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If You Eat All the Social Networking Candy, You’re Going to Get Sick!

Two blog posts made headlines on Techmeme over the past few days and I don’t agree with either of them.

First Erick Schonfeld complains that there’s just too much noise coming from social media.

…I don’t have time to sift through thousands of Tweets and Friendfeed messages and blog posts and emails and IMs a day to find the five things that I really need to know…So where is the startup that is going to be my information filter?

Erick’s basically complaining there’s too much output from social media, and he can’t keep up.

Second, Scott Karp. He suggests that it’s not an output problem, but an input problem.

How do you reduce noise on the web? Simple.

Produce less content.

…is shoveling as much content as possible onto the web really the best way to create enduring value?

I respect both bloggers, but they are both wrong. What we have here is a discipline problem.

What do I mean? Just because a new blog is created, a social network launched, or conversation platform released, that doesn’t mean you have to dive in and sign on.

If you go to the candy store and eat everything in sight, you’re going to get sick. Does that mean Hersheys and Cadburys should stop coming up with new candy bars? No, but it does mean that you should show some discipline. Sample the occasional new treat, find you favorite, and eat your candy in moderation.

I have profiles on MySpace, Facebook, FriendFeed, Pownce, LinkedIn, Twitter, and many more. But I’ve realized that I can’t be active in all communities and I honestly don’t care to impress others by showing-off how many social networks I can juggle. Instead, I’ve picked my favorite–Twitter–and choose to focus my efforts and invest my time in making that network valuable to me (and my friends).

The web will continue to pump-out new platforms, networks, and blogs. Some are great tasting, some not so much. If you stuff you face with every new product launched, don’t complain when your tummy (head?) aches.