I've Been Bitten by a Werewolf -- Again!

Among the hot topics from 2007, which are still hot in January 2008, are video and widgets; specifically, widgets in Facebook, since they're easy to use and easy to understand. I understand the business model because it's very simple -- create an application of some form that is viral in nature and monetize the eyeballs that are aggregated through the application. I get it. It's cool. But in all seriousness, why do I keep getting bitten by werewolves and zombies and vampires, and why do I keep getting thrown in an entourage, and why do I keep getting asked to take a movie quiz or write on a super-super wall?

These types of applications are not useful, nor do they provide value or assist in the development of data surrounding my behaviors that could be used by a behavioral marketing company to provide targeted advertising (which is what I originally thought they were being used for). I wouldn't get bent out of shape if it weren't for the fact that I keep getting pinged by them. They are repetitive and sort of analogous to pop-ups. The first time they come up, they are sort of funny and intriguing. and you check them out because you are curious, but now that I am inundated every single day, and now that many of us in the business community are using Facebook to stay in contact with colleagues, I'm not sure how effective these applications can be. That being said, I asked my doctor if I should be vaccinated against werewolves (just to be safe) -- and he said not to worry about it.



The repetitive nature of little digital tools and toys and tricks are what makes the average everyday users less interested as time goes on. Facebook is popular right now, but what keeps users coming back are not these annoying little applications, it is the development and utilization of applications and groups that actually match our interests. You should be able to block unwanted or repetitive applications after you've designated them as such in order to keep the clutter-free environment, which Facebook seems to hold as valued, free of clutter.

Social media 3.0 will certainly focus on the useful applications, such as ecommerce and research tools and other useful elements. I read an article (which I unfortunately cannot ind again) that referred to social media as the evolution of the Innernet vs. the Internet: the Internet being the expanse of pages and content available to everyone, vs. the Innernet being the pages targeted and tailored to what you as an individual may actually like. This concept holds merit for me, but those applications where I am bitten repeatedly by a rabid, energy-diffusing, fantasy-based beast are not.

What I find interesting is trying to merge disparate trends and see how they will affect overall behaviors. I reviewed all the gadgets and information that poured out of CES this year, and I still cannot make any connections between new gadgets and social media. If social media is truly on the precipice of becoming a phenomenon on the scale of the Web itself, wouldn't there be some developments in easier ways to integrate social media applications into our everyday lives? The closest thing is the fact that MySpace and Facebook can be viewed by your mobile phone, but this application is not as widely used as I would have imagined.

For social media to continue to evolve into an even more important and ingrained element of consumers' everyday lives, then the useless elements, such as being bitten by a werewolf, will have to be replaced by useful applications. Maybe I'm not a patient man, but I would rather it happened sooner rather than later. Maybe it is indeed on the way. For now I will just continue to do what I want -- and ignore the obvious issues of a world afflicted by zombies and werewolves.

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