Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

There's Social . . . And There's Hyper-Social - What Happens In Social Media If You Are Shy? . . . And The Cuckoo Strategy Of Success

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 15, 2009

If you look at the stars of the social media scene: in blogging, Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook, etc, you'll notice that apart from the celebrities, they are all very social -- you could call them hyper-social. Take for instance Robert Scoble, now with Building 43.

If you want to be successful as Robert Scoble in social media -- here is what it takes:

I asked Robert how much time he actually spends on those services. He monitors them all day, he said, hitting refresh over and over on both (he doesn't use desktop clients to manage the services, and he says he doesn't like real-time streaming feature on Friendfeed). In addition to watching all day, he says he spends at least seven hours a day, seven days a week, actually reading and responding directly on those services.

That's 2,555 hours over the last year.

Which is more than a full time job (2,000 hours/year).

It is more than 106 full 24 hour days interacting with those services in aggregate.

. . . What has he gained? On Twitter Robert has nearly 45,000 followers and has written over 16,000 messages. On Friendfeed Robert has nearly 23,000 subscribers.

Other social media stars put in the same kind of hours.

(Interestingly, some of them have young families. Maybe it gets them out of diaper duties :-)

But what happens if you are shy? What happens if you don't want to flood your Twitter, blog , Friendfeed, and Facebook streams with a bit-torrent of messages and posts? I prefer to post less rather than more, but that hasn't done me much good when it comes to expanding my traffic at the same rate as others.

I will cut people off if they are too loud in my streams because they push other people out. But maybe that's the best strategy for online success -- the cuckoo strategy -- become so prolific that you push the others out of people's real-time streams.

What do you think? Do you prefer less, or more?

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