New social networks try to sell potential members in different ways. More privacy than Facebook! More intimacy than Twitter! Less self-promoter-y than LinkedIn! But what they should be selling you on are what they can do for your offline life.
Take for example, New York Tech Meetup managing director Jessica Lawrence. Although privy to every local wantrepreneur trying to solve social networking needs you didn’t even know you cared about (and possibly don’t), Ms. Lawrence focuses her time on just one: Twitter. That’s because within six months, Twitter helped her find a job, a boyfriend, and an apartment to move into with her new love. (Hrrm, maybe we’ve been tweeting wrong?)
Any local techie worth their social strat has seen Ms. Lawrence’s name in their inbox. Perhaps most recently when she had to explain that neither she, nor Nate Westheimer had stepped down from NYTM, it was merely a glitch in her account. In the New York Times’ Style Section today, she explains why she’ll only trifle with social networks that deliver ROI IRL:
“I’m on tech overload,” said Ms. Lawrence, who has Facebook and LinkedIn accounts yet barely uses them anymore. “I already feel like I’m experiencing slow death by e-mail.” While she loves technology and has been experimenting with Google+ since it was introduced, “I’m having a really hard time justifying adding yet another social tool to my toolkit,” she said.”
Listen close, founders. If you’re thinking of demo-ing your social product at the next NYTM, looks like you’ll be facing at least one audience member skeptical about whether she can spare the time.