image Today, Steven Hodson over at WinExtra challenges the norms of the social media-verse by encouraging a blogger who’s job it is to chronicle web startups not to be an early adopter.

I certainly am not King of the Internets, so I’m in no position to tell Steven or Svetlana the best way to do their jobs.  There’s probably an interesting debate to be had as to whether it’s a desirable trait to be an early adopter in this business or not, but I’d rather focus on a statement that Steven made later on in the post:

Just what is all this transparency getting us anyway? Have we seen any great leaps forward in productivity? Are we actually improving the everyday lives of people with all this gushing about how social media is tearing down old businesses?

All we seem to be shown is really nothing more than a whole bunch of illusions of how conversations are going to change the world and yet I don’t see any changes just a lot of heartache’s across the board. Just where is this changing society and that the social media mavens say is happening?

This is a really great question, and there are a number of directions you can go with the answer. I’m going to choose the route of answering this that involves the business benefits.

Typically, we’re used to businesses that look for ways to cut costs and never pass those savings on to customers.  Somehow, though, the Internet has created a culture of free. It’s generally considered undesirable (or at least uncool) for a company on the business to sell something. 

This has created a world of slimmer than normal margins and economies that only exist in scale.  It has created a need for social aspects to exist in everything.  Transparency and social aspects of your apps are almost a requisite part of your marketing plan – most other forms of marketing are cost prohibitive for the types of apps and utilities we talk about daily.

What’s the benefit to the end user, though?

That one’s simple – sure, a lot of these utilities are completely unnecessary, but just like the groundbreaking apps I talked about at the Inquisitr from SxSW this year, we’re seeing things that aid our lives in ways that weren’t even possible years ago.


Rizzn at SxSWi with JustThrive’s lead scientist.

Would your paper and pencil ledger from yesteryear be able to tell you, in numbers of visits to the coffee shop, how much money you have left for the rest of the month?  Could it magically leap off your desk at home and put this number in your pocked as you walk down the road, being tempted by the siren that is the corner coffee shop? No, but JustThrive can make those determinations and then send you a text message or email on demand letting you know just that (get MP4).

This is only one answer, and I know that if Michael Sean Wright or Marc Canter gets a crack at this answer, he’ll have a completely different set of reasons as to what it’s done to revolutionize our workflow and lives beyond giving us a set of buzzwords.

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