Tag Archives: web 2.0

Human aggregators – the latest magic bullet?

Everyone’s looking for a magic bullet to conquer social media, leverage Web 2.0 to their advantage, dominate the digital marketplace, and further their self-described expert/guru status.  This seems to be especially prevalent with the late adopters in RE.net ( the real estate cool kids of Web 2.0),  but I see traces of the magic bullet attitude in almost every conversation I have about social media and digital marketing strategy.  That tone surfaces in this post proposing the end to RSS in favor of human aggregators -basically asking the question, why should I waste my time with my Google Reader, when I can just follow what the cool kids are sharing?

We  can easily find the best blogs and the best thought on the web and add them to our RSS feeds.  But lately we  have been provided with lists of the most influential people, by various sources ranging from Web 2.0 veterans to late adoptors adding themselves to their own lists.  Twitter encouraged this when they introduced Lists, so the relevance of your twitter presence can be measured by some scale on how many lists include you.  You don’t have to go look for followers,  just copy some guru’s list.

Obviously we have moved beyond lists to Human Aggregators, people whose social content is so rich, comprehensive, and relevant, that you need not seek out information or connections on your own, just follow them for everything you need to know.  The ultimate magic bullet.  So, now we will begin to see more and more lists of  human aggregators. Stop reading right now and make your own list.  It will be just as meaningful and relevant as any other that you find.

I value those gurus out there, selflessly sharing stellar content, but I like to do some reading and research on my own.  I still subscribe to over 200 RSS feeds, that include technology, news, and real estate specific content.  I interact with folks who are not gurus or cool kids.  I drill down on hyper local information.  I share what I think is relevant.  Maybe the real magic bullet is Time Management,  and not just  following the gurus.  You can learn to manage your time AND share content that is relevant!

When I first heard the term Human Aggregator, one famous Web 2.0 name immediately came to mind.  A person who tweets over 15o times a day, and has a website that covers any topic you could imagine.  I guess someone could make the argument that someone that prolific should be crowned King of the Aggregators.  Why go anywhere else?

Social Media – How much is too much?

I first heard of Web 2.0 Suicide Machine a few weeks ago, and, as a closet Luddite, I must admit it had some appeal.  The site automates your exit from social media, and seems to be gaining popularity with those fed up with the ubiquity of social networking, and yearning for the social elements of REAL life. Read more about the Suicide Machine, and a growing discomfort with the new media in USA TODAY’s Some ditch social networks to reclaim time, privacy.

Every morning after I have poured the first mug of coffee, I open the Google Reader to about 500 posts, RSS feeds from Google Alerts, real estate news, techie stuff, social media stuff, world and local news, commentary, financial……. more than any human needs to be confronted with in the earliest moments of the day.  Usually that ritual happens before looking outside at the day’s weather. Oh, well I can get that online too, or on my phone.

Then it’s on to Facebook, and a barrage of  personal updates, mostly from people I don’t really know; the invites to groups and fan pages I don’t care about; friend requests, mostly from other real estate people hopping on the social- media-magic-bullet-bandwagon; the incredibly annoying invites to Farmville, Mafia Wars, and other inane apps; and the long list of events that I may attend 2% of.

I learned to harness Twitter early on with Tweetdeck, but even there, folks who I have enjoyed following in the past are starting to get on my nerves with esoterica and kool kid stuff.  And if it’s not that, it’s DMs from spammers.  I have read lately about the importance of “Human Aggregators”  for picking up on the most relevant Web 2.0 thought and trends.  I don’t really have the time to go through those aggregators’ streams of 50+ tweets a day each to keep up with what’s relevant.

Even good old passive LinkedIn is getting annoying.  I am getting connection requests from folks who I have nothing in common with. Tonight  it was someone with 3 connections who lists his profession as Tobacco Professional,  and a mining engineer with 1 connection.  Who are these people?  How did they find me?  How in the world can the development of theses relationships add to our social capitol?

I find myself singing and humming Dave Matthews’ Too Much more and more these days.  So what do you do to start re-establishing the connection with real life?

Here is my Plan:

FaceBook

  1. If you invite me to become a fan more than twice, you are gone.
  2. If you want to solicit me to join you in Mafia Wars, Farmville, or any other time wasting app, you are gone.
  3. If your updates are continually in bad taste, overly esoteric, or loaded with promotions for your business, you are gone.

Twitter – Sure fire unfollows:

  1. Excessive business promotion
  2. Unsolicited/irrelevant DMs
  3. Excessive tweets

And that’s just for starters.   Sure, my Friend and Follower numbers will drop, as will my Klout score, but I really need to spend more time with my real life family and friends.  And give a lot more attention to my clients and customers (you know, those folks who do business with me and allow me to have food and shelter).

What do you think?  Is it getting to be Too Much?  Do you have a plan?

Sterick Building – Memphis, TN



Sterick Building, originally uploaded by joespake.

West elevation of Sterick Building, Downtown Memphis Tennessee. Photo taken from roof of Goodwyn Building, Madison Ave & Second St.

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