Why I am losing interest in social media: microspammers

I am getting social media fatigue. This is too bad, because I am a fan of social media and social computing and I think it is the future. And I will come back to it more when social sites learn to deal with one of the biggest problems I see now: microspammers. Microspammers to me are people who generate alot of updates every day. They end up dominating the signal, like people at a party who try to dominate the conversation.

For an example, here’s a day in the life of me in social media:

I go to my feed reader and check out blogs like AndrewSullivan.com or Mashable or The Daily What. I like them all, but each day they create dozens and dozens of posts. It’s actually stressful to deal with.
I go to my twitter stream, and see a it filling up with tweets from people who essentially use it as a microblogging feed to spam my twitter stream with dozens of links to other sites
Over on blip.fm, same thing. A few DJs blip dozens of songs each day, making it hard to pick out music.
Facebook? Yup. Newsfeed is more or less reflective of twitter.
Now Linked.In is doing the same thing.

This doesn’t count the daily email spam from digital magazines, etc.

It’s too much.

I have tried to manage it. I dropped alot of tweeps, feeds, DJs, "friends" and now colleagues. I’ve tweaked my profile and settings on all these platforms. But that only goes so far. What happens if your colleagues or family and friends are the microspammers? Do you drop them and risk offending them? Or do you do what I am doing, and considering dropping out instead. Indeed, for alot of these sites, I used to see alot more usage of them than I do now.

Social media sites need to develop better filters. And develop them soon. I think they won’t though. They’re greedy for traffic, and filters naturally cut down on traffic. Network externalities will prevent rapid decreases in usage, just like new features might. But I suspect that alot of them will be surprised that they have collapsed because inside they were hollowed out. Or they became bloated and slow and were surprised to be passed by a lean and nimble competitor.

Also, people using social media need to develop a better sensitivity to what they are doing. I am sure I can faulted with this too, but I am trying to be considerate of all the things people are reading.  And frankly, if you think it is too much, I’d perfectly understand if you stopped following me in one area or another.

I will still use social media, but in a different way than before. It’s time to put it in perspective.

4 responses to “Why I am losing interest in social media: microspammers

  1. Having read this, I can now better understand your reasons for paring down on social networking!
    Personally, I have substantially lower numbers of followers & friends.
    Hence, I don’t get nearly as inundated as you do, so it’s a lot more manageable.
    I hope you will still keep your blogs though, as they are usually quite interesting, enlightening, & well-written. 🙂

  2. Totally agree! I have a few connections on LinkedIn that use it as their personal playground – a constant barrage of retweets plus personal updates. They are in the consulting/PR fields so I guess it’s a strategy to keep their names visible. I value them as colleagues/connections, but I don’t think LinkedIn is the place for this chatter.

    • smartpeopleiknow

      Ah ha! I am not the only one who noticed it then! Thanks, Leta. It’s too bad…I hope they don’t mess up LinkedIn for most of us.

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