Thursday, August 18, 2011

FB Alternatives – Social Curation


I am not surprised by the number of articles now surfacing detailing social media fatigue. A recent global survey conducted by Gartner revealed that 24% of the respondents now use their preferred social media sites less. Opinion: Too much noise. Solution: Curation!

Read On:

Twitter recently announced that they host 200 million tweets a day. There are more than 750 million active Facebook users – 50% usually log on in any given day. Nielsen BlogPulse reported earlier in the year that there are over 156 million public blogs. Bottomline: Social content is growing exponentially as I write this post. Social media leader, Steve Rubel, EVP at Edelman believes we are beginning to witness a shift in web dynamics. We are now entering the Validation Era which is all about acquiring appropriate content or interactions. Consequently we need content curators, people or tools to filter and aggregate content which personally resonates for us.

One social curation tool which is receiving all the buzz lately is Google+ Circles launched at the end of June with a limited, invitation-only beta. You can organize your real-life social connections to share or follow relevant content, everything from family chitchat to favorite wines. Will Google+ give Facebook a run for its money? Time will tell. Articles are already surfacing that early Google+ adapters are ditching Facebook. Experian conducted a study that indicated the fastest growing demographic on the network are “Kids and Cabernet” – affluent people living in suburbia with children. They account for 29% of all visits to Google+, a relatively small number, but this same group only accounts for 0.7% of all Facebook visits. However, I predict Google+ will soon get too big and become a social media platform comparable to Facebook. Consequently some people will seek out smaller, more specialized social curation networks. Here are three tools I recommend that facilitate social curation:
  • – Helps organize content to read like a newspaper shared with followers on a daily basis.
  • BagTheWeb – You create a virtual bag to collect, publish and share content on a specific topic. In the process you create a network of bags.
  • Pearltrees – A social curation community where you build a network solely on things you like, known as pearls, with other people. This site also helps organize, share and discover what you have already curated on Facebook and Twitter.
Welcome to the Validation Era. Are you already on information over load reading this post?


  1. Thanks for sharing these tools! We currently use, but I am not familiar with BagTheWeb or Pearltrees. I will definitely be checking those out!

  2. I didn't know of those additional sites, so thanks. As with anything new, people are eager to try it out and play but eventually it hits a level. Thus Social Media is no different.

    I think Google+ has potential once it gets scale and makes sense. They have not done a good job educating people on the value and how to use it best. Otherwise, Facebook has first mover advantage and has an algorithm to show users content they engage with most. Google+ just lets you pick who those people are.

  3. When you use it personally and professionally, you reach saturation every Friday about 4 pm!! : ) I am starting to think I need to turn off my smart phone every Friday night and not turn it on until Monday morning.

  4. There are some great tools to assist in aggregation of social media. Unfortunately, the "noise" created thru re-tweeting and re-posting right now is overwhelming my Google + stream; they need more filters (ala FB) to consolidate. Right now, + seems to be populated with mostly tech folks; FB is more friendly. The ag tools you cite are good ones; we all need to find the ones that work for our needs and properly apply the filters to collect the content we are interested in. Conversely, if our filters are TOO strict, we may miss exciting information we could use to grow our knowledge. A conundrum for sure.

    Well written, timely post, Jimmy. You go girl...

  5. Once again, Jim, this post highlights the need to constantly 'prune' one's activity and tools. Without it, overload is inevitable. If you're following 1000 people on Twitter, cut it back to 50 of the most relevant. (I'm doing this right now.)If you belong to the max. of 50 groups on LinkedIn, cut it back to 10 of the best. Use a tool like Google Alerts or slashdot to bring relevant information right to your inbox. Use an aggregation tool like HootSuite to post once and send the post to multiple sites. By taking time to decide which information is right for you, setting reasonable limits on your own activity, and taking advantage of free tools for greater efficiency, (along with the cool tools you mentioned), you can maintain an active presence and avoid many distractions.

  6. Interesting post and statistics, and thanks for offering new tools. I agree on overload. Though social networks are a shift in the way we communicate, we are still morphing to new and diverse tools or methods, or niches.

  7. I agree with the others, Jim, these are some good tools to check out (I'm familiar with but the other two I'll have to take a look at).

    As for social media, I think what's happening is that we're simply seeing this outlet moving from early growth to maturation stage as more people adopt and regularly use these sites. Consequently, people will now have to filter and select what they're interested in sharing/reading/viewing as opposed to simply following others and just absorbing whatever flows in their stream.

    That's why I don't find myself suffering from social media fatigue because I've been using filters (ie curation) to ensure that I focus only on those conversations and content that interests me while basically tuning out what for me is noise.

  8. Thanks for sharing the links to BagTheWeb and Pearltrees, two services that I was not aware of at this point. Another great curation service is where I curate the business improvement topic ( I have found curation much less demanding on my limited time than maintaining a business blog and I see curation as a growing practice. I was an early invite to G+ and have been testing the waters but Ihave found that I am eventually going to have to decide on either FB or G+ as time available won't permit both. I can't determine this until G+ releases its profiles for business which will be the make or break for G+ in my humble opinion.

  9. Based on the comments above it appears as if my post resonated for everyone. Thank you all for your candor. Social media fatigue? No I am not experiencing it. I am too much of a networking junkie, but I am learning that it is time to pick and choose. My classic networking still works and is less of a time management drain than social networking.

    Once again, thank you all for weighing in.