Do Larger Social Media Channels Always Have the Upper Hand?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of small scale communities vs. larger more popular ones? Is bigger always better? How does communication differ amongst larger social media channels as opposed to smaller yet more specialized ones?

Come to think about it, it’s true what they say: “sometimes less is more“! Allow me to further explain.

During our ordinary lives, we are always faced with situations that make us wonder: Do we really need many friends or just a few true close ones? Do we need fame or simply a good reputation? Do we need many meals a day or only a few healthy ones? This applies to everything we do offline and online as well!

Earlier on this week, while doing some usual research on the web, I came across the video sharing channel, Vimeo, which is very much similar to Youtube yet on a smaller scale. The first idea that popped to my mind was trying to figure out the reasons why Vimeo is not as popular as Youtube, treating the situation as a problem. After some research, I was able to find out that maybe, just maybe, this smaller number of users is there for a reason: specialization! Although Vimeo and Youtube have a lot in common, Vimeo’s competitive edge probably lies in its ability to create a more intact and integrated chain of users who make up communities that know each other by face and name and who interact with each other on a more personal level than any large social media channel can possibly provide!

But the buck doesn’t stop there!

There are many other social media channels for which this theory can perfectly apply, namely: the infamous social bookmarking sites Reddit and Mixx vs. Digg.

Got 69 points and 25 comments on Mixx, but not even noticed on Mixx!

Got 69 points and 25 comments on Mixx, but not even noticed on Digg!

Let me break it down to you in simple points to bullet-proof my argument…

Startup advice: A Metropolitan 4-Layered View of the Web & Time Invested

Most people invest a great multitude of both time and effort into the Web. Some of them like to share thoughts and media content, while others seek to share their experiences through specialized blogs. Regardless of the effort any of us provides, every time we use the web, we expect something in return; whether it be self satisfaction, money or reach. With that said, for each level of effort invested, there is a different ROI that can be expected or even reached as a maximum.

Busy New York - by Amy Strycula

Busy New York - by Amy Strycula

Through extensive research and my humble experience, I was able to come up with an analogy of the Web’s contribution levels comparing it with a city made up of 4 different layers.

1. The Web Citizen:

The web citizen is the minimal level of web existence and it requires less effort, money and/or time in order to become a part of an online community. For example, uploading a YouTube video, posting a comment, or uploading a couple of photos to Flickr. There is no question that these events add value to the Web, and give personal satisfaction to the user. But can a user, with more time and resources, do more, and give back more to the Web?

That’s where the second level comes to play…

2. The Cafes & Restaurants of the Internet – the communities:

This is the community and social circles part of our city analogy including blogs, YouTube channels, Facebook and Twitter social circles. By creating an account on any of these, you build a community around yourself (or brand). Now, the effort you’re spending is more organized, benefiting more people, and in return benefiting you by allowing you to reach more people, and maybe make a bit of money if you add adverts to your Blog or YouTube channel. But information, videos and photos are so common, and there is nothing you cannot find online if you look in the right places.

The next level up is offering Web utilities and services…

Top 20 Social Media Jokes, Clips and Cartoons! May/June 2009

In another attempt to bring a smile to your face and brighten up your day, the Thoughtpick team likes to present you with more fun social media and networking related cartoons, jokes and clips!

25 Social Media Jokes and Comics… Episode (1)

A collection of 25 funny jokes and caricatures related to social media, from Facebook to Twitter. Enjoy!

No more Digg shouts: Rationalizations to Why Digg Needs a Better R&D Department!

A few days ago, Digg disabled 'shouts', which is the ability to share a certain article with your Digg.com friends. Many Digg users were frustrated, as this means they have to rely on Twitter and Facebook to share their Diggs. I'm not a power-digger, and never cared much to be one. But, after reading a couple of articles about Digg...

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9 Real-Time Search Engines Which Go Beyond Twitter

9 Real-Time Search Engines Which Go Beyond Twitter

FriendFeed Real-time search, but limited to FF users' content

We followed a simple criteria to pick services and build our list: Any search service must be (1) Real-time and (2) NOT limited to Twitter search results. Read on...

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What Would A Stumbler Thumb Up?

What Would A Stumbler Thumb Up?

Etsy: Buy/Sell Everything Handmade

What are the hottest topics floating around the world wide web? What are the basis on which users of Digg. Reddit, Stumble Upon, Mixx and other social bookmarking sites pick their favorite blogs posts, pages and sites? How could you create something that will stand out amongst a crowded virtual world of endless knowledge and […]

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Are Social Media Users Schizophrenic?

Are Social Media Users Schizophrenic?

Multiple Personality Disorder

What defines a schizophrenic? How can we correlate social media to loss of identity? And would it be rational to declare that many social media users suffer from schizophrenia? And is schizophrenia always negative?

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Karma-lization! The Pros & Cons…

Karma-lization! The Pros & Cons…

Is social media karma all what it's blown out to be? Or is it just an evil plot to alter behavior and manipulatively condition online users?

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Digg is bloggers’ Hollywood

Real life celebrity glamor is not that different from that over the Internet. As a Web marketer, you are probably continuously looking for ways to promote your blog to a celebrity-like status. Once it becomes a star, your website rank would spike. But making celebrities is a tough job, isn’t it? You definitely won’t be […]

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