5 Social Media Trends that Need to Die
In the spirit of Halloween, I want to do some grave digging for some aspects of social media that are really starting to stink. These things are all, in my opinion, superfluous, outrageous, and annoying. Sure, plenty of them are still palatable to social media marketing, and though there is some life left in these zombies, their time is just around the corner.
Email Forwards – These social media dinosaurs are nearly extinct, but they will still not cease to annoy me from time to time. Sure, they are the foundation of how things started spreading virally in the first place, but times have changed and so have technologies. While I don’t think everyone’s parents need to be on Facebook or Twitter yet, I did tell mine that I would no longer read any epic email of some “heartwarming” story or awful joke. There are better platforms out there for aggregating content, and while I know most marketers are hopefully smarter than this by now, it still makes me cringe every time I see [FWD: This is hilarious!] make its way into my inbox. I don’t need any attachments, I don’t want propoganda, and I certainly don’t want some enormous PowerPoint presentation to remind me to vote. Send me a link on Twitter, and maybe I’ll read it, but please, stop clogging up my inbox.
Rick Rolling – Sorry Rick, but I do want to give you up, and I do want to say goodbye. Rick reached his peak recently when he was up for a Best Act Ever award for MTV Europe, and voting took place online. Quickly, voting was hacked and sites like Best Act Ever sprouted up in hopes that Web 2.0 could make this joke never die. Please, Internet, I beg you: Let it go. The first few times I was RickRolled, I laughed, said oh you got me, and shook my head. I even scored big on April 1st by grifting my friends multiple times, and YouTube made it easier. But seriously, it is no longer funny. Other things that need to be buried along with Rick: Dramatic Prariedog, Chocolate Rain, and funny raps.
Wannabes and Killers – Plurk, Rejaw, Scribefire, and other self proclaimed platform killers are doing their best to stay ahead of the game. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of people moving to Twitter and getting used to it for there to be a “Twitter Killer” just yet. Sure, Twitter is hardly perfect, but it has time to improve. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel before the darn thing even starts rolling. Part of the reason WordPress and Blogspot are so successful is because they have suffered through the test of time. With new platforms emerging left and right, people are going to check out what’s new—but if others aren’t there to participate, the killers themselves are the ones who are bound to die. If you don’t believe me, check out Jim’s post on Twitter Killers. New social networking sites might be the ones who suffer the most, because when you are trying to compete with giants like Facebook and Myspace, you’re not going to have much luck. If you are going to go for it, at least try something different.
“Pimped Out” Profiles – MySpace is ugly enough as it is. Please stop making it uglier. Putting up sparkly icons, silly fonts, ridiculously large pictures and dreadful color schemes are the cardinal sins of profile creation, so unless you are 14, please keep it clean. There are more examples to count out there, but please don’t give me any more reasons to NOT visit your profile. If you think you can stand to see something really scary this Halloween, check out SoyBuddha’s Myspace profile. I sincerely hope this is a joke, but if it isn’t—- dear Lord help us.
Denying It – When I tell people what I do, I get one of two looks: a smile and response of “oh, cool!” or the look a puppy might give you when you explain to him in detail the tenets of quantum physics. Social media is nothing new, and if you aren’t using it yet, you’ll go on surviving, of course, but you’re going to be in the dark completely in a few years. Most of the news I read comes to me from “citizen journalism portals” like Digg or Reddit, and if you ask me if I’ve “seen that video,” the answer is yes, yes I have. You don’t have to be a social media snob to appreciate what social media tools can be good for, but stop denying that it is happening. I had a friend who swore that Twitter was “stupid” for several months, but now he’s louder than I am. Sometimes social media is excessive, but we also can’t deny that it is happening faster than we can possibly imagine. Don’t forget, though, social media is merely the tools we use—we are the builders. So don’t be the grasshopper in the snow.
photo via: Qole Pejorian on flickr
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