When I started blogging, it was one of the few options to share ideas on the Net. There were some utilities like Quicktopic that let you easily make posts and of course we had listservs, bulletin boards and discussions forums that had been around for much longer. After blogs, the next big phenomena were social networks. Ning started by giving out spaces for free and there were many other variations on that theme. Today, Facebook is the general public forum of choice for individuals, businesses, charities, brands and almost everyone else. Facebook beat MySpace and many other contenders to the critical point when network effects drive exponential growth.
I’m still blogging, as are many others, but the conversation is constantly moving:
Blogs are for longer thoughts (at least for me).
Twitter is where you can feel the pulse of the action and are able to follow the most conversations.
LinkedIn is just a place where I hang my hat.
Google+ is becoming the place for deeper conversations as I recently discovered.
This is the current state of social networking, from my particular perspective, but I’m sure it’s different for others and I know it will change. The constant flux makes it difficult to advise others where to start. It depends, says the consultant in me. It really does, when you consider how quickly some of these platforms change and how some go from good to evil overnight. Hedge your bets, I’d say. Own your data when you must. Be flexible. Keep your social media in perpetual Beta.