Over the weekend, it struck me once again that people really don’t pay attention to LinkedIn. Why? Because often people are on the service so that they can be seen, but they aren’t really doing anything there. The people who they connect to there are perhaps the equivalent of “single serving friends”. You need them every now and again to get something done and for most of us, that is when we are looking for professional movement (ie between jobs/careers). All this got me thinking, and then it struck me that there are shells of tools that orbit our various “selves”. There is the personal/internal (1) self that has tools like Facebook in orbit. Another self, the external/public (2) toolset has in orbit elements such as Twitter. Finally, you have the corporate/professional shell (3). This has tools like email. These selves orbit each other in a delicate dance within something I’m calling the “zone of comfort”, the Egosphere (5). Within this zone, there is also something I call the “Cloud of the Over/Under Ripes” (4). These are tools that we have become comfortable with, but they are not really catching on to one of the three selves. You’ll notice that the orbits of the tools within the Egosphere cross over. This allows tools/services to cross over between selves and get or promoted/demoted. There is one final sphere, the “Aposphere” (6). This is the zone that has all manner of tools or services that the individual doesn’t really care about. Finally, there is an orbital path, an entry corridor actually (7) that new services/tools must attempt to hit just right in order to overcome apathy, become comfortable and then get picked up by either the personal or public individual before it would have a chance of hitting the corporate self.
So, what does this mean for those who try to get into the sweet spot of being considered a valid Social Media tool and perhaps hit that hallowed ground of being so well used that mobile telecom providers include you on the list of “unlimited Social Networking” services? First, it means that a new tool has to be timed just right. It has to come in with enough energy and finally it has know that it might have to disappear for a while (yes, those blank parts are intentional). So if Google, with all it’s might tries to get Okurt to get into the personal orbit, it has to remember it can’t just fire it out and expect it to stick. I think Apple has found this to be the case with Ping. So the big players are a bit heavy footed, but other services like Kik, they exploded with just the right timing and energy, but then they got jettisoned to the realm of over/under ripe services as have many of the other messaging services that popped up afterward (Beluga et al). Remember, these systems are specific to the individual, so my system will be different than your own (I know people who are just as addicted to Beluga as they ever were to BBM).
I would love to hear what others think about this idea.
- Cloud of Over/Under Ripe
- Egosphere (Zone of Comfort)
- Aposphere (Zone of Apathy)
- Entry Corridor