Why the social daisy scares us

You probably thought a daisy couldn’t be scary, right?

Wrong – when it comes to the social media daisy.

The Conversation Prism - see on http://www.theconversationprism.com/

I’ve seen the Conversation Prism (created by Brian Solis and Jess3) on so many websites and during so many conferences, I’ve lost count. It’s a fabulously colourful, summative picture of some of the social media tools which are available to us – and its shape reminds me of a daisy. (Granted, a very petal-heavy daisy).

But to novices and social media beginners – and let’s face it, they’re at many of our social media conferences – the daisy is darn scary.

It represents a minefield of names and platforms they just don’t understand. It looks overwhelming and can make a newcomer feel like they will never catch up. And I’m sure that’s not what the creators intended.

The next time you see this daisy, don’t cover your eyes or shake your head (as I saw some people do in a conference recently). View it this way – if we developed a similar daisy for all the different TV stations in the world, we wouldn’t feel despair because we weren’t watching all those stations, would we? We would recognise that we only watch the TV shows we like and that are relevant to us. We pick our favourites.

If there was a daisy that represented different types of wine, we wouldn’t give up on drinking because it was impossible to try all the varietals. Again (if we’re drinkers), we would choose the wine type to suit us and perhaps stick to that choice over the long term.

The Conversation Prism is the same. It represents a vast menu – it doesn’t mean you have to eat every dish. Focus on one social media platform that’s a “winner” for you and expend your best efforts there. In time, you might add another dish.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Melissa says:

    I’m not someone who’s afraid of social media per se but I will admit there have been a few events that have made me realise how dangerous it can be to not be up to speed with various different platforms.

    For instance, on twitter you often see “The (so and so publication) is OUT! Top stories by (various twitter followers who’ve blogged recently)”.

    These are online newspapers basically that pull together content from different sources and republish it to a twitter following. They’re usually operated by companies who are in working agreement with the bloggers but anyone can do it. The SA wine twitter feed does it particularly effectively. I often see other SA tweeps I’m following as contributors.

    My blog came up in one and, while I was proud of what I’d written, I didn’t like the way it was juxtaposed with a group of bloggers I don’t wish to share advertising space with – even though it was free, it was more counter productive than helpful I thought.

    I pointed it out to the twitter culprit but got a mere ‘sorry’ and soon enough I’d been published on it again. Though I blocked that person I felt forced to delete my blog and change its core subject matter.

    I don’t mind publishing my own blog to my twitter feed where people can retweet it but it felt a bit strange that someone was able to pull my blog from their feed and republish it without asking first.

    As a marketing guru I want to be calling the shots as to where my “product” can be found as much as possible. It’s not so much that I was afraid of people reading it, more that I just wish I’d known and could easily keep track of where it was being redistributed and how it was presented. And psychologically, it was outside of my expectations when putting the “product” (hobby) to market.

    1. Prakky says:

      That’s really interesting Melissa, thanks for the comment. I’m not sure, but you might be referring to the paper.li phenomenon? Where a lot of people turn their followers’ tweets into a daily newspaper?

      This seemed like a fun idea at the time, but I’ve noticed that many become nonsensical and offer no value. But it is nice to be re-distributed. I understand that the context may not always be fantastic, but I do err on the side of “more links the better”. I hope more social media users understand how these publications work and that you have not set out to be a contributor, rather, your content has been automatically selected. Finally, the person that used your content after their apology really should have removed you from their paper.li list.

  2. Ben Teoh says:

    HI, just flicking through you blog. Nice.

    As great as the Conversation Prism looks, I wonder how useful it is. Do people really need to know about how many new social media platforms there are out there?

    I’m much more interested in seeing which of these platforms has the most influence in each of the areas listed. For novices, this sort of information might be better suited.

    Do you know if there’s anything like that out there?

    Cheers for the post.

    1. Prakky says:

      Hi Ben. I guess the Prism had its place, as an illustration that tries to bring together the enormity of social media platforms. Influence still mostly comes to down to size, so the big players like Facebook, YouTube and, for photos for example, FlickR or Photobucket, are the influential platforms. As for a diagram that summarises that, I don’t know one off the top of my head, but will look around for a possible future blog post here.

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