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Trend Questions: Social Media Fatigue?

October 22, 2009

As part of my “gear up” for Australia, Matt Moore and I agreed to do some blogging to start surfacing issues for conversation in our face to face events. Matt had a great idea to share some of the trends I’m seeing elsewhere in the world and then asking YOU what you are seeing in Australia. So this will be the first in a series of posts.

Are people experiencing “social media fatigue?”

I’ve been working mostly with global groups in international development. This sector is a bit behind other sectors, so there is still a great deal of interest and excitement in social media. In fact, there seems to be a slightly greater amount of interest and actual adoption than a year ago and fewer signs of fatigue than I see with some of my colleagues in the United States.

What IS a challenge is discerning the strategic application of any particular bit of social media, and a great deal of concern about figuring out what is useful for one’s organization, and what is a silly waste of time. At the recent KM4Development gathering in Brussels, we even convened a Social Media Skeptics session which in the end was less about skepticism and more about identifying useful practices and paths. With one exception. Locations with poor connectivity and electricity are sick and tired about hearing about tools they can’t even see.

What have you seen in your work in Australia?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Colette Corr permalink
    November 11, 2009 12:08 am

    Unsurprisingly, people seem only to want to engage with social media if it is easy to do so. I think that Twitter as a site is only going to work in the long term if it is absorbed into a platform, as opposed to being a destination in its own right. In my anecdotal observations, people are satisfying their microblogging urges by updating their status in FaceBook – because you can do many other things on that site. Users are sick of having to log in or visit somewhere, they want it delivered to them – one desktop, one interface.

    I’ve been reading “Here Comes Everybody” by Clay Shirky recently and was taken with his observation that people are still in the early stages of an intense and lengthy period of experimentation with social media. Users will tire of one form and quickly adopt another, all the time evolving in the way that they interact with the technology. In conclusion, I think social media fatigue will be frequent, but easily fixed with another form of social media. Interesting times!

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