Why Facebook and Twitter Fail When It Comes to Quality Conversations

Conversation

Conversation

If you need me, I’ll be here ducking behind this desk.  Yes, I expect to take some grief for leading with a headline that knocks the biggest social networks in the galaxy.  With 800 Million users it often feels like every living person, and half of the deceased, are on Facebook.   Twitter is THE place to be to get your fill of 140 character wisdom.   There is no denying that Facebook and Twitter are huge, mammoth juggernauts…and that is exactly why I think they tend to suck for meaningful focused conversation.

When More is Less and Less is More

Facebook and Twitter have so much information constantly flowing through them, it can be dizzying.  The flood of information posted to Facebook and Twitter creates noise that needs to be filtered out.  In the real world, we tend to NOT have hundreds of unconnected conversations at once with thousands of different people.  If you want to have a meaningful conversation where you can exchange some ideas and pick up useful tips, you want to talk to a group of people who are knowledgeable about the topic of conversation.

KOA Campfire Shows The Value of Meaningful Conversations

Let’s get my disclaimer out of the way – I am a community leader over at the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) Virtual Community.  Perhaps my opinion is subjective, but if you spend a little time over at the KOA Virtual Campfire you will find a group of people who love camping and outdoor activities.   The conversations are focused, fun and packed with helpful information.  What you do NOT find is endless off topic comments and spammers jumping into the conversations to try to sell you something you don’t need.

Can You Really Learn Anything Useful at a Virtual Campfire?

I’ll admit it, the KOA Virtual Campfire completely sucks when it comes to keeping you warm or roasting marshmallows.  On the other hand, the KOA Virtual Campfire provides a great place to learn and share tips.  Here are a few quick examples –

  • In this conversation, learn what are the 5 must have items for camping with kids.
  • As a parent, is it right to bribe your kids to get outside and active?  Join the conversation!
  • Like the idea of camping with friends?  In this conversation camping enthusiasts provide key tips for having a successful group camping trip.

And the list goes on and on.  It is not that everyone at the KOA Campfire is a camping expert, I am there so that proves that non-experts are welcome!  What everyone at the virtual campfire does have is an interest in camping and all things outdoors.  People have real life experiences and funny stories to share.   If you post a question on camping, you will get campers from around the globe who are happy to try to help out.  No, the KOA Community is not 800 Million strong, but it is focused, informative and maybe most importantly, has very little distracting noise you need to filter out.

When It Comes to Conversations, I’ll Take Quality over Quantity Any Day

Way back in the day, before the internet was part of our daily life, if you needed help picking out a computer, did you start dialing every person you knew for advice?  No, you called a couple of techy friends and asked their advice.   If you needed fashion advice, you probably called a different group of friends.  Your conversations were smaller and focused.

I believe the same should hold true today.  Just because Facebook and Twitter give us the potential to talk to every person we have ever met, does not mean it is productive to use social networks in this manner.  Take the time to find the smaller groups who are having meaning conversations in whatever topic you are interested in.  Decrease the noise in a conversation and  increase the participation of experienced people and you will be amazed how much more you can get out of the conversation.

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go get some tips on getting my kids excited about camping this summer.

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