Weekly Blog #10: Cutting Through the Clutter

With the rise of Internet communities and social media, American society has become one big clutter of online communication. For many purposes, social media tools and forums make life easier: companies can connect with their key audiences quicker/more efficiently (if done right), we can keep in touch with old friends and keep up on their lives with one keystroke, and anything we could possibly want to learn about anything is at our fingertips, literally. Yes, it is true that social media can be extremely efficient and effective, but what about all the clutter it also creates in our lives?

Seriously, I love social media and agree with the experts that is the future of communications and all that, but with all the online news and social media forums, particularly those available in niche markets (as conversations, of course!), it can be daunting to decide what tool to use, what blog to read, what forum or community can actually be effective? The clutter of the online world can be very overwhelming, especially since these days, according to Clay Shirky in Here Comes Everybody, everyone has the opportunity to be a media outlet and essentially, make the clutter even deeper. (one of my favorite points, and one that I have made before, I know).

So how do we cut through the online and social media clutter? This is where I think examining Shirky’s ideas of the plausible promise, effective tool and acceptable bargain really come into play. I have been trying to better understand these concepts, and this is how I think they directly apply to cutting through social media clutter.

Regarding the plausible promise when it comes to the clutter, I think just thinking about what it might be when assessing different websites and social media tools/spaces can be helpful. Same thing goes for the effective tool and the acceptable bargain.

The reason I think this can be helpful is because I was thinking about the example that we used in class about Facebook. When we discussed the plausible promise, effective tool and acceptable bargain of Facebook, I thought much more about the purpose of Facebook as a tool  and what bargain I might have to make to use Facebook.

So, next time I am thinking about which new blog to read to best keep up on the trends and issues about a client, I am going to think of its plausible promise, effective tool and acceptable bargain, and based on all three, whether that blog is a good one or not.

It’s at least a start to cutting through the world of social media clutter, anyway.

Until next week —

**Note: I did not write about what website for which I am most thankful this week because I had to have my blog post finished by Monday, 11/22, and the class blog had not posted the assigned blog topic by then. But I think I am most thankful for Google, because it allows me to have Gmail, which is the best for SO many reasons! 🙂


About Jessie Gillman

This blog was created for my social media class as part of my graduate program in PR and communications at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. In addition to being a grad student, I am a PR/comm professional at Environics Communications where I focus on clean energy/environmental issues, education and women's health. I am also a huge book lover, an avid traveler, a big Philly sports fanatic, and I love Yoga.
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