The result isn't pretty. My e-mail is filled with spam, and the rest of social media seems to be going the same way.
My Facebook status feeds, which used to be filled with witty quips from business buddies and personal friends, has now become overwhelmed with advertising. I really like some of these folks, and used to find them interesting, but now all they're doing is promoting their latest business venture, often itself a business promotion of sorts, such as a book. [Publishers are pretty much insisting on this now, from what I hear.]
I suspect I've been guilty of this stuff myself, which doesn't ease the annoyance at all.
I've had to take the drastic step of turning off status updates from a few people. Some of my actual real-world friends have disconnected, which I was sorry to see. Others never log in any more, and I can't blame them. I rarely log in myself.
Twitter is overwhelmed with self-promotional material.
All of us 'brand of one' people have been told we need to get out there posting links to interesting articles. So we are. And my feed is no better, sadly.
The thing is, you pretty much have to engage with some of these media, or I do anyway:
You simply can’t ignore a communication medium that has enjoyed a growth rate in users of more than 700 per cent over the past year and is used by people to talk about anything including your brand.
Now that I see people are getting their accounts hacked, so that I am getting tweets about Viagra and such, I'm having serious doubts.
It's OK to ruthlessly ignore people you've never met or heard of. And not that many people have figured out how to get their Twitter feeds to show up there.
But the e-mail bulletins advising me that "X is now connected to Y" have got to be the pinnacle of almost useless information.
The discussion groups are still useful, likely because they are all moderated. Not that people aren't trying to insert blatant calls to action, they just haven't been that successful.
Some really clever people invited me to participate in Wave, Google's new collaboration tool. Now there's Buzz, Google's new competitor in the FriendFeed battle for eyeballs. There are a gazillion other lesser players.
It's true, there are some bright lights on the horizon. Like people building truly useful applications on the Twitter platform. I don't personally need to know when my local bakery has something fresh -- several times a day I presume -- but this is a good start.
If you actually found time in your day to read this, I thank you. Please follow me @susanabbott.
[Should I keep posting these to Facebook? Or is that just so much more feed spam in your world? What to do, what to do...?]