The Next New Thing

As Social Media channels grow and develop, it seems that every day brings with it another new social network, location based system, or social game. Each one is a shiny object full of light and promise. For new users and the experienced users alike there is a natural tendency to want to be in on that latest new adventure . But that may cause us to overlook other “new adventures” that have been available to us for a while – platforms and channels which have been established for a period of time but haven’t yet been fully explored by us. Like an older car that we buy , which is “new to us”, these platforms offer many ways for us to increase our involvement with our online communities.

When you think about it, any platform you haven’t fully participated in is for you, the next new thing. It might be participating in a new manner in an existing venue. Started off by establishing a Facebook presence?  Do you feel like you’ve fully explored the potential of your personal profile? Then have you created a business page, started a special interest group? Are you using  questions to fully interact with your chosen online community? Are you utilizing Facebook Places in your strategy? If you have created a strong presence on Facebook  utilizing all of their internal channels and are looking for your next new thing perhaps you should be trying LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, or Foursquare?  Have you investigated them beyond a basic profile? Because if you have not explored the potential of those platforms, they are still new to you and are deserving of your attention.  Like the second owner of a house or a car, the network doesn’t need to be just built to be totally new to you.

There are a number of benefits to exploring existing communities thoroughly.

  • You can easily build your community in each new network by connecting with friends from your earlier communities.
  • You get to be more discrete about building and shaping each network because you recognize from their earlier actions who in your earlier community might be a less desirable connection because they spend most of their time “putting lipstick on a pig”.
  • There are larger numbers of members on these established platforms, many of whom may not be on other networks (because they haven’t been following our advice about cross channel participation)
  • Your relationships can become richer and deeper because you are interacting with people in more than one place and in more than one manner.
  • You can build a more significant online reputation because you will showcase different parts of your personality in different venues.
  • Anything you haven’t done or experienced fully is a new adventure and deserving of your attention.
  • Your path to community building and interaction may be simplified and accelerated because others have been there before you and shared their experiences, both successful and unsuccessful – still allowing you to add your own personal twist to your interaction
  • By exploring these more established channels, you avoid spending time creating interaction in a platform that might end up in the “deadpool”

A sense of adventure, willingness to explore new things, and the desire to grow and learn are all assets in the constantly changing world of  peer to peer communication and engagement. And I’m as big a fan of shiny objects as anyone on the planet, but that shouldn’t cause you to overlook the new adventures, and the potential relationships that can be created and deepened through these established channels.

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