Finding the Right Volume

firehose

Drinking from a fire hose.

I worry that the world of Social Media is in danger of imploding.  With so many platforms spewing so much stuff, I feel like I am trying to drink from a fire hose.  I want to know how to surf lightly over the top catching all the important stuff and ignoring the junk.  Instead  I sort of feel like the old Macintosh error message from Curly that says, “I’m trying to think, but nothing happens!”

I hear about all sorts of tools that claim to fix all this, but they mostly seem to make it worse by rebroadcasting every post on every network.  I know that this much noise makes it impossible to hear anything.  I had over 5,000 email messages in my inbox today.  Each one a cry demanding attention from some silly app or another…and even a few real people.  That does not even consider the texts, voice mails, and application notifications that seek my attention.

I am taking control  I deleted a ton of email today.  I will have less that 100 by the end of the week.  I am turning off the email from every app.  I am selecting a small number of SoMe sites to spend a bit of time and energy using.

So why do my lack of organization issues make any difference to you?  Well if you are a SoMe manager or use Social Media acquire or communicate with your customers, I have a  word of warning.  Saturation will get you ignored.

6a00e0098c505188330120a6a814c9970c-450wiI don’t know how many posts on what platforms is the right number for your folks.  I do know how to find the answer.  Ask them!  Segment your base into three groups.  The fans who love you and just want more.  The big middle who like you but might get annoyed.  The prospects who you would like to engage.

You may find different needs and desires from these groups, but at least you have the beginnings of a road map.  Asking lets folks know that you care. When they can see you paid attention, they will know that you respect & care about them.  That is the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship.

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33 thoughts on “Finding the Right Volume

  1. i don’t agree that “…saturation will get you ignored…”, but one can get overwhelmed trying to keep up and organize your network. maybe that’s why platforms like xeeme were created.
    http://xeeme.fr33cl.com

    • Although you may be right Alex, I know that I have unfollowed, blocked, and ignored sources that seemed to overwhelm me. I guess my email analogy is that I might read a few emails from you; but if you send me a few hundred, I will delete them and likely flag them as spam. Just a word from the peanut gallery. Thanks for your comment.

      • I could understand your sense of being overwhelmed. I was lucky enough to hear from someone – who knew better when I started blogging – tell me to stop getting distracted by the “bright shiny things” and stick to the then two main platforms my niche used…getting sucked in by reading 12 people’s emails about how to attract this that and the other was taking time away from what I should be doing…providing useful, pushing for great, content and marketing it. Yes, turn off the noise.

      • You are totally right Mary. It is just so easy for me to say yes to email. Even trying to be careful recently, I miss that the default is to send me email for every tiny thing. Rather than being annoyed and deleting the message, I am committed to unsubscribing to keep my streams a bit more clear.

  2. DES Daughter says:

    SoMe needs some strategy, analysis and planning for sure 🙂 thanks Harold

  3. […] Finding the Right Volume. Interesting concept about social media imploding. […]

  4. I do agree that you can’t be all things, and like Mary said finding what works best for you is the way to go. I have signed up for some blogs and then stopped the emails because they became things that were just trying to sell me, not of interest anymore. If I find good content, I will stay with the blog.

  5. jruthkelly says:

    I agree. There’s a point when saturation creates a spam effect. It can turn people off. And I’ve heard good advice about being careful not to repeat the same info/post across all networks. In other words, don’t make it so that your G+ account, LI and FB page all have the same posts.

  6. […] Finding the Right Volume. […]

  7. cftc10 says:

    Seems every day there is a new place to be social and I feel we spend way too much time with the huge variety!

  8. If someone comes up with a better way to manage the flood of info coming at us, they are going to make a fortune! It seems to me that it should be possible. For example, if I could rate emails, feeds, sites, people on those sites, etc. by importance and also by topic and by type of message all in one interface that would make my life so much easier. Sort of a multi-dimensional interface that you “taught” as you went through your day. Then it surfaces what you care about when you want it… messages from top clients or your kids always come through, but blogs or articles only come in when you’re in reading mode. And so on.

    • Gmail tried to do that with email, but it was so bad that I had to turn it off. I keep looking at the folks who are working on what you describe. I have installed 3 or 4, but so far they seem to make the problem worse with false positive & more troubling misses of important messages.

  9. […] friend Harold Gardner recently published a piece Finding The Right Volume which seemed to really resonate with me and with a bunch of other people online.   I’ve […]

  10. George J Lloyd says:

    Variate and competition is the salt in the soup… 🙂 Soon you’ll be able to buy some kind of device to reduce the pressure from the hose and drink at your speed… 🙂

  11. such a valid point. At the end of the day, I am not certain what I read where and how. Blessings to you for tackling this.

  12. catnipoflife says:

    So glad I read your article. Mary Helen (greatpoetrymhf) shared it on fb. Got to get a grip on what is important, less important, not needed. Email is out of control and digs into writing time. Thank you for taking the time to post this article.

    • Somehow we have to get control over all the incoming messages; or we will need to find a few extra hours in the day. Since I suspect the extra hours are not going to show up, I am trying to figure out and focus on the important ones.

  13. TFH says:

    Great post!

  14. donfre says:

    Great post as always Harold. I agree with your points, but luckily I see some light in the end of the information tunnel. Many of the platforms have implemented “curation”, even gmail nowadays. And the new leaps in big data analysis will make it even more targeted for your exact taste. That is actually the scary part. What will happened when you get served only things you find interesting? That all the noise will be filtered away and only nuggets. I see it in education… from nothing a few years ago, to having Princeton professors at your fingertip 24/7 and although I love it, my brain just cant handle it.

    • I agree Don in large measure that there seems to be a bit of hope. FB’s curation for example though, can be a bit disconcerting. I don’t always agree with what ‘they’ decide that I will like. An even larger concern is that it becomes increasingly difficult to discover new content that I might not even be aware could intrigue me. I worry a bit that we become a white bread & mayo culture where the folks who agree with each other are the only ones that talk to each other.

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