- Does it enable people to connect with each other in new ways?
- Is it effortless to sign up for?
- Does it shift power from institutions to people?
- Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself?
- Is it an open platform that invites partnerships?
I'd like to focus on the first two points because those are the two I agree with the most.
Does it enable people to connect with each other in new ways? Every new social network or gadget is going to have this effect on people. On the other hand, if the new technology makes it more interesting, more varied, or gives users the ability to connect more frequently, it has a better chance of catching on and sticking. Also, if the new technology has the ability to recruit new users consistently, then it has a greater likelihood of growing rapidly.
Is it effortless to sign up for? I believe this to be especially true for new technologies. Just the other day in class our professor wanted us to check out del.icio.us but you could only use it if you joined or subscribed. I wasn't about to go through that. I just wanted to see what it was all about. Social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter are free and users can simply sign-up and start using it immediately.
All five of these points are applicable to a large corporation, a small business or even a new user looking to start up a personal page. These tips have the ability to help someone from jumping onto the band wagon. By reading through this list and asking yourself these questions, you can save yourself (or your company) a lot of time, headaches, and wasted effort. Find the technologies that are going to stick around for a while and that consumers are going to use.