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Social Media users are Fickle and Migratory, but behaviors are Persistant

by Scott Hoffman on February 2, 2010

Today I gave a talk at Engage 2010, entitled “The Status Update being the Window to the Soul.” My presentation spurred a conversation with another Engage 2010 attendee, Kate Randall, or @kateonline (the discussion was done exclusively through Twitter, of course)

She stated, “A lot of talk about # of people on twitter at #wtengage but no mention that 80% of those signed up aren’t active.”

The following is a transcript of the conversation that followed:

I strongly believe that this is the answer: Web Users, especially in Social Media, are Migratory & Fickle, but Behaviors are Persistent.

Let me explain, although Social Media is exploding in terms of growth and usage today, Social Media, or “community on the web” is not new.

Some would argue that the first instances of Social Media were featured in sites like Geocities, Tripod, and Angelfire. (the former now officially shut down by Yahoo, and the later reduced to distant memories.) The cycle continues, Friendster gave way to MySpace which gave way to Facebook. Along the history of the Internet dozens of other community focused sites flourished and then vanished. Twitter, Foursquare, GoWalla, etc have all emerged. Who will be the biggest Social Media site next year, I don’t know. I do know that their leadership positions will constantly be challenged by the migratory behaviors of the Web User.

Here is what I do believe, the user behaviors that are so prevalent today, will persist in future social networks. While the names of the Social Networks will change, the Song will remain the Same.

Just for fun, here is a comical video of the depicting the decline in popularity of MySpace produced by Super News featured on CurrentTV, enjoy.

Just a thought, as always..let me know what you think.

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4 thoughts on “Social Media users are Fickle and Migratory, but behaviors are Persistant”

  1. Kate

    The irony that our conversation was conducted on Twitter is not lost on me and definitely a testimony to your point that the active users on Twitter continue to become further engaged with the tool.

    I think it's an interesting human characteristic to want to constantly reach out and form communities on the web and never before have we seen such rapid evolution of such communities than we do now on the web. It would be interesting to try to extrapolate in the coming years a pattern (if one even exists) of the rise and demise of these community tools. Predicting where the conversation is going is half the battle, as communicators it's about trying to adapt communication methods to reach an ever fickle crowd and from an analytics perspective its about developing a measurement tool for the newest SM platform before it becomes a thing of the past.

    Great discussion and presentation.

  2. scotthoffman

    Thanks for the kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed the presentation. I hope you enjoy my rantings on this blog

    I think that from an analytics perspective it's not so much as being ahead of the curve, but being able to adjust rapidly to the next new thing

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