The War for Your Attention on #socialmedia
Welcome to the ecosystem war, where we are all pawns.
Have you noticed what all the social sites are doing? Oh, and a lot of the less-social tech companies, too? They’re all vying for our attention, and our time. It’s driving me to distraction. Anyone with me?
The logic is undeniable. At work or at play, the more time you spend using Microsoft stuff, the more MS wins. When you wander from Microsoft to Google, Google wins and MS loses. When you wander over to Facebook, Google loses and FB wins. When you flit from FB to Twitter, guess what happens? Winners and losers are made and made again with each click of your mouse or tap of your finger, and each tech company is desperately aware of it.
The tech firms cannot sell your attention to advertisers if you are not on their site. They cannot sell their own stuff to you, either. And you certainly won’t be their brand advocate, luring your friends from other networks to theirs, if you aren’t immersed in their ecosystem most of the time.
I love to rant about nefarious plots (ask my wife Jane and our girls: I just love to rant, period). But there’s nothing evil here. It’s just unfortunately-smart business. In much of the modern world, life is no longer zero-sum, win/lose. But in the struggle for our time, yes, it very much is.
So rather than ceding search to Google, MS came up with Bing – as if anyone needed another search engine! And it’s why Apple has products they’d like us to use instead of Office (whatever their products are called.) It’s why Google came up with Google Plus, which is a lot like Facebook but used more by business professionals, like LinkedIn. And stodgy old LI is trying its best to get more of our time by gamifying, with its frivolous one-click endorsements. Oh, and apparently there’s a blog/news type of feature on LI now, like Huffington Post. And Forbes went all bloggy, and is now much more an online site to compete with (and, sorry, to crush) HuffPost, even more than it is a paper magazine (shrewd move, by the way).
The tech firms cannot sell your attention to advertisers if you are not on their site. They cannot sell their own stuff to you, either. And you certainly won’t be their brand advocate if you aren’t immersed in their ecosystem most of the time.
Wow. I could definitely keep building that list out all afternoon – I’ll bet you can, too. We’re all aware of this trend, because we live it all day every day. So let’s cut to the chase: what put this hair across my ass this morning?
The social sites are siphoning comments from blogs. It pisses me off: I’ll bet if you’re a blogger, this irks you as well. We at Switch and Shift, be we founders, Leaguers, or guests, write our hearts out for our readers. And we love love LOVE whenever a piece we write inspires one of our readers to leave a comment. It’s like a big hug or a box of chocolates – even the negative comments, because at least our writing made someone care!
The comments on any site also build community, because readers can connect with each other, not just the writer. And when you have a site like ours, catering to business leaders and leadership authors and the like, well, that’s something really special.
But here’s what happens all the time: rather than writing a comment on our blog, folks comment on the social sites where we share them. If you look on the left of this post, you’ll notice you can share it on FB, LI, G+, Twitter, and StumbleUpon. Shawn and I also share each post on Triberr.
Then readers who find us through those social sites often comment on those social sites rather than here on this blog, scattering comments to the four winds. They give us a way to share our content (yea!), but then charge a “community tax” (boo).
The social sites are siphoning comments from blogs. It pisses me off: I’ll bet if you’re a blogger, this irks you as well.
If I ran any of these social sites, I’d say, “Hey, we’re doing you a favor. It’s free. We aren’t a charity. That community tax? That’s fair, don’t you think?
Yes, it’s fair. But it’s frustrating. If you’re a blogger, I’ll bet you’ve run into the same thing, and you find it equally frustrating, don’t you?
I don’t think our gripes are going to change a thing, but here’s what we can do to support the little guy and gal bloggers out there who pump out the content that inspires our comments: we can decide, as individuals, to save our comments for the originating blog.
Sure, give a little +1 or “must read!” or “I commented” on the social site. That will drive more traffic to the blog, so that’s cool. But let’s try to refrain from scattering our comments. Help the blogger out. Let’s score one for the Davids of the Interwebs, shall we? Goliath doesn’t need our help.
Your comments below are greatly appreciated. (On this originating post, of course.)