Social network operators are constantly trying to add "stickiness" to their networks aimed at bring users back frequently. They understand the bell curve of user knowledge, experience and understanding or lack of understanding.
Vying for our attention, and those of our friends, they strategize on partnerships, new technology, content and marketing tactics to create the differential that they think will create user stickness..
It kind of reminds me of fly paper which is nothing more than a sticky trap. The funny thing is that traditional marketers are paying big money to network operators in partnerships aimed at creating that "sticky paper" hoping to trap our attention and useage. While one network operator announces attractive partnership another anounces a new technological function. Regardless of what they offer as new the aim is to keep us loyal to use their network and hopefully create the differential that users appreciate and tell others about.
Two Networks, Two Different Attempts to create "Sticky Buzz"
A Techcruch article states: The NYTimes and LinkedIn are announcing a partnership< ![endif]--><!--[if !vml]--><!--[endif]--> recently that will bring tailored headlines in the NYTimes Business and Technology sections to users based on some of their profile information. The example the NYTimes uses: LinkedIn members who work in the energy sector will see Times stories that cover the energy business. Users can also share stories with other LinkedIn users (this feature adds LinkedIn to the list of other bookmarking services like Facebook, Mixx, etc.).
The targeted headline feature will highlight the five latest NYTimes stories relevant to the user's profession or industry. It's likely that LinkedIn is sharing revenue or paying a bounty to the NYTimes for the partnership, although the companies aren't commenting on the financial part of the deal.
And Facebook Moves
Brian Solis writes: Facebook is aiming to become our dashboard for relationships and everything we do online, creating a cohesive and simplified connection between us to change and improve how we communicate.
Their mission is no small task, "Give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected."
One of the many announcements that was made at the company's second annual developer conference was Facebook Connect, and it just way well be the epicenter of our social activity.
With just a bit of code, Facebook Connect enables seamless integration with the Facebook identity system. For example, if you're commenting on a blog hosted on the MoveableType platform, you can login with your Facebook details and not only will your comment and link to your Facebook profile appear on the blog, the activity of commenting is also linked back into your activity feed. Digg, another example that was shared on stage, now supports FB Connect, making it possible for Diggers to logon using their Facebook ID and for each story they digg, the activity is documented back on their profile.
What Will Ultimately Make You Stick?
Technology is advancing so fast within the "social world" most consumers don't have a clue as to what all this means to them personally and professionally. So the networks will create "stickiness" but the long tail is likely to enable each individual to have their own "social portal". The operators will survive and flourish because it is a big world and not everyone will understand the issues or how to create their own personal social portal. That is unless someone like Google makes it a "plug and play" solutions that doesn't require us to be smarter than a fifth grader.
What say you?