Google+ has 100m users! That’s nothing compared to electricity, which has nearly all the planet using it!

… and yet no one says ‘you must use electricity, otherwise you won’t get it’ or ‘electricity marketing, it’s the new thing’, or ‘we’ll connect on electricity’.

I bet when electricity was new it was the rave, it was awesome. There would have been companies springing out of nowhere getting rich quick with enormous IPO’s. There would have been the ‘old guard’ trying to stop electricity being the number one. They would have come up with a bill called SENO (stop electricity now or else).

Carnage between those that know, those that want to know and those that really know.

Ring any bells?

Reality. No one comes home and connects to the electrical grid.

But they will use an app. A kettle.

This ‘app’ boils water. There’s another one next to it that turns bread into toast – in fact there’s quite a few apps that we use to connect to the electrical grid.

And there’s the rub – no one cares about the electrical grid now. Its what it can do for you that’s more important. It’s what fundamental core programming the app fulfills that’s key.

Always has been.

At some point Google, like facebook and all the rest, will ‘un-hide’ the fact that they don’t have 100m users – what they probably have is 100m sign-ups but only 5m users – and by users I mean self promotors – and by self promotors I mean those that are blinded by the bubble that is social media – and by blinded I mean all they ever talk about is social media.

Only the tiniest of the minority use it as a social activity.

And that’s the problem. Social networking, in the digital sense, will only ever be of value for the minority at any one time – it would be in-human to assume otherwise.

Apps on the other hand, well that’s a different story. We all like apps. Some boil kettles, some cater for your banking and/or your domestic budget. We like them because they help us with our daily lives – in between being social – face to face.

Don’t believe the hype that is social media, but believe in digital.

N

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  • Anonymous

    Superb posting Nick, there’s lots of snake oil salesmen around at the moment saying SN will cure everything – forgetting it’s the conversation that matters.

    I even said it on the cover of my book – lots of people are concentrating on the tools instead of what the tools can actually do to make things easier.

    I’ve noticed an interesting parallel with the world of photography! There are those who go on about the tech all the time and how it is so important, whilst masters are interested in the subject and find that the equipment isn’t actually that important.

  • Tim

    I like this Nick.  Especially because SENO in Italian means breast :-)  No, I really like the way you show the difference between sign-ups and users.

  • Why believe in digital ?

  • Thank you. So refreshing Nick. 

    It’s great to get some context into the conversation. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because a few of us might choose to spend ridiculous amounts of time on line that the rest of the world does/should/will/is doing the same thing when clearly that isn’t the case.Your analogy with electricity is spot on and the platforms/enablers that see themselves as pretenders to leadership of opinion or arbiters of future trends or indeed anything other than the enablers they are might eventually recognise this.I’m not sure there’s anyone to blame though. It’s not like there is anything wrong… Just that many on-line SNers tend to be somewhat unaware of the world outside their/our world.I suppose, as with life in general, it’s to do with balance and the ability to step back and see things in perspective as you have so eruditely done here in this blog.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Phil – it was inspired by G+ funnily, I like it but there is entirely too much social media this and social media that.

  • Anonymous

    LOL SENO, bit of a tit in Italian then!

    N

  • Anonymous

    Because it solves a problem at a genetic level.

  • Anonymous

    ‘lots of people are concentrating on the tools instead of what the tools can actually do to make things easier.’ – quite James.

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