I’m trying to pull together some consistent terminology to describe different types of social networking behaviour that manifests in the way people use the services in a work and not-work context. I’m looking for some feedback on the structure illustrated above, which maps the amount of activity someone has in the social network space against their visibility (roughly, how many different services people are signed up to). I welcome any thoughts, comments etc – I want to use the language to help people describe themselves when doing work on personal digital strategies (see here on the stamp London site) so for the most part the language should be non-judgemental (there are three exceptions).
Here are the groupings identified so far:
Trolls: high activity, but low visibility (usually anonymous) (judgemental)
Included because it’s a folk devil topic in the media at the moment; unacceptable behaviour.
Refuseniks: no activity, no visibility (judgemental)
Basically, people who don’t engage in the world of social networks. Increasingly I think that this isn’t a way to be in the world of work in the 21st century. Whilst we don’t all need to be tweeting and blogging and instagramming every moment of every day, not being engaged at all runs the risk of social exclusion (and that’s social as in the whole meaning of the word). The majority of FTSE 100 CEOs fall into the category.
90%ers: low activity, medium visibility
Taken from the 1% rule – that 90% of people on any given Internet community lurk rather than contribute or create. This is majority behaviour – you’ll probably be signed up to LinkedIn and Facebook, you’ll have connections, but you don’t do much other than use it as an occasional address book.
Focused networkers: medium activity, medium visibility
Signed up to the main popular services, and using the services to comment, contribute occasionally, “like” things and so on. Have a reasonable focus on what they are using any particular service for.
Social givers: high activity, high visibility
“Giver” as in Adam Grant’s “Give and Take” book; people who work on a pay-it-forward principal, providing content of value to their connections across multiple services.
Next New Thinger: low activity, high visibility
Essentially people who sign up for the next new thing, but don’t really use them. Might be a sign of people who are consciously evaluating new services for applicable use – alternatively might be people obsessed with the latest “shiny shiny” – signing up but never really knowing what to do with things.
Hypervert: high activity, high visibility (judgemental)
In a not-work setting, the sort of person who has their brain directly connected to their Twitter account. And their Facebook account. And their every other account too. In a work setting, Spam merchants, producing lots of content but with little regard for their audience.