What Is The Future Of Social Media When The Early Adopters Opt Out?


When an epidemic spreads, scientists try to follow the path of contagion back as far as possible to try possible to try to figure out where the virus originated.  They call the earliest infected person, Patient Zero.

In social media, although he certainly wasn’t the first person in, he goes way, way back and might be considered the person who “infected” many of us with the social media bug.  He caught the bug early on, when very few people even called it social media, grasping the possibilities and keeping at it well before most people saw what it could be. So, let’s call Chris Brogan, Patient Zero.

You have to have a strong constitution to continue to use social media year after year, when no one is listening or talking and hold on until you eventually gather strength.

Lately, Chris has made a lot of moves that (in part) look like he is over it.  First he quit Facebook, then he unfollowed everyone on Twitter, then he tweeted that he’s “sick to death” of social media. Of course, he’s not quitting social media, (after all, Google + is very social), but the overload hit him and it’s not surprising that he was one of the first to show us what can happen 10 years after you get the bug.

I wrote about the future age of anti-social media for Jason Falls here last May.  Anyone who gets involved seriously in the digital tools for social media is going to feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed does not work long term.

Of course, there are plenty of people and businesses who haven’t even gotten started in social media. So what will the future look like? Chris Brogan is leading us somewhere. Where do you think that is? Where are you headed in social media? The principles won’t change but the tools and practices will have to.

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