Where are you on the social media ladder?

by Jens Sorensen on January 27, 2010

Recently, I read a very interesting Forrester paper on “The Broad Reach of Social Technologies” which outlined how users can be grouped by the way they consume social media online. The ladder they refer to, outlines the various behaviourial attributes associated with each type of consumer of social media.

Social Media Ladder

Social Media Ladder

Many of these are pretty self explanatory, however what I found particulary interesting was the leap from “joiners”; the average peson who is likely to sign up for a facebook and LinkedIn account, to creators; those who are the converstation starters. This leap includes the collectors; those who ‘vote’ for stuff and follow RSS feeds and Critics; those who contribute to blogs and review stuff etc.

Therefore, if not for this blog I would no longer be a creator, but a critic. Firstly, I think the term critic is somewhat of a negative; if we don’t create content on the web, are we really critics of social media? Surely, the guys at Forester could have referred to them as a much more positive ‘contributor’?

Secondly, this got me thinking about the importance of contributors (critics), in that they are likely to be more influential than the creators at the top of the ladder. Creators, are the opinion leaders, generally bloggers who inspire us to think differently or challenge the status quo. However, the contributors (critics) are those who decide whether these creators get the influence they hold and without them they wouldn’t be influencial nor have purpose.

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