Once in a while, we all fall victim to the hype. It's just the way it is. Much like rubber-necking, if everyone else is checking something out, we feel like we have to as well - you know, just to make sure we're not missing anything important or interesting.
Even as trends take hold, we quickly see that some things are not for everybody. As big as both Facebook and Twitter are, there are plenty of people (and potential consumers) who are, simply, not that interested in what they have to offer. Last month, it was announced that 60% of Twitter users quit within the first month. Twitter takes work... and so do most of the newer online social networking environments. We all need to remember that as amazing as new media is because of the interactivity of it all, most people are not used to (and some are not even interested in) being interactive with their media - let alone having to take part in the creation of it.
Pushing forward, we need to get beyond the hype to get to the real application and power of the these platforms.
Before Twitter it was all about Facebook. Before Facebook it was all about MySpace. During the MySpace craze, it was also all about Second Life. And, that's just the past four years (or so - and there were/are many others). That's what trends are about - whether we're talking new media or music or fashion. Something comes along (also known as the "shiny object syndrome") and we get distracted long enough to loose interest in what happened before (or not focus as much on it).
Let's not forget that all of these channels are not dead. Not even close. They all offer vibrant and lively communities and conversations to those interested in that sort of thing.
And, that's the point. Hype can only take a platform so far. At some point, it either fits into an overall corporate strategy or it doesn't. Simply being on Twitter because everyone else is on Twitter is not a long term strategy. Much in the same way leaving Second Life - even though that's where the kind of people you should be connecting with are - because you keep hearing about Facebook won't help much either.
Play with everything but stick with what's works best for you.
As obvious as that sounds, it's amazing to see how many people abandon what's working for them because they get sucked into the hype of something else. On a personal note, it's why I continue to Blog and record audio Podcasts: it just makes strong strategic sense for Twist Image. The Digital Marketing landscape is still very confusing for most Marketers, Entrepreneurs and business people. I have both a passion for writing and a passion for speaking, so both Blogging and audio Podcasting make perfect sense... even if the hype on those two platforms are not at the same level of intensity as some of the other shiny objects.
Are we too quick to abandon platforms over the hype of something new? What do you think?