The New York Times sums it up best in their Freakonomics blog:
“Robert Cialdini has shown time and again that people like to conform their behavior to that of others…..Want to get hotel guests to forego daily towel cleaning? Include a message telling them that most other guests reuse their towels. Want them to recycle even more? Tell them that most people using their very room recycle.”
We are seeing that exact same behavioral phenomenon happening with Social Media. People you would never expect to be using Facebook, MySpace, or even more of a stretch – Twitter, are starting to do so in droves. Why? Not because they made the decision solely on their own or that it is even remotely connected to their historic pattern of internet usage. They are molded by the power of suggestion and may feel like they are missing out on something if they don’t join the ‘social revolution’.
I experienced this first hand this past week. I have two very close friends exhibiting completely opposite behavior. One, with more than 600 friends on Facebook, ‘freed’ himself of the burden of being so connected and shelved his account. The other, with significantly fewer friends and relatively new to Facebook, took it a step further and started a Twitter account on Saturday…. He must have watched Oprah on Friday. Reports have put new users of Twitter since her show @ more than 1Million… Do you think they’ll keep their accounts active or is this a short lived ’peer pressure’ moment?
“Literally out of nowhere, the little micro-blogging platform that constrains your messaging to 140 characters or less, is, according to Compete.com, this very month passing the august NYTimes.com, as measured by numbers of unique visitors.”
”….that little bird is fluttering right past The Times on the web’s list of top sites, and you might say, leaving the old business modelers wondering, “What exactly was that thing that just blew by us, anyway? A bird, a plane, or…”
I have hundreds of ‘friends’ on Facebook. I don’t filter what anyone can see if they have gotten the acceptance note to their friend request. Among those friends I count long time high school classmates, college track buddies, colleagues and job acquaintances, and my family (yes, my mom is on Facebook). I will say that I am moderately thoughtful when I post a status update or pictures of my latest travels with my fiancée but for the most part, nothing gets censored. My reasoning? If I have accepted you as a ‘friend’ on FB, then I am comfortable enough with you to see all the content I am posting. Not everyone feels that way – in fact I have certain friends that go through a laborious process to designate levels of access for each of their friends. Yikes – too hard for me. If I don’t trust you to see my photos, you probably aren’t going to make my friend’s list. Interesting article in the NY Times on this very topic.
The Networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox) have been streaming their program lineup online for some time now. NBC’s HULU combines current shows with favorites from our past, including a limited selection of full movies. When I travel and can’t wait to watch a show that I have DVR’d at home – I’ll tune in online and get my fix. In the Big Apple there are plenty of folks that are ‘cutting the chord‘ completely to save money during this rough economic time… If it weren’t for live sports, I might think about doing the same. Can’t live without my SportsCenter!
In addition to being a staple for rapid-fire communication among technophiles and a networking tool for tech-savvy companies, Twitter is swiftly being adopted by celebrities who see it as a way to give the public a controlled peephole into their otherwise highly private lives. Clipped from the NY Times. Full article here. And you thought Twitter was only for the true Internet mavens….
I’m an early riser. I’m up at dawn, walk the dogs, get myself ready and then head into work. One of the first things I do is check Facebook. I used to check sports scores first. What happened? Well, to be fair I still hit the sports page – but it’s just not the FIRST thing I do EVERY morning… Facebook has changed my behavior. Has it done the same for you?
Research Fortune has done for this article says yes… “This addictive quality keeps Facebook’s typical user on the site for an average of 169 minutes a month, according to ComScore. Compare that with Google News, where the average reader spends 13 minutes a month checking up on the world, or the New York Times website, which holds on to readers for a mere ten minutes a month.”