Brij Singh's Blog

June 1, 2008

Big social media opportunity lies in increasing the size of creators.

Filed under: Tech — Brij @ 7:45 pm

It's always refreshing to see  good discussion on the big picture. Fred Wilson started this thread sharing his social media vision.

"every single human being posting their thoughts and experiences in any number of ways to the Internet."

This vision is brilliant in it's simplicity but it's a big shift in the grand scheme of human expression. I am sure there will be enough theories on how far reaching change this simple transformation will bring. We are in first inning here. We have seen the impact of social media on main stream media, we are yet to see that play out on other sectors such education, business (B2B or Enterprise 2.0?) and health.

Blogging 1.0 is almost complete and we are going through the birthing process of micro-blogging. Between these two spectrum, there are many forms and shapes of expression tools.

This vision is a long march but there are some interesting opportunities in near future. If you belong to entrepreneurial camp, then there are interesting problems to work on. Let me explain that by expanding on this social media pyramid shared by Don Dodge:

We keep hearing about this 1-10-100 ratio. This supply chain of content gets into action when that lone creator starts the thread. Since this ratio doesn't really translate into any actionable imagery I started calling this submit-to-scroll ratio. Submit-to-scroll ratio is really a contributer-to-lurker ratio. Reason I prefer this terminology as this helps in thinking more about Submit contexts. Slapping Submit sticker in every possible interface we can significantly increase number of creators.

By doing that we can expand Don's pyramid chart to this possibility:

By just focusing on creating more contexts for new users to hit submit button, we can expedite our march towards a fully participatory media.

Social media tools are still lacking when it comes to inviting new social media users. I don't have handy numbers but my guess is that lot of people who moved from Twitter were already familiar with blogging. Big opportunity lies in letting new users join social media way of expressing. When we started MessageDance, our vision was to focus on users who are very comfortable with email as an authoring tool. Extending email content into social networks, blogs and twitter is what we ended up doing. It feels good when users praise our effort for letting them use most well known Submit button!

If you want to add to social media revolution, think about contexts where we can invite new creators. New interfaces for allowing them to hit Submit button. It still amazes me to see many talented people not blogging due to all sorts of silly reasons. Behavior change will happen with the help of new interfaces.

This vision of social media where every online user is creating something is a major shift. We are lucky to be participating in this migration.

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