Social Network Content Creation Has Plateaued

Forrester, the research company that some claim started to whole social media marketing frenzy a couple years ago with the publication of “Groundswell” and their social technographics profiling research and tool, just released their 2010 social technographic global tracking data. This post from Mashable summarizes the $500 research report.

The social technographic profile research categorizes online behaviors into seven activities, none of which are mutually exclusive: Creators, Conversationalists, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators and Inactives. Based on their most recent findings, although social network joining continues to grow in the U.S. and globally, the number of people actually creating content has plateaued. No real surprise here.

There’s always been far more people willing to stand in line for the Saturday night movie than to actually script, film, edit, score and distribute it. Or write a book. Or an article. Or, you name it.

Face it, it takes a lot of work to create content and ultimately, you have to have a passion driving you or you’re just going to give up to the path of least resistance. So, although digital tools and distribution have eliminated the cost and professional training requirements once inherent in content production and the internet has made distribution free, there’s still that matter of time and talent.

At the end of the day, time is the one thing that’s perishable. You can always make more money. You cannot make more time. And, while if you don’t possess the talent, there’s a certain truth to being able to fake it til you make it, that only goes so far. Look at Paris Hilton. She doesn’t really possess any discernible talent and her shine for just being famous is wearing thin.

Ultimately, the talent pool is not just limited on the creation side of the equation. It’s also limited on the attention side.  This is why there has always been and always will be a limit on the number of Steven Spielbergs, Stephen Kings, John Mayers, Tom Hanks and other creative talents the world can pay attention to.  While there may be many talented performing artists and content creators in the world, we can only give so many individuals our undivided attention for so long.


About Scott Cone
A husband to a loving, lovely wife. Father to six great kids and two grand kids. I'm a marketing, advertising and promotion professional with a keen interest in big ideas, all things digital and especially how mobile is changing all aspects of communication and marketing. I play guitar and sing, write music, write screenplays, act, scuba dive, weight lift, ski and enjoy Christian apologetics, logic, evolution versus intelligent design and the basis for morals, values and ethics.

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