Social Media Starter Moves for Entrepreneurs

Kfir ItselfThis could be considered a “backwards” post. I tend to talk from the perspective of a user of technology, but I am writing this one for the point of view of people who might be seeking to build new tools, to join the social software scene. I love entrepreneurs, and I enjoy the notion of building new, amazing things. But I do want you to think about this space, too.

If you’re NOT building a social network or platform, stick around. I want YOU to tell folks your thoughts, too.

The Platforms We’re Using

I’m definitely not going to list out every social network and social media tool, but I do want you to understand a bit about HOW we’re using these tools, so I’ll mention a few.

  • MySpace or Facebook – Not just for kids any more. The grown-ups I know use both of these services for roughly the same thing: connecting with people they already know and making some new connections.
  • LinkedIn – Business social networking, and the top of the heap. It’s getting a little more interesting, because of their status stream, and the redesign.
  • Twitter – Not everyone’s on there, but we’re more on there than Pownce and Jaiku. Why? It’s not because it’s better. It’s just because we’re all still there, because it’s simple, because it solves a lot of needs.
  • Flickr – We’re sharing photos on Flickr and SmugMug.
  • YouTube – We’re sharing video on YouTube and Blip.tv and a few dozen smaller places.
  • Digg – We’re getting news from Digg and Reddit and SlashDot, and there are lots of new upstarts for specific niches. We seem to like these sites because they let the crowd vote on what’s newsworthy to US as a niche.

So that’s some of what we’re interested in. You’ll certainly want to add places and tools into the comments section, so that we can get those called out, too.

The Marketplace Overall

I’d say the barrier to getting me to join a new social network is getting higher and higher. If you’re doing a business network, I’m already using LinkedIn. If you’re building a place for friends to connect, Facebook in all its annoyance still handles that enough-ish, and Twitter handles it great.

What comes next for networks? Velvet rope. Lots of it. I think the next step (and this was once prophesied by Eric Rice somewhere) is something closer to an anti-social network, or more accurately, a professional social network. Want to see a top shelf example? Check out Sermo, a social network for physicians. I met with Daniel Palenstrant, the founder, recently and he’s a smart cookie. He’s got a great product and he knows it.

What about tools?

Social Media Tools

There are lots of overlap experiences going on at the moment. For instance, there’s an entire social information aggregation space, all with different spins. There’s Lijit for search, FriendFeed for aggregation, and then maybe a dozen variations on the theme thereafter. Check out Louis Gray‘s site for TONS of these types of apps. (Good guy, Louis).

There’s Blog Talk Radio and Talkshoe offering phone-to-podcast experiences with different twists (and I’m friendly with both companies, and they’re both full of great people).

We have Twitter/Pownce/Jaiku. We have Utterz for the multimedia-meets-phone. We have Qik and Seesmic and a flavor in between.

In blogging software and content platforms, we have WordPress, Drupal, Tumblr, Blogger, Joomla, TypePad, LiveJournal, and another million opportunities.

There are MANY tools. So then, what is the barrier to entry with either another tool or network?

High. Challenging. Difficult.

So What Do We Want?

This is your turn to answer. What do you think is necessary out there? What do you want built to suit YOUR world? How can an entrepreneur turn your head and get your attention? What would lure you off your platforms right now, or what aren’t your existing tools covering for you?

The comments section of this post will far outweigh the value of the post itself, so remember to click through to [chrisbrogan.com].

The Social Media 100 is a project by Chris Brogan dedicated to writing 100 useful blog posts in a row about the tools, techniques, and strategies behind using social media for your business, your organization, or your own personal interests. Swing by [chrisbrogan.com] for more posts in the series, and if you have topic ideas, feel free to share them, as this is a group project, and your opinion matters.

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  • http://madbaker.com/ Mark Dyck

    Great post Chris.

    I’m interested in two aspects of ‘what’s next’ for social networks:

    - How to best mobilize the networks that we set up and/or join. Do Good, Get Things Done, etc.

    - How to do this on a local level. How does the technology help groups that are also physically close?

    I recently set up a network on Ning for a group of local parents to organize around an upcoming student exchange. Not a lot of early adopters in the group so it will be a real test — for the technology (can these tools help us work together more effectively) and for me as community organizer (can I help people over the learning curve so they get value from this)

    Helping the next wave of people over the hump — from ‘this is cool’ to ‘this is useful’ is a big growth opportunity, IMO.

  • http://madbaker.com/ Mark Dyck

    Great post Chris.

    I’m interested in two aspects of ‘what’s next’ for social networks:

    - How to best mobilize the networks that we set up and/or join. Do Good, Get Things Done, etc.

    - How to do this on a local level. How does the technology help groups that are also physically close?

    I recently set up a network on Ning for a group of local parents to organize around an upcoming student exchange. Not a lot of early adopters in the group so it will be a real test — for the technology (can these tools help us work together more effectively) and for me as community organizer (can I help people over the learning curve so they get value from this)

    Helping the next wave of people over the hump — from ‘this is cool’ to ‘this is useful’ is a big growth opportunity, IMO.

  • http://www.steven-mills.com Steve Mills

    Nice Overview Chris,

    I have been using twitter a lot over the last month and have found it really interesting.

  • http://www.steven-mills.com Steve Mills

    Nice Overview Chris,

    I have been using twitter a lot over the last month and have found it really interesting.

  • http://www.kingterm.com Kevin McGarray

    Nice post

    thanks chris

  • http://www.kingterm.com Kevin McGarray

    Nice post

    thanks chris

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  • http://wellness-hungary.com Wellness Hungary

    Ria Kennedy:
    In marketing, communication is the greatest factor. If you do not communicate with your clients or would-be clients, you are lost. And the more ways you communicate with them, the more of them are going to pay for your product or service.

  • http://wellness-hungary.com Wellness Hungary

    Ria Kennedy:
    In marketing, communication is the greatest factor. If you do not communicate with your clients or would-be clients, you are lost. And the more ways you communicate with them, the more of them are going to pay for your product or service.

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  • http://whyifailed.com Steve

    “Friendfeeder” – a reverse FriendFeed/personal hub. It needs contact and content management that delivers everything I write – addressed and/or tagged – to the people who want it based. Reverse RSS could be an analogy. Each of us would have one of these as our “home base” (like Facebook, MySpace today) and it would interact with others – receiving AND sending.

  • http://whyifailed.com Steve

    “Friendfeeder” – a reverse FriendFeed/personal hub. It needs contact and content management that delivers everything I write – addressed and/or tagged – to the people who want it based. Reverse RSS could be an analogy. Each of us would have one of these as our “home base” (like Facebook, MySpace today) and it would interact with others – receiving AND sending.

  • Pedro Mengas

    Yes, niches will arise and are needed. But, first, a specialized search engine for social networks’ (SN) object or reason to be is essential. Some tool where people can seek for a list of SN’s based on, say for a very specific example, “the behavior of ants”. And that search would only show a list of existing SN’s related to our search. Does it exists already? If so, show me the light, please.

    Otherwise, the search gets difficult as the web grows exponentially richer with SN’s.

  • Pedro Mengas

    Yes, niches will arise and are needed. But, first, a specialized search engine for social networks’ (SN) object or reason to be is essential. Some tool where people can seek for a list of SN’s based on, say for a very specific example, “the behavior of ants”. And that search would only show a list of existing SN’s related to our search. Does it exists already? If so, show me the light, please.

    Otherwise, the search gets difficult as the web grows exponentially richer with SN’s.

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  • http://blog.keithparnell.com/ Keith Parnell

    We have produced the JASEzone that stemmed from message boards that have been around for the softball community since 2001. The community is not specifically for sports-related relationships but 65% of its use is sports-related.

    I agree that niche-related communities are the hip criteria and where people will migrate. Probably more so because niche communities can / will provided niche-specific tools for its users.

    Great post, Chris. Even months later.

  • http://blog.keithparnell.com/ Keith Parnell

    We have produced the JASEzone that stemmed from message boards that have been around for the softball community since 2001. The community is not specifically for sports-related relationships but 65% of its use is sports-related.

    I agree that niche-related communities are the hip criteria and where people will migrate. Probably more so because niche communities can / will provided niche-specific tools for its users.

    Great post, Chris. Even months later.

  • http://www.guerrillared.com/ Chris

    Great article. It’s great to get a nice little rundown like this of all the different sites out there. Sometimes I forget that I actually signed up for an account on some of them (stupid Pownce!). But no matter how many twitter clones are made, people will still find a use for them.

    Back when I was working a 9-5, we realized that hi5 was the fastest growing network in south america, so we tapped that for a hispanic jewelry product we were working on. We saw that twitter was dominated by Obama fans (and then I later wrote about it on my social media marketing blog) so we used that in a greater capacity for our political blog community.

    No matter how many of these little sites come along, there is always a marketing use for an entrepreneur that is in the right market at the right time.

    -
    Chris

  • http://www.guerrillared.com/ Chris

    Great article. It’s great to get a nice little rundown like this of all the different sites out there. Sometimes I forget that I actually signed up for an account on some of them (stupid Pownce!). But no matter how many twitter clones are made, people will still find a use for them.

    Back when I was working a 9-5, we realized that hi5 was the fastest growing network in south america, so we tapped that for a hispanic jewelry product we were working on. We saw that twitter was dominated by Obama fans (and then I later wrote about it on my social media marketing blog) so we used that in a greater capacity for our political blog community.

    No matter how many of these little sites come along, there is always a marketing use for an entrepreneur that is in the right market at the right time.

    -
    Chris

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  • Deborah Johnson

    I’d like to see all these site current and future improve their search technology including how you can search, where you can search, what you can search and most important have word meaning disambiguation (i.e. understanding the proper meaning of a word within the context of how it is being used, such as “bat in cave” is a furry flying creature, not a baseball bat).

    Search in it’s current state, drives me crazy!

  • Deborah Johnson

    I’d like to see all these site current and future improve their search technology including how you can search, where you can search, what you can search and most important have word meaning disambiguation (i.e. understanding the proper meaning of a word within the context of how it is being used, such as “bat in cave” is a furry flying creature, not a baseball bat).

    Search in it’s current state, drives me crazy!

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    We have had a ning site for about 6 months, and have looked at several others, and ning I beleive rocks. It has provided a great service–and ‘Hey all my friends are here’ seems being replaced with “WHY am I really here?” Many early adopters seem to be looking more now for purpose and beyond just connection. Strange but true. Many folks seem to be tiring of the somewhat “kumbayah” syndrome and now are looking for a more concrete productive path in social media. At least from what I am finding.

  • http://www.socialmediablogster.com Doug Firebaugh

    We have had a ning site for about 6 months, and have looked at several others, and ning I beleive rocks. It has provided a great service–and ‘Hey all my friends are here’ seems being replaced with “WHY am I really here?” Many early adopters seem to be looking more now for purpose and beyond just connection. Strange but true. Many folks seem to be tiring of the somewhat “kumbayah” syndrome and now are looking for a more concrete productive path in social media. At least from what I am finding.

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  • http://www.jimlupkin.com Jim Lupkin

    Professional networks?

    How bout one for Home based business professionals?

    We built Ojeez.com for that purpose.

    We are building version 2 in the cloud.

    I hope to network with others that are reading my post. You can find me on Facebook : jimlupkin

  • http://www.jimlupkin.com Jim Lupkin

    Professional networks?

    How bout one for Home based business professionals?

    We built Ojeez.com for that purpose.

    We are building version 2 in the cloud.

    I hope to network with others that are reading my post. You can find me on Facebook : jimlupkin

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  • keriannjohnson

    Chris thank you for the great content and guidance, sometimes it can be overwhelming in determining where to begin when it comes to using social platforms.

    I think when entrepreneurs are considering the use of various platforms for business; I think they should also consider the content which they share on these platforms. Sharing content that provides helpful advice and guidance could be beneficial for both the entrepreneur and consumer where the entrepreneur has a platform to highlight their expertise in their area, therefore building trust and rapport with members of the public, while consumers gain form useful advice.

  • keriannjohnson

    Chris thank you for the great content and guidance, sometimes it can be overwhelming in determining where to begin when it comes to using social platforms.

    I think when entrepreneurs are considering the use of various platforms for business; I think they should also consider the content which they share on these platforms. Sharing content that provides helpful advice and guidance could be beneficial for both the entrepreneur and consumer where the entrepreneur has a platform to highlight their expertise in their area, therefore building trust and rapport with members of the public, while consumers gain form useful advice.

  • http://www.savetubevideo.com youtube downloader

    # LinkedIn – Business social networking, and the top of the heap. It’s getting a little more interesting, because of their status stream, and the redesign.
    # Twitter – Not everyone’s on there, but we’re more on there than Pownce and Jaiku. Why? It’s not because it’s better. It’s just because we’re all still there, because it’s simple, because it solves a lot of needs.

  • http://www.savetubevideo.com youtube downloader

    # LinkedIn – Business social networking, and the top of the heap. It’s getting a little more interesting, because of their status stream, and the redesign.
    # Twitter – Not everyone’s on there, but we’re more on there than Pownce and Jaiku. Why? It’s not because it’s better. It’s just because we’re all still there, because it’s simple, because it solves a lot of needs.

  • http://www.savetubevideo.com youtube downloader

    # LinkedIn – Business social networking, and the top of the heap. It’s getting a little more interesting, because of their status stream, and the redesign.
    # Twitter – Not everyone’s on there, but we’re more on there than Pownce and Jaiku. Why? It’s not because it’s better. It’s just because we’re all still there, because it’s simple, because it solves a lot of needs.