Technology

Lunchtime Links: The Problem With Jelly

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone's latest network has a problem: Jelly comes at a time when the social media field is already jam-packed. Also: What's easier, pulling teeth or getting community members to fill out their profiles?

Twitter cofounder Biz Stone’s latest network has a problem: Jelly comes at a time when the social media field is already jam-packed. Also: What’s easier, pulling teeth or getting community members to fill out their profiles?

It seems like a new social network shows up every single day, begging for a moment of your time and the names of a couple of your friends.

But are we at the point where it’s time to tune out new networks and focus on what’s already there—no matter their pedigree?

Some deep thoughts in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Saturation point? Yesterday, Twitter cofounder Biz Stone launched his newest effort at setting the social media world ablaze, and it was met with a collective “Huh?” Jelly, a social network built for asking questions and polling your contacts for answers, seemed to confuse some tech writers, and even a New York Times tech reporter who wrote about the launch sounded a tad bewildered. But ReadWrite‘s Selena Larson took it a step further, going all existential on newfangled social networks, which often raise questions of usefulness due to the fragmentation they introduce. “[I]f there’s one thing driving consolidation and the desire to pare down our platforms, it’s time,” she writes. “Give me a reason to give you my time, and you’ve built something worth using. Otherwise, you’ve joined one of the many apps that quietly pass into the internet’s ether as empty networks—barren deserts filled with updates no one ever sees.” That seems like a pretty good lesson for any social network—even ones created by Biz Stone.

The profile problem: If you think about it, social media is a series of profiles—users often have to fill out boxes describing themselves dozens of times a month. It can be tedious, so asking them to do it on your private community’s site, too, might be a tough sell. Joshua Paul of Socious gets that—and he has some good advice for making the process a little more attractive, along with some tips to encourage users to follow through. One worth keeping in mind: Set the example for everyone else. “Educate and train the people within and closest to your company on the importance of completed profiles,” he writes. “Make sure your employees, volunteer leaders, and main customer advocates have their profiles completed. If your community members don’t see well-developed profiles from the leaders in the community, they’ll be far less likely to take the time to do so themselves.” So, is your profile up to date?

Now’s the time: What’s the point of waiting for your moment if you’re not sure when that is? That’s the question Happy Black Woman blogger Rosetta Thurman raises in her latest post. She notes that sometimes, things in your life might not feel lined up to take advantage of an opportunity that presents itself, but that if you wait for the perfect time, the opportunity could pass you by altogether. “The truth is … that great class, that dream job, that promising business opportunity, that awesome conference, or that once-in-a-lifetime trip abroad may never be offered to you again,” she says. “The best advice I can give anyone who truly wants to make progress on any goal is to stop talking about all the reasons why you CAN’T and focus your time on figuring out how you CAN.” Feeling motivated yet?

What’s on your reading list today? Tell us about it in the comments.

(Vimeo screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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