet, depending on your age, that most of you don’t bother. The worlds advertisers thank you.

So what will happen to all things social network related when we do reach our saturation level? What is everyone’s personal saturation level? Let’s see if we can come up with some type of formula shall we? I’ve posed the question to some members of the Linkedin community, I will follow up with another post on those answers.

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5 Responses to “What is our personal saturation level for social media?”


  1. 1 laurent June 2, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Social media is complex: highly fragmented , super dynamic landscape, with a structure that’s not the one we’re used to in the corporate world (not random..more natural). So I think it’s key to get organized by keeping tabs on relevant media (blogs..), some social network and accepting that we can’t read everything, worst, we can only ready a little bit of what’s being said and we may miss something important..oh well next time we’ll catch it. To be honest, that’s just the way it is in the real world but the web has created the illusion of a ‘small world’ -> no it’s big and we’re a little thing in it.

  2. 2 emersondirect June 2, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Laurent, the structure in the corporate is far from random. the structure is, structure. there is structure in social media it’s more free form, but there are unwritten rules, and rules of engagement. it’s self policing.

    Social media is becoming more subjective the larger it gets and thus there is the potential for it to be more niche based. if anything the larger it gets the more potential it has to becoming privatized. It already is actually through the use of enterprise social networking platforms. So complex, yes, to the uninitated, simple to those who know the drill.

  3. 3 ecairn June 3, 2008 at 2:18 am

    I meant that the corporate world is very structured ;-): Control and command, the boss is (almost) always right and makes the decision, you’re put in a box, you waste tons of time in aimless meetings and so on….
    Social media as you pointed out is more free. I know from my experience working with some clients that it’s intimidating, mostly I think because it’s unknown/unfamiliar territory. As some written said we’re afraid of the unknown but as soon as we step into it, we realize that there was no reason for the fear. The more customers try it, the better it will be!

  4. 4 Miriam Schwab June 15, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Hi – thanks for the link!

    I think that the next big thing on the web will be services that help people filter through all the info so that they only have to read the most important stuff for their interests or profession. The question is how it will be done, but we’ll have to get there if we want to stay on top of trends and developments, but still get work done.

  5. 5 moshe rabeynu March 11, 2009 at 12:25 am

    I had a nightmare last night and I am still shaking. I know there must be some deep and hidden meaning behind it and I am hoping that someone out there might be able to help me interpret this dream as Joseph helped the Pharaoh. I dreamt that I was the meat in the sandwich between Tzippi Livni and Sarah Palin, you know what I mean, that I was “Lucky Pierre”. But, in this dream, upon my awakening in the morning, I had a terrible taste in my mouth and found myself between Golda Meir and Madeline Albright. Oy, gottenyu!!


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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