social media

Fragmentation of online media channels

on Jan 16 in social media, technology, trends posted by

Thought of the Day, Jan 16, 2009

You saw it here first! One of my earliest blog posts on TwitterThoughts concerned the trend toward fragmentation of media channels.

Web 2.0 tools have lowered barriers to entry for a whole range of user-generated content, from blogs and wikis to videos, podcasting and even turn-key social networks (e.g., Ning).

Such democratization of technology was bound to lead to splintering of interest groups into multitudes of niche communities.

An article in Marketing Charts highlights results in a report by Ketchum and the USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center that confirms this trend. The survey found that “consumers are using a wider variety of channels than ever before.” This is the primary reason I am bullish on aggregator and disseminator applications that can handle messages from multiple social channels.

Aggregators are applications that compile feeds from different Web sites to display online activity from your network of friends. This is many to one. (FriendFeed is the most widely used.)

Disseminators work the opposite way. They push your messages out to multiple channels. This is one to many. Ping.fm is the best example. (Hellotxt is another.)

Aggregator and disseminator technologies are converging. There is huge pressure to integrate both these into one application. This application will be an essential component of our personal information management system. Whoever gets there first stands to take a commanding position in the world of social media.

  Model of user interaction with disseminator-aggregator applications

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