MySpace helped lead the Web 2.0 revolution before it crashed and burned. Now Facebook seems like it could be headed down the same path.
Originally, the first huge wave of Facebook users embraced the network mainly because of the value add factor. It was possible to be more aware of your competitors, get useful tips from people you trusted, and discover new and emerging trends by monitoring the socialsphere. In some ways, we were building Web 2.0 together.
Recently Facebook is a relaxing area where the last thing they think about is business or growing their personal network. I get the feeling most people aren’t measuring the ROI of status messages left by their friends, and basically you end up coming out of the whole situation knowing what everyone is drinking, eating, and watching on TV. This data is already available from a variety of sources so I don’t really need to get it from Facebook.
So what is the 80/20 Rule of Social Networking?
One of my associates that introduced me to Facebook in 2008 explained the value add factor – simply put, 80% of your posts need to add value to your readers, while at most 20% can be about your breakfast or your plans for the afternoon. If you violate the 80/20 rule you will not gain followers who value their time.
Rarely do people calculate the real cost required for others to read their updates. These are people I unfollow. There are many friends I have in the real world that I enjoy to hang out with during non work hours, but that I don’t necessary want to read updates from everyday of the week, all year long. This isn’t because I value their friendship less, I just don’t have the capacity to read what 45 people had for lunch, what they are planning to do that evening, or what type of wine they just opened.
With over 25,000 friends, subscriptions, and connections between Youtube, Tumblr, LinkedIN, Facebook, and Twitter, the value of the information I receive has been in a steep decline. Perhaps if I was spamming commercial products this would be a more ideal setup, but I’m simply there to consume and analyze information. This is 7 times more people than live in my hometown!
How to Unfriend your Grandma on Facebook
The recent South Park espisode featuring Facebook spelled out clearly what many of us have been thinking for the past 6 months about Facebook. For the past several weeks I’ve typically unfollowed/unfriended 25-30 people per day acrossed all networks I participate in to help keep the noise level down. Sometimes, these accounts I unfollow may be people I value relationships with in Real Life, and their feelings get hurt, or they get mad, or just don’t understand how I could unfriend them.
The problem is growing larger now that most people who primary used Facebook for business in the past are following their parents, siblings, mate’s friends, people from the bar, etc. The reason is simple – how the hell are you supposed to reject friend requests from blood relatives and people you really value without them feeling hurt in some way?
For the most part, I’ve been inactive on my personal Facebook account for the past 6 months because it just costs to much to use timewise. I’m not the only one. Professional networks such as LinkedIn are experiencing record traffic levels as Facebook’s traffic starts to level off after giant gains recently. Business people may seek more niche driven networks to increase ROI on time.
If you unfollow/unfriend me because this message cost $40.00 of your time to read and wasn’t helpful I understand. That’s how the world should work.